Kathryn Smith

Trauma Diorama 1: The Quarry            


DV with audio


Following a trail of exhibition posters through the city of Cape Town, Kathryn Smith pursues her elusive alter-ego, fellow artist Sophie Brown, up through the streets of central Cape Town to a quarry on the slopes of Table Mountain, and finally meeting for a fleeting moment behind the Prestwich Memorial.

The ‘quarry’ speaks to a physical location, but also the act of pursuit, with the prey being the Self. The film uses visual and conceptual devices of reflection, mirroring and doubling, and an undercurrent of violence and the seduction of film noir to bridge the divide between self and not-self.

The film has its origins in an ongoing collaboration between Smith and internationally published novelist Margie Orford. The fictional Sophie is a troubled young woman with a penchant for risky relationships, sailor bars and Rita Hayworth’s fashion sense. As a toddler, she witnessed her mother’s murder, yet this memory remains repressed until she begins work on a new exhibition inspired by the excavation of skeletal remains in a Table Mountain quarry.

Kathryn Smith


Sophie Brown

Kathryn Smith

The woman

Margie Orford


James Tayler and Kai Lacheiner

Lighting design

Kai Lacheiner


James Tayler

Sound editing

Gareth Wharton


Khandiz Towill

Stills Photography

Caroline McClelland

Production assistance

Hedwig Barry, Al Hendricks, Zahir Isaacs, Christian Nerf, Margie Orford

Extract from ‘In the Cold, Cold Night’ by The White Stripes, sung by Kathryn Smith

Trauma Diorama 1: The Quarry was originally commissioned as part of the series ‘Right Through the Arts’,produced by Barry Bester Productions for SABC2

Included on the ARTSLOT reel at the Encounters Film Festival, Cape Town 2009