Hidden Hearts of Fish

Details: 1993, 2.5 mins, 16mm, hand painted onto filmstock

  • Chapter Arts Cardiff, Film Catalogue, December 1993, “Visually stunning animated exploration of communication.”
  • Lucy’s fish hit the big time, South Wales Argus – CINEMA, September 1993
  • The hidden hearts of fish by Lucy Lee, South Wales Argus, 14 September 1993, “A bright and beautiful film in which collage of undersea images becomes a metaphor for conscious but deep thoughts of the individual. Others may try to divine those thoughts, the film suggests, but somehow they stay submerged, being rebelliously coloured by the inner light of the self.”, Adrian Ross.
Festivals & Distribution

London Film Festival
Start – Plymouth
Filmworks Showcase
BBC Wales TV, ‘Shot in a Shoebox’
Feminale – Koln
NFT, London – International Video
NFT, London – Avant Garde Showcase
NFT, London – Short Cuts, New Experimental Animation
ROSHD International Film Festival, Tehran – Iran

It was distributed by the London Film Makers Co-op, so it was shown a few times in programmes at the ICA and NFT in London and maybe some other places too.

This film is currently being distributed by the LUX.


Hand painted onto 16mm film, using various inks. I found that some inks reacted to others, breaking them up and filling the cracks left. If an ink didn’t want to dry on the celluloid then I would put some talc on it.

Some animating elements were scratched directly onto the film stock using a biro with a pin taped to the end of it. I used the kind of guide seen in this picture, which is basically a piece of paper with the frame size drawn out and marks within this frame to guide the next frame.

If I remember correctly I first started to make lots of footage then applied some structure to it by editing it, then made any more footage that I felt it needed.

I then ‘bipacked’ this painted stock myself on a 16mm Oxbury rostrum camera and included some more images and sand animation during the bipacking.

Film stills

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