All films are made on 16mm. They are available for screening from Lux + Lightcone and also available on digital. See my Vimeo channel.
16mm hand processed B&W, animation / live action, 10 mins. Part-funded by Arnolfini.
The film is a reflection on exposure, and on change, of skin to sun and of film to light, and the environmental, social and hereditary factors that impact the aging process. My mother and I share spoken memories about summer and change, in social customs, and to the climate. The DIY analogue film processing method gives this material a burnt brown look, while the inclusion of ‘mistakes’, such as fogged and scratched sections, emphasize the sense of exposure and damage to skin and to film material’.
Re:exposure currently at Arnolfini Bristol, in the exhibition ‘A Picture of Health’
Not (a) part (2019) supported by The Brigstow Institute.
Not (a) part was conceived in relation to both the rapid decline of flying insects and the high recurrence of animation, handmade or contact film that works with the subject and/or material of flying insects. Numerous dead bees found on walks were positioned directly onto negative film and contact printed. Occupying approximately 24 frames they run at a rate of 1 bee per second. The length of the film is determined by how many specimens are found over a specified period of time. The project addresses the decline of flying insects globally and it focuses this problem through individual found corpses of bees which are dissected and placed, much as Stan Brakhage did with Mothlight, directly onto 16mm film. The stock is processed in BEEF darkroom using caffenol. The discovery and effective use of caffenol as a less toxic developer than the other stuff is reason 1. for feeling okay about using celluloid film once more.
Not (a) Part: Handmade Animation, Materialism and the Photogram Film by Vicky Smith was published in the International Journal of Creative Media Research (2019)
Small Things Moving in Unison (2018)
Thousands of tiny perforations made directly into 16mm black leader describe relational fields.
The idea here was that the filmstrip has 2 surfaces that can be worn away through friction; one bore marks created by my own body as I performed a series of actions upon it, while the other surface became impressed with inscriptions of the ground. I had in mind Max Ernst’s frottage pieces and was inspired by Surrealist aspects of chance. Above all, I’m interested in how forms of tactility communicate themes of fragility. Camera-less practice necessitates holding film material and this handling suggests avenues for practice that for the last 10 years I’ve been exploring.
Primal is an abstract animation made directly onto the filmstrip. Through contact actions of rubbing and scraping, marks are made onto unprocessed fogged negative. Similarly the sounds are made through tactile processes of rubbing materials against the mic. The film is a meditation upon light, energy, matter and the animating principle.
Noisy Licking, Dribbling & Spitting (2014)
33 Frames a Foot (2013)
In this piece I stamp my painted foot on the filmstrip, which, at 33 frames, falls short of the universal measure of 40 frames. The work is very much about how to disrupt the conventions of cinema by breaking the pre-existing measurements and divisions of film, but further I conceive it as a feminist gesture in the way that Carolee Schneemann does in her referring to her daubing of her own cum on film material as ‘feminising film’.
Bicycle Tyre Track (2012)
This physical performance with film reassigns the bicycle into a camera. The idea developed in relation to methods deployed by former tutors of mine who made films and performances from ‘womens’ tools of the sewing machine and the pram to exploit the features these objects shared with the cinema apparatus. This piece continues my research into how to register the image on film without using a camera, and involves aim, balance and pressure. It draws attention to the fallible human body as it wavers from mechanic efficiency and regulation.
‘Physical Films’ are performed or performative films. They depart from the manual method of marking directly on film, employing instead actions that are repetitive and semi-automatic, such as walking and licking . The 16mm filmstrip is narrow and so the event of marking it is composed of restricted gestures. This effects a reversal, in that the body making contact with film becomes mechanized, while film is corporealised, generating imagery that is neither purely organic nor mechanical. The traces of semi -irregular impressions that remain on the film index the difficulty of attempting to perform along this long thin surface. The patterned, repetitive yet uneven imagery suggest the mixed non- camera marking sources of body and bike.
Liquid animation describing an unstable environment……
Over exposure to light generates a set of stained contact printed compositions.
Skin and flesh erupt as memories penetrate and distort the surface and the film emulsion is also ripped open.
My Moon, Her World (1995)
An exploration of intimacy and the material environment of the home, using paint, drawing and stop- motion. Bodies in contact, heavy and earthbound, distort, become more animated then spin and fly off into the cosmos.
The Pecking Order (1989)
Available from BFI
‘ An innovative animation touching on a series of interlinked concerns around issues of intensive farming, animal slaughter, famine, the Food Mountains of the West and devastation of the rain forests. The reality of violence is represented by live action black and white shots of two knives being sharpened for the slaughter. Different sound effects relate to the collage of diverse animated images chaotically linked together to signify global distress ‘ – BFI Online