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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Sabrina Schmid is a visual artist, animator and practice-based researcher who joined Teesside University in 2001 as Senior Lecturer in Animation.

Originally studying painting, she attained her BA in Fine Art Painting with Distinction and post-graduate qualification at the RMIT University (aka Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) Australia. Her interest in the moving image led her to specialize in animation, gaining a Graduate Diploma in Applied Film and Television in Animation at the School of Film and Television, Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. As a practicing animator since 1986, she has continued to focus on animation as an art form and creative expression, a medium which allows for ongoing experimentation and innovation.

Working as independent filmmaker initially in Australia, her early short animation films used experimental mixed animation techniques, gaining peer recognition early on through selection at prestigious international film festivals, including Annecy, Ann Arbor, Mill Valley, Stuttgart, Hiroshima, Melbourne, Sydney, Bilbao, Oberhausen, Cinanima-Portugal, Ottawa, Zagreb and the London International Film Festival, amongst others. Her independent films as well as recent work have been cited in key texts about animation.

Sabrina then worked as freelance animator in industry at several production companies in Europe, where she directed, designed and animated program inserts commissioned by Kopp Film in Berlin, Germany for the channel ZDF TV (1998), was one of the animators on puppet-animation series produced at the studio Folimage Valence Productions in France (1999), as stop-motion animator on the TV series Pingu in Switzerland (1999) and at Scopas Medien in Frankfurt, Germany on several of their animated TV series for ZDF TV (2000-2001) where she had also animated the puppet-claymation ‘Millenium Trailer 2000’ produced by Arte TV.

Sabrina's recent work is inter-disciplinary from abstract animation to digital printmaking, its imagery exploring abstract form and emotive use of colour in relation to audio within the genre of ‘visual music’ and abstraction.

Recent animations have achieved international recognition through screenings at competitive international film festivals. Selected screenings included the London International Animation Festival 2015 UK, New York City Independent Film Festival 2016 USA; Animaze Montreal International Animation Festival 2016 Canada;Melbourne International Animation Festival 2016 Australia; Ottawa International Animation Festival 2016 Canada; Northwest Animation Fest 2017 USA; Manchester International Film Festival 2017 UK; amongst several other international festivals. The film ‘Abstract Iterations II’ was also selected in the the ‘British Short Film Panorama’ abstract programme at the Punto Y Raya Festival 2018 and was selected in the programme ‘Abstract Animation Created By Women Within The Context Of The Monochrome Neutral Gender Exhibition’ curated by PyR Genre: Abstract Art In Motion Pyr Platform 2020 held at the MUSAC Museum of Contemporary Art of Castilla y Leon, Spain.

Digital print work 'Knotted Colours' (2019) was purchased by BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK, for their BALTIC Plus digital archive and physical research library’s Artists' Books collection. Her practice-based abstract films are represented in the audio-visual archive ‘PyR TV’, Barcelona, Spain, a selective online platform and media library that is the most comprehensive film collection in the genre of ‘abstract art in motion’.

Filmography – auteur independent animations:

  • Abstract Iterations II (2015) short 2D animation, 4’21, HD1080, colour, sound, UK
  • Abstract Iterations (2015) short 2D animation, 3’00, three-channel digital, colour, silent, UK
  • Interior (2013) short 2D computer animation, 1’00, HD1080, colour, sound, UK
  • Coincidence 1 (2013) short 2D computer animation, 1’00, HD1080, colour, sound, UK
  • Abstracted Reflections (2011) short computer animation, 3’35, DVD, colour, sound, UK
  • Evariations (2009) short computer animation, 2’22, DVD, colour, sound, UK
  • Scribblefish (2003) short computer animation, 1’, DVD, colour, sound, UK
  • One: Terra (1996) short animated film, 1’00, 16mm, colour, sound, Australia
  • Middriffini (1993) short animated film, 19’00, 16mm, colour, sound, Australia *
  • Once As If A Balloon (1989) short animated film, 3’00 16mm, colour, sound, Australia * #
  • Elephant Theatre (1985) short animated film, 15’00, 16mm, colour, sound, Australia *

* denotes films which are held in the film collection of the National Film & Sound Archive (NFSA), ACT, Australia.

denotes film listed in the British Film Institute (BFI) National Archive (Film and Television Works)

Academic citations of films:

Bendazzi, G. 2015, Animation: A World History, Focal Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Massachusetts (Vol. 2, p. 433, Vol. 3, p. 332)
[Volume 2, Chapter 17: Australia - Avant-Garde Animation, p. 433; Volume 3, Chapter 7: Oceania – Australia, p. 332] 

Cholodenko, A. (editor) 1991, The Illusion of Life: Essays on Animation, Power Publications in association with the Australian Film Commission, Sydney. (p. 311)

Noake, R. 1988, Animation: The Guide to Animated Film Techniques, First English Edition edn, Little, Brown (p. 27)

Pilling, J. & British Film Institute, 1992, Women and Animation: a Compendium, The British Film Institute, London (p. 113)

Wells, P. & British Film Institute, 1996, Emergent Animation: Australia, Around the World in Animation – Celebrating 100 Years of Cinema, The British Film Institute & Museum of the Moving Image, London (p. 19)

Summary of Research Interests

My research interest is practice-based and inter-disciplinary, building upon my previous work in animation and fine art, contextualised within the wider field of ‘moving image art’ and the legacy of abstraction explored across different media. Animation is investigated as a creative and innovative art form through technology or different media, to enhance the viewer-participant's experience of artwork. Within the genre of ‘visual music’ and abstraction, recent outputs cross traditional boundaries of media and disciplines, from digital printmaking to animation, its imagery exploring abstract form and emotive use of colour in relation to audio. Current aims are to transpose the genre to a VR environment to create innovative artistic content for immersive technology and media.


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