Banner image: Still from 'Welter' (2021) by Victoria Gray. Image courtesy of the artist.

Image description: Still from a film. Image shows a pair of hands, lit dimly so as to increase the contrast between each finger. The hands hang in front of a person's torso. The person is wearing a loose-fitting top made of natural fibre.

Following the premiere of her new work 'Welter' (2021) on Shape channels last week, our Creative Producer Elinor Hayes spoke with artist Victoria Gray about her film and practice.

Victoria Gray's ‘Welter’ (2021), made in collaboration with Sam Williams, is the conclusion of many months of artist development with Shape Arts and is premiered today across Shape channels, though the work itself - defying expected parameters of what an artwork ‘is’ - has been in production since 2017, supported by an Artsadmin Artists’ Bursary.

‘Welter’ (2021) deliberately exploits ambiguity; of language, form, and meaning. Welter - both verb and noun - is a slippery and tense concept, evoking imagery of a writhing, messy, distress. In contrast, the term ‘autism’ appears as a tidy linguistic and diagnostic tool. Beneath the surface, however, much like the language (both verbal and somatic) that Victoria has developed within her practice, this simplicity obscures the complex and diverse sensory encounters that autistic people experience.

Watch the film now

This conversation is available to listen to as one durational audio or as individual questions. You can download the transcript in full below.

Download the full transcript

Listen to the conversation question by question

Can you briefly introduce yourself, your practice, and the work we premiered last week, 'Welter'?

How has your practice shifted since you made 'Ballast'? How are the two works connected?

Can you tell us about your use of language as a creative tool?

Did you face any artistic challenges trying to communicate the 'un-nounable' and sensory experience of autism?

How have you developed a non-verbal language as an artist?

Can you tell us about the soundtrack in 'Welter'?

What impact do you want 'Welter' to have on your audience?