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Visual Communication (MA)

Giulia Cataldi


I am Giulia (pronounced Julia), an interdisciplinary visual artist and designer with a thing for experimentation.

After studying architecture in Florence (Italy), I decided to expand my practice and pursue my interest in the visual arts here in London at the RCA, MA Visual Communication.

My work intersects and combines a variety of analog and digital media: photography, video making, sound recording, performance and more. I use these self-reflecting tools to create intimate narratives, focusing on the relationship between mundane personal events and their implied and underlying emotional discourse.

I wish to open conversations around identity, introspection and healing practices.

I like all things low-tech and low-fi.

Please note: all the footage in this page was recorded with a 7-years-old phone because all of my money was spent for this course. Hire me for quality!

Still from the film, a hand is flipping through black and white photos.

For my end-of-year project Memories of Others, I used the time of a journey back to Italy, during Easter holidays, to harvest and collect images, footage, documents and stories of - and from - my closest relatives. I planned to create a living multimedia archive, looking in particular at intergenerational conversations and at the role of women in the preservation of intangible cultural heritage. 

However, as the project progressed, I decided to explore the potential of the film essay for making sense of my personal history and, from there, bringing together the personal and the collective experience. Using these tools as a way to engage with - and preserve - the “memories of others”, I reflect upon my own position as a woman, in the central years of her life, who questions her role of daughter to elderly parents, her role of potential future mother, and overall her role in society.

The film uses the structure of a circular journey - from London to Italy and back - with recordings taking place in different locations and the journey between these locations, as ’a way to address the thinking self also as a mobile process’ (Timothy Corrigan).

All of my work is influenced by the issues raised by female artists - such as Agnès Varda, Nan Goldin and Sophie Calle - around the artist’s identity, and draws upon the writings and theories of Christian Norberg-Schulz, Gaston Bachelard and Martin Heidegger around the phenomenology of place.

The essay form, above all, thinks, in the way that it offers both framing and reframing of personal experience, existing footage, events, objects and place. The frame as a concept encompasses several meanings, ranging from physical properties of the technology to the way that frame relates to ideology and to those who frame information, view and ideas.

                                                                             Hans Richter

Teaser trailer

Video: 3' 32''


The Cataldi-Grilli Archive

A living multimedia family archive

Online living family archive preview
Launch Project

Sequences of still frames

From the full length film

sequence of 9 still frames from the film
sequence of 9 still frames from the film
sequence of 9 still frames from the film

How do I feel, move or interact within the public space?

How do I occupy the urban space?

How do I establish myself in the men’s dominated public space?

These are the questions that ignited my research on Maida Hill Place, a very busy junction between 5 streets only five minutes away from home. A dull, ordinary place, one might say. However, I am fascinated by the buzzing transient life that happens within metropolitan crossings and the overlapping, fragmented stories of the people passing by - or just temporarily coming to a halt. I wanted to investigate and cope with my discomfort in the public space, hoping to achieve a kind of “urban impressionism” in my work. A major inspiration for my research is the photographic work of David Hockney, where he explores through collages the fragmentation of space and time in the memory of a place, and the French feminist film maker Agnès Varda, looking in particular at the scenes in The Gleaners (2000) where she films her hands within the frame as a way to say ‘I am not only behind the camera, I am in the camera’. All footage and sound recordings belong to the place.

By establishing my presence in the frame, I position myself in the space of my narrative. 

Transient Urban Narratives

Recordings of Maida Hill Place W9 London

Video: 3' 30''

4 fisheye photos or urban spaces
4 fisheye photos or urban spaces
4 fisheye photos or urban spaces
4 fisheye photos or urban spaces

Digital collages

Maida Hill Place W9 London

Digital photo collage of urban space
Digital photo collage of urban space

A Life in A Day is a concept for a short animated film, centred around my personal experience of one year of isolation in a studio flat in West London, from March 2020 to March 2021.

The story only apparently revolves around a sequence of ordinary domestic actions that take place in the space of a day, but it is actually focused on the implied and underlying emotional discourse, suggested by the subjective dilatation or compression of space and time and the dramatic use of light and colour. The storyboard was designed after the collection, on a year's span, of a multimedia journal documenting my solitary experience of the spaces within and without the domestic walls. This journal consists of sketches and paintings, written thoughts and observations, maquettes, audio and video recordings.

digital painting and photomontage of a giant's eyes peeking in an urban scenario
Quick gestural sketches for storyboard

A Life in A Day

Concept reel with soundscapes

Video: 2' 35''

Experimental concept reel with soundscapes.

A Life in A Day

Raw storyboard with colour test

Storyboard - board 1
Storyboard - board 3
Storyboard - board 2
Storyboard - board 4


Video realised in collaboration with Nicolas Karamacheras (composer, Guildhall School of Music and Drama) within the MAP/making project, directed by Sophie Clements (RCA) and Nell Catchpole (Guildhall)