Illuminated Drawing at CONFIA

This year I am one of the keynote speakers at the 7th CONFIA conference on illustration and animation in Viana do Castelo in Portugal.

My presentation is about artists who make drawings in front of a live audience using projection technologies to illuminate their mark making process, work that complicates the boundaries between drawing, performance and animation. On my way to CONFIA very soon with Rose Bond. Excited and honoured to be doing a keynote. It includes historical contextualisation of Lightning Sketch artists (thanks to Malcolm Cook) and contemporary artists like Lisa Gornick, Harald Smykla, Bahman Panahi, Paul Sharits, Takahito Iiumura, Vicky Smith, Pierre Hébert, Kellie O’Dempsey and myself. Here is a link to the live stream video of the presentation from CONFIA’s Facebook page


Ecstatic Truth II: Lessons of Darkness and Light

“Fact creates norms, and truth illumination” Werner Herzog 

Date: Saturday 27th May, 2017
Location: Stevens building, Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore

This second animated documentary symposium at the RCA will to continue with the examination of how animation can contribute to, challenge and push the boundaries of what documentary film can be.

Our keynote speakers are Annabelle Honess Roe, author of ‘Animated Documentary’ and filmmaker Lei Lei.

For more information and to book a FREE ticket:

Beyond Noumenon

International Experimental Animation Exhibition and Forum, Sichuan Fine Arts Institute Chongqing, China, 18th Oct – 1st Nov 2106

This series of events sought to question the ontology of animation with a series of speakers and artists showing work that troubled at the edges of animation as a practice.


Day 1. Forum Opening. Presentations:


Welcome speeches by Jie Zhang , Vice-president of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chuan Li , Director of the New Media Department and Tingting Lu, director of the Forum.

Tianran Duan “The Principle Concept of Animation” drew parallels between the post-modern collapse of meaning in philosophy and our current understanding of animation.

Gerben Schermer “Holland Animation Film Festival on the Cutting Edge”talked about the curatorial policy of the festival and showed the film Recycled by Lei Lei and Thomas Sauvin

Jian Liu reflected on experimental practice in animation and warned against over theorising practice.

Birgitta Hosea “Involuntary Animation” explored involuntary mark-making and chance procedures in animation with reference to Iimura Takahiko’s Circle and Square (1982), John Cage’s Music of Changes (1951), Vicky Smith’s 33 Frames Per Feet (2013) and Noisy, Licking, Dribbling and Spitting (2014) and finally her own work Time Channel (2014).

Xi Chen “Time and Poetry in Animation”

Yuxiao Yi “Rational Technique and Image Ethic” discussed post-disciplinary, post-hums work and the extension of sensation

Yves Nougzarede talked about “Annecy and Experimental Animation” with examples of films by Paul Bush and Susan Young and thoughts about the curatorial policy behind the experimental category

Lei Lei “Tidy Up Old Things and Image of Animation” presented some his latest works in which he uses re-animation techniques to interrogate archival collections of photographs

Sheila Sofia “Animated Documentary”discussed creative challenges in using animation for documentary purposes and considers whether animation might be more truthful or perhaps more manipulative than live action.


Tingting Lu’s closing speech argued for a dematerialisation of the concepts behind animation, for animation as an adjective or adverb instead of a verb or a noun, for anti-animation, for post-animation.

Day 2

Sheila Sofia presents her latest film, Truth Has Fallen, and the context behind it


Birgitta Hosea presents an overview of her work in animation and performance


Organiser Tingting Lu, her assistant Juncheng Li, Birgitta Hosea and Sheila Sofian


Exhibition Opening in the New Media Art Centre


Featuring work by artists including: Birgitta Hosea.


bh_exhibition_day3_21For Beyond Noumenon, she has created a series of works that explore erasure and the invisibility of labour. It takes so much physical labour to create the world around us – constructing buildings, manufacturing goods, cooking, cleaning… Yet, all too often this work goes unrecognised and is invisible. We see the end product – the finished building, the meal, the clean house – but not the labour of the workers that went into its creation.
This project aims to remember some of the labour of domestic work performed over and over by many generations of women for their families, but then forgotten. Through sequential action drawings, paper cuts and performance, the process of erasure is used to record the duration and actions of domestic labour. The artist herself worked as a cleaner in hospitals and private houses in her younger years and has created this project in memory of her grandmothers.
The individual works include Rosary Drawing XII (2015), a performance that explores the time-based nature of prayer beads, Scoured I-XVI (2016), a series of 16 images created through cleaning processes through the use of bleach and a scouring pad, and Cleaning I and 2 (2016), paper cuts made as the trace of a performance of cleaning.

