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Animation (MA)

Katie King

I am a London-based animation director and textile artist. Since 2014, I have been living in London, where I pursued my bachelor's degree in Religion, Philosophy, and Ethics at King's College London. Prior to that, I had a background in Fashion and Textiles.

Throughout my career, I have gained diverse experience in the arts. This includes establishing the underwear label, Pantsu & Pantsu; working in Pam Hogg’s studio for two collections; contributing to Ilya Khrzhanovsky's avant-garde film project DAU; and providing freelance creative publicity support to Repeater Books. Additionally, I have directed animation projects for clients including Universal Music, Virry VR, and various independent artists. I also undertake ongoing embroidery commissions, with previous work for Triumph Lingerie.

My work revolves around social commentary and delving into the lives of characters experiencing existential crises. My undergraduate dissertation explored the use of cats as a symbolic trope in initiating existential dilemmas in moving image and literature artworks. While human interactions remain at the core of my work, I consistently incorporate animals in various forms as symbolic elements.

Over the past year, I have enjoyed expanding my animation practice and integrating my textile background into my work. This process has also involved creating additional phsycial artworks derived from my animated materials. Directing my graduate film Made For Duty Overseas has allowed me to collaborate with a multitude of talented individuals, whose contributions have been indispensable in bringing this project to life.

Degree Details

School of CommunicationAnimation (MA)RCA2023 at Battersea and Kensington

RCA Kensington, Stevens Building, Ground floor

Made For Duty Overseas still.

In my writing, I am particularly interested in existential dilemmas and the incidents that make humans question the sense of their reality. I also enjoy working with tactile materials and the interplay of working by hand and with digital assistance.

Before joining the RCA, I primarily worked with traditional 2D digital mediums and made hand embroidery on a commission basis. I came to the RCA with the intention of exploring how these two practices could intersect. Both backgrounds have greatly influenced each other, and over the year, I have developed a visual style that relies on various textile techniques to create 2.5D models animated using the multiplane.

During my first term, I learned how to use computer-aided embroidery and then delved into machine felting and various fabric printing approaches. Suzanne Buchan introduced us to the artist George Griffin in first term. His statement, that 'animation is more than a sum of its parts' has been particularly inspiring to me. Throughout the year, I have been exploring how my initial animation materials can have a second life in secondary animations and physical artworks. At our phsyical show, you will find textile artworks hanging in the Hockney gallery that reimagines parts used to make my graduation film.

I approached the making of Made For Duty Overseas with a few parameters. First, I wanted it to be entirely made of fabric, as it's a medium I am comfortable with and also because I wanted to work these fabricated parts into individual artworks after the completion of the film. Second, I wanted it to be fun to make. I believe that some of the best work, especially when it has an element of the bizarre, reflects the enjoyment of the maker during the creative process. Third, since the story is based on a real experience and event, I incorporated various filmic references to explore how to frame the narrative, including an iconic scene from Sunset Boulevard referenced early, particularly in terms of using noirish lighting.

Made For Duty Overseas is my first fully textile animated film. The different parts are made using various techniques and fabrics, with a focus on velvet, silk, and different types of cotton. This project has taught me valuable lessons in manipulating and preparing fabric for animation, as well as understanding which materials work best under different lighting setups. It has been an amazing experience to develop my skills as a director, animator, and fabricator, and to collaborate with such interesting and talented individuals from both within and outside the college. I am truly excited about the film we have produced and looking forward to future projects which continue in this practice.

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Film Stills

Film stills from Made For Duty Overseas. The characters are never depicted facially bar the parts you need to see. This is partly to ensure for a varied reading of their relationship and the duality in their behaviour. In another scene, a dream element involving a cow and dancing cigarettes.

Film Synopsis

Made For Duty Overseas is a noir-ish tale based on the director’s real experience of the club of smoking. A narrator recounts an encounter with a mysterious woman she meets by a pool in Ahangama, Sri Lanka, who offers her a menthol Vogue cigarette. Their casual conversation quickly veers into the realm of world politics, exposing our narrator to a hidden side of reality. Intrigued by the allure of this woman’s identity, our narrator finds herself enticed into a dangerous addiction. Made For Duty Overseas explores the allure of aesthetic distractions.

TrailerFilm will be completed for the RCA assessment date, July 2023. Date of upload, 21 June 2023.
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Materials: Velvet and cotton wool.
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Materials: polyester fabric overlayed. Design by Huan Wang (RCA Textiles graduate 2023).
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Materials: silk
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Materials: Calico, poly
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Materials: cashmere
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Materials: cotton


Above I have described how some of the parts were made and with what materials and processes.