Betsy Dadd uses animation to transport the viewer to a particular location. She documents landscapes and uses drawings and sound recordings as the starting point to construct sequences and narratives.
Materials and processes are intrinsic to her work. The expressive paintings and drawings that form the basis of her animations are vast in scale, making the animation production physically rigorous. For Dadd, size and materiality is not only important as a working method, but as a way to depict the magnitude of the landscape.
The resulting animations are non-linear narratives - variously presented as installations, objects or environments with accompanying soundscapes. By using an original drawing as the surface for an animated projection, she creates an image that is simultaneously static and in constant flux, both tangible and digital – experienced as a moving painting or a ‘live’ sculpture.
She has described her animations as ‘durational paintings’, noting that: ‘an image may stand still, barely moving for a given period of time, but it also has the ability to perform.’ With this in mind, she explores animated stillness. ‘I find subtle movement draws one to look closer. And, as a counterpoint to action, minimal movement and slow motion suspend time and create quietude.’
Betsy Dadd studied Fine Art Printmaking at the University of Brighton (2005 – 2008) and recently graduated with an MA in Animation from the Royal College of Art, London (2013). She was shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize in both 2010 and 2013. She gained first prize in the 2012 RCA Short Film Festival and a Conran Award for her final RCA show. Her work has been seen in numerous exhibitions and screenings in the UK, France, Germany and Japan and as part of dance performances at the Lilian Baylis Studio and Sadlers Wells Theatre. She has undertaken commissions for a range of clients that include Tate Merchandise, BBC Radio 4 / St Martin in the Fields Charity, Aircraft Circus, Broken Sounds Records, Wichita Records and most recently for National Poetry Day, 2013.
Text © Tessa Peters, courtesy of Marsden Woo Gallery.