A personal glimpse into the British art scene and its creative spirit, shot with her Hi8 camcorder

Archive video footage from 1993 to 2007 of art openings, exhibitions, parties and artists at work. Featuring YBA artists including Abigail Lane, Sarah Lucas, Sam Taylor-Wood, Cerith Wyn Evans, Gavin Turk, Gary Hume, Angus Fairhurst, Andrea & Philippe and Gigi Gianuzzi and friends, Huutajat! The Finnish Screaming Men and many more.

Interviews with people coming out of Damien Hirst’s curated exhibition ‘Some Went Mad Some ran Away’ at the Serpentine Gallery 1994. Vanessa’s unauthorized egg performance on the rooftop of the Hayward gallery, Abigail Lane’s bottom printing, Sarah Lucas’ exhibitions The Law with Sadie Coles in 1997 and her shows in N.Y and Milton Keynes. Easter weekend in France with Tracey Emin, Mat Collishaw, Isaac Julien and more. Footage from London, New York, Venice and Rome.

Produced & Directed by Vanessa Fristedt, 2023
Editor: Phil Smith and Vanessa Fristedt
Duration: 77 mins

The film was first screened at BIG WOMEN FILM FESTIVAL curated by Sarah Lucas at Firstsite, Colchester 13-14th of May, 2023 in conjunction with the BIG WOMEN exhibition which Sarah also curated and I was part of.

"This is possibly the most insightful funniest documentary on the spirit and grass roots of YBA and it lives on in this show and film. Get to see it...” Louisa Buck (art critic)

NEWS March 2024:

I have opened up my film to the public for a limited period of time  in conjunction with A Change of Scenery an exhibition of artists' wallpapers at the Neues Museum in Nuremberg, in which Abigail Lane and Sarah Lucas show their works (til 21st Sept). Abigail’s Bottom Wallpaper (1994) and Sarah’s Drag-On, 2003  are on display amongst other works.

Both of these artworks feature in my film and you can now see the full-length film in the comfort of your own screen. Click below.

Full-length film. VANESSA’S ART DIARIES 1993 - 2007. A personal glimpse into the British art scene and its creative spirit, shot with her Hi8 camcorder. Produced by (Swedish) Vanessa Fristedt, 2023.  Edited by Phil Smith and Vanessa Fristedt. Duration: 77 mins.

Trailer only.

Screen shots


VANESSA'S ART DIARIES, 1993-2007 will be screened at ALL IS JOY Studios in Soho, London. THURSDAY12th OCTOBER at 7pm.

Doors open 6pm. Film starts 7pm prompt.
ALL IS JOY and their new venture TWELfTH is situated in the old Warner Brother’s De Lane building. 75 Dean street, London W1D 3PU.

BOOK TICKETS ON EVENRBRITE HERE. All proceeds go to the premises. See trailer below.


Film compilation of a female troll on a small cormorant infested island. She dances and runs around the island fighting off the cormorant birds (whose excrement destroys the trees). This film reminded me of the lockdown and the yearning to escape. Everyone in the city wanted to escape to a desert island, but I think the lonesome troll lady might disagree. THE SPELL has two parts of which the second is of a busy street in Spitalfields, London where people break into themselves and magpies bring luck.

Installation shots from the exhibition BIG WOMEN curated by Sarah Lucas exhibtition at Firstsite, Colchester, 2023. Nymphs photo series and The Spell, a film on a continuous loop by Vanessa Fristedt. Breeze block plinth by Sarah Lucas. Sculpture: Red Tie, 2023 by Sarah Lucas in collaboration with Pauline Daly.

(Stills from The Spell)
Film compilation by Vanessa Fristedt, 2022
Edited by Heather Mae Jones
Sound Design by Heather Mae Jones
Technical Support from Pat Dam Smyth and Connor Linskey
Featuring Swedish Vanessa and Phil Dirtbox
Camera 1st part: Wanda Throne-Holst
Landing craft: M/S Pomerol
Music: Povel Ramel, Naturbarn
Camera 2nd part: Swedish Vanessa
Duration 8 mins (continuous loop)
TV monitor on breeze-block plinth

Watch the film here

Using Format