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Vicky Smith

For 30 years Vicky Smith explored methods to express and represent her own body and physicality, whilst avoiding direct self-portraiture. Prior to 2010 Vicky approached this through animated film, where the figure was imagined, often distorted and located in unstable environs. Production of these 16mm animations was dependent on analogue film equipment and laboratories, and so when this industry declined Vicky embarked on phase 2 (2010-20): animation made without cameras by marking directly onto the filmstrip, forcing a focus on movement and rhythm, with the body now inscribed as gesture, pressure and trace. This set of works Vicky termed: “Physical Films”. The most recent work, Not (a) part (2019), photo-grams objects that exist in the world, using the method of contact printing to emphasise fragility of materials, and foregrounding dimensions of tactility as a means to consider the body in relation to a broader ecology of vulnerability. The next phase of Vicky’s practice will progress the photogram method of imagery made through physical contact toward camera/lens-based techniques of proximity, where use of close-up maintains a quality of the physical and gestural in filmmaking.

sketch of vicky


Physical Films

Animated Films