Vicki Bennett

Placement at BBC Creative Archive Licence Group

BBC Creative Archive placement

The BBC’s Creative Archive project provided unprecedented opportunities for two highly regarded artists – both well known as inspired users of video and other archive – to work with a wealth of material at the BBC.

Vicki Bennett, who has been reinterpreting media for more than 15 years under the name People Like Us, was given unrestricted access to the entire BBC Archive. Her creative impulses were absolutely in tune with the inspiration behind Creative Archive: “As an artist working with found footage, my interest lies in the appropriating and collaging of media in hope of gaining some kind of insight, reflection and evaluation as to where we stand in relation to when the original material was made.’

Vicki ‘s placement was initially for four months and she later received further funding from Interdisciplinary Arts to return to the BBC to complete the work started in her residency.  Vicki’s film was completed in Spring 2007, and submitted to the BBC for clearance, which is still being undertaken.

‘The idea of the Creative Archive-Artist partnership was to demonstrate how in practice, an archive could be used by the public – making it more like a library,’ she explains. ‘Although obviously my "access all areas" was a privilege, the aim was to demonstrate how one can unlock a piece of history and pertain it to both the present and the future.’

She created a short film, ‘Trying Things Out’ that uses imagery collaged from a number of documentaries made between 1951 and 1980, featuring material shot at The Festival Of Britain and other footage portraying optimistic outlooks on post-war Britain.   Says Vicki: ’I tell the story, through layers of A/V collage, of how the artist can bring about positive change in culture.’

See also Chris Dorley-Brown