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Nicky Hamlyn


  • Nicky Hamlyn is a Tutor in Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art. Nicky is a filmmaker and writer on artists’ film and video. He provides tutorial support, both practical and theoretical-historical, to students wanting to work with moving image, supervises MPhils and PhDs, and runs a monthly film seminar open to all RCA students and staff.

  • Biography

  • Nicky studied Fine Art at Reading University. He has worked at the London Filmmakers’ Co-op, as a film editor at the BBC and on a freelance basis, but has been mostly teaching for the last 25 years. He has published widely on artists’ experimental film and video, including a book, Film Art Phenomena (BFI, 2003). He works with 16mm film and video in single screen, installation and performative formats. His work has been shown widely at festivals and one-person shows around the World, including London, New York and Toronto Film Festivals, Tate Britain, San Francisco Cinematheque, EXIS Seoul and many other venues and events. Recent projects include a series of films on derelict gasholders – Gasometers – in North London and a book, which he is co-editing and to which he has contributed, on the late Austrian filmmaker Kurt Kren, to be published in 2016. He has supervised several MPhil and PhD students and is a fellow of the Higher Education Institute.

  • Practice

  • Nicky has completed over 50 films, videos and installation works. His recent practice has been concerned with refining the relationship between the filming system; camera, filmstrip/digital file, lens, frame and the form of the subject matter. He often works in a similar manner to animation, i.e. shooting frame by frame, but filming the world rather than drawings or models on a rostrum. The digital works are conceived differently from those made on celluloid, since he considers them to be quite different media, certainly for the purposes of making art and design work. An ongoing series is concerned with moiré patterns and with moving footage that is cut into three frame loops which repeat, generating complex movements within the frame. Recent outputs include solo shows at University of Westminster gallery, L’Etna and the Film Gallery, both in Paris, and the London Film Festival.  His work has been published on DVD, by RGB Editions, LUX and The Film Gallery, Paris.

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  • Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes

  • 2015

    ‘Imperfect Scans’, essay on the work of Jamie Jenkinson in Journal of Visual Arts Practice, volume 14, issue 1, 44-51 


    ‘Giusy Pirrotta’, catalogue essay for the exhibition tanto tempo fa, quando la terra era piatta, at Galleria Massimodeluca, Mestre, Venice

    ‘Wild Interior’, catalogue essay for Suky Best's show at Danielle Arnaud Gallery, May 2014

    ‘One Photo’, essay on an image from Joséphine Michel's series Halfway to White, in Photography and Culture Journal, volume 7, no 2, July 2014

    Jamie Jenkinson’s iPhone Videos’, Journal of Visual Arts Practice, volume 12, no.4

    Brookside Re-Seen: proposal for an unrealised work on e-Flux journal


    ‘What’s Wrong with Cinema in the Gallery’, review of works by Philippe Parreno and Douglas Gordon, MIRAJ issue 1.2, Intellect Books

    ‘Layers in Tension: The Photographs of Joséphine Michel’, Sequence Journal no.3


    ‘Medium Practices’, essay in Public journal, issue 44, York University, Toronto

    ‘Correspondences’, written dialogue with the painter Angela Allen around my films of her paintings, Sequence issue 2

    ‘On the First Ten Minutes of Slow Glass’, essay on works by John Smith for the DVD box set of his film and videos, LUX publications

    ‘Mutable Screens’, essay about works by Lis Rhodes, Steve Farrer, Guy Sherwin and Nicky Hamlyn in Expanded Cinema: Art, Performance and Film, Tate publishing


    Introductory Essay for Nicolas Sinclair: Five Cities, a book of photographs by Nicholas Sinclair, Royal Academy Publications

    ‘Layers and Lattices: Films of Helga Fanderl’, in Sequence, issue number 1, Publications
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Selected work


Research interests

Nicky has published widely on artists’ film and video, often in the form of monographs on the work of various filmmakers and video artists.

Current and recent research

October 2015: Neil Henderson’s Three Studies in Geography in: Tidskriften OEI (Stockholm), edited by Daniel Swarthness, 404-408. This essay concerns a series of three landscape films that use uniform framings to highlight changes in weather, light and topography.

Spring 2016: contributor and co-editor for The Structural Films of Kurt Kren (Bristol: Intellect)

Research students