Alix Bortoli is a French artist based in London, her work involves animated experimentations with physical media, creating animations using embroidery, etching into wood and many other techniques.
Following graduation from the Royal college of Art she went on to attend the Royal Drawing School. Take a look at some of her beautiful work below.
RF: Hey Alix! Thanks for sharing your work. Before we get into it, could you tell people a bit about you and what makes your world go round.
Alix: Hello! I am very tall, I have a strong accent and I live in east London. I studied animation at RCA in 2019 and since I do mainly music videos and drawing into etchings. I love experimenting with new visuals and techniques, can’t really repeat myself. Dancing, music and mousse au chocolat make my world go round.
RF: Your work is stunning and and contains this fast paced energy which contrasts with the techniques you use which are usually super laborious and slow. Could you explain a bit about your processes and why you are drawn towards the methods you use.
Alix: When I was at RCA I made in first year this film Mediteranea which is all drawings etched on wood and the second year all collages and embroideries. I like working with physical materials to end up on a digital screen, to have a souvenir of it or to not lose my film somewhere on the internet or on an usb but in a box under bed or in a gallery’s wall.
Also I don’t think I am a good technical animator so I try to find tricks to focus more on the visual rather than the perfect moves. I really want to entertain the spectator and to have almost a sensory experience. Also physical materials bring so much to film like the plywood brings light, warmth, it creates a space too and you know the feeling while touching it. About the speed it is difficult to answer, I get this feedback a lot, maybe because I drink too much coffee.
RF: How do you begin your creative process, are you mostly inspired by personal memories, or do you like to make work about observations on the world.
Alix: I work a lot with personal fantasy so it is a mix of personal memories, films, I also absorb a lot of photographers’ work and redraw their pictures to make them part of my fake personal world. I daydream a lot. I relate it to a teenage stage when you are frustrated at not having a glamorous life so you imagine one. When I choose the technique to animate, it is always very instinctive. During the whole process I try to follow my instinct and feelings.
RF; Can we talk about your film night cab, for me it really reminds me of Susan Young and her film ‘Carnival’ I was wondering if this was one of your influences. I’d also love to hear any inspirations for this amazing piece of work.
Alix: That is a good one! I haven’t thought about her to be honest, I was inspired by the director Leos Carax, especially his film Holy Motors which I admire so much for the creativity and the aesthetic, it is pure cinema! The photographer Nan Goldin for her underground scenes shoots, the director Michel Gondry is a big inspiration for his experimental aspect, the fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli for her surrealist clothes. I also made a music playlist which I listen to nonstop and it gives me the visual ideas, with a mix of Miles Davis, Jimmy Hendrix, Archive, Muddy Monk and Todd Terje..
RF: Could you list a few artists that you are appreciating at the moment, and maybe some short animations that you enjoy.
Alix: I am obsessed at the moment by the work of fashion photographers Lea Colombo, Harley Weir and Frank Leboner, they are playful and have strong aesthetics. The choreographer Akram Khan had a big impact on me when I saw one of his shows, which I never recovered. The designer Gaetano Pesce is incredible, I discovered his work during the lockdown. He is a figure of the italian design and I am sure that living with one of his chairs will make you feel happy forever! I really advise to look at Virgillo Villoresi, Oscar Hudson, Winston Hacking, Quentin Jones and the short ‘Now you Know’ from Rogelio for their experimental works.
RF: Lastly, toward the end of night cab there is a hand clicking, I was wondering if this is purely rhythmical or is this representative of something else.
Alix: It is rhythmical and also announcing the end of the show like shutting down the light. But you are all welcome to interpret as you feel 🙂
RF: Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer our questions, you can check out more of Alix’s work by clicking here. Hopefully she will be back on the radio soon too 😉