Sheila Sofian


Tianran Duan


Lei Lei

BH_exhibition_day3_LL_02.JPGBH_exhibition_day3_LL_03.JPGMi Chai

BH_exhibition_day3_CM_09.JPGTingting Lu


Lots of lovely food was eaten, particularly the local hot pot!


Meeting up with former students Dandan Wang and Lai Wei, Sheila Sofia and translator Bao Li


Birgitta Hosea also ran a workshop on Emotional and Physical Mark-making, which used techniques from contemporary dance and method acting to challenge students’ habitual drawing methods


Press reviews and more photos on, and weixin



Ghosts: Keith Piper and Roshini Kempado


Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins 27/11/2015-11/12/2015

Last day today of this exhibition curated by Paul Goodwin as part of a curatorial project in which he examines the intersections between technology, subjectivity and contemporary art. In the exhibition introductory text, Goodwin writes:

Ghosts specifically explores how artists in the UK are interrogating these complex relationships in the context of the current historical conjuncture of proliferating international migrations, global political-economic crises and scattered migrant communities in cities…

Another problematic that the Ghosts project seeks to address is in relation to the way that certain questions of history and memory, identity and power have been downplayed and left to hover and fester in the dark recesses and corners of contemporary art’s technological imaginary. … there has been massive proliferation of art historical and contemporary art discussion and research about the relationship between art and technology in the current techno-cultural conjuncture. However there has been less research and discussion about how these important questions of technology have been addressed within the context of problematics around migration, ‘race’, ‘post-colonialism’ and the proliferation of diasporic identities – including sexual and gendered identities, especially in the European context which presents itself in such urgent terms today. In many ways questions of diaspora, ‘race’ and post-colonial identities are like ‘ghostly’ presences or excesses haunting the technological utopias and techno-determinism that often pervades discussions around art and technology.”

In the exhibition, Roshini Kempadoo’s ‘About Face‘ explores the digital chatter we experience as we try to negotiate our diverse experiences of transition and migration through the city through multiple handheld devices.


I was particularly interested in the work of Keith Piper, an artist whose work in digital technologies I have been following since the 1990s. His work in this show combines animation and video to deconstruct the racialised metaphors that haunt science fiction and space age technology. His thought provoking installation contrasts robots, androids and cyborgs with different types of identities to reveal social fears about race and difference. Piper says, “This project is part of a body of research expanding the scrutiny of popular science fiction into the fields of post-colonial studies and developing discources around ‘Afro-futurism’, encoding and ‘CyberEbonics’.


This is made especially apparent in a video that comments on the robotic pathfinder that tirelessly explored Mars for three months in 1997 until communication was lost. It was named Sojourner, after the former slave and anti-abolitionist and women’s rights campaigner, Sojourner Truth. Here’s a clip of the actual Mars rover:

You can see an artist commentary by Keith Piper on his work here:

Robot Bodies from Keith Piper on Vimeo.

New Blog Site / Reflecting on CSM

The Expanded Animation blog has migrated to this new site on

The reason for this is that I no longer have access to myblog.arts since I have left Central Saint Martins to take up a new position as Head of Animation at the RCA. Press release here

I was given the opportunity to reflect on some of the projects I have set up on MA Character Animation at CSM over the years at the recent Adobe Education Summit in London:

I am very sad to leave CSM after 15 years as Course Director of MA Character Animation and will miss my colleagues and students. However, I am looking forward to the challenge of a new role and am excited about starting at the RCA!

SEeAFAR: 27th Sept – 5th Oct 2014


Fresh from the Folkestone Triennial Fringe, this touring exhibition curated by Birgitta Hosea brings together new work from Foa + Hosea, Carali McCall, Anne Robinson, Sarah Sparkes and Thurle Wright. Using a range of media – drawing, animation, performance to video, light installation, painting and collage, the works engage with living with the constant presence of an absence through the metaphor of waiting for someone to return from sea.

OPEN FROM 12-6pm on: 27th, 28th September and 1-5th October

PRIVATE VIEW: Friday 26th September 6-8pm – if you would like to attend – register for the Private View on Facebook or EventBrite

[Invite image Jane Conquest Rings the Bell (detail) Sarah Sparkes, mixed media, 2014]