The Supercompensation Cycle, 2022


The Supercompensation Cycle is a new large scale public artwork by artist Emma Smith, commissioned as part of the arts and heritage programme to celebrate the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022.

The Supercompensation Cycle weaves together everyday moves which people have perfected through repetition to create a warm-up montage. The artwork is inspired by the abstract moves of warm up routines found in archival footage of women’s football and the players who sustained the women’s game during an era when it was declared that football was not something women should do with their bodies. Movements for the work have been collected through workshops across all host cities to celebrate every-day expertise in unrecognised movement.

Smith worked closely with renowned choreographer Lorena Randi to sample everyday movements from the lives of hundreds of participants and reimagine them as warm-ups for action. The moves were captured on film using green screen with Foreign Body Film. From making chapatis to crossing your fingers in anticipation, these workshops created a repertoire of abstract, personal, specific, and poignant moves from a diversity of cultures, ages, genders, faiths, and ethnicities.

The installation is presented as eleven holographic projections in reference to the number of players on a team, one for each city hosting the games and one for players across all cities. The work is staged within sculptural structures abstracted from the shape of a football, designed by Smith in collaboration with female-led architect firm vPPR.

At six of the eight sites, the installation will be accompanied by a live performance which weaves together movements from across the country, choreographed as a participatory performance and featuring dancers from the respective local communities. The public are welcome to join in by learning a movement sequence shared in the video above or by simply echoing moves they see in the space. The artwork and performance is set to an immersive sound scape created as a collaboration between the artist, musician YaYa Bones and sound engineer Daniel Halford. A live improvisation by flautist Carla Rees accompanies the installation at Milton Keynes. YaYa Bones will perform live at Wembly.

Smith’s work often looks at hidden forms of connection: the tacit, the intimate, the transient, the subconscious, the remote, and the invisible. At the heart of the artwork is the history of the game, and an appreciation for the players who had to prepare themselves physically for competition, as well as mentally, in the face of obstacles to their participation when they were banned from using FA ground from 1921-1971. This reservoir of skills and resilience remains largely invisible, and the work aspires to raise awareness of women’s football and the triumph over adversity that it represents.



Installations (I) and Performances (P):

Friday 1 July, Trafford, 12:00 – 18:00 [I]

Friday 8 July, Wigan, 13:00 – 19:00 [I & P]

Sunday 10 July, Southampton, 13:00 – 19:00 [I & P]

Thursday 14 July, Brighton, 12:00 – 19:00 [I]

Sunday 17 July, Rotherham, 12:00 – 18:00 [I & P]

Thursday 21 July, Sheffield, 13:00 – 18:00 [I & P]

Monday 25 July, Milton Keynes, 17:00 – 19:00 [I & P]

Tuesday 26 July, Milton Keynes, 10:00 – 13:00 [I & live improvisation by Flautist Carla Rees]

Saturday 30 July, Wembley, 14:00 – 17:00 [I & P & live performance by YaYa Bones]



Artist and Director: Emma Smith

Choreographer: Lorena Randi

Musician: YaYa Bones

Guest Flautist: Carla Rees

Sound Engineer & Technical Consultant: Daniel Halford

Filming: Foreign Body Film

Artist Assistant: Abbie Doran

Artist Assistant: Georgie Grace

Assistant Choreographer: Amy Holly

Producer: Aldo Rinaldi

Architects: vPPR

Structural Engineers: Foster Engineering

Fabricators: Stage One

Installation: Jayhawk

Photography: Installation images courtesy of the artist. Performance images courtesy of Rachel Adams.


The Supercompensation Cycle is commissioned as part of the arts & heritage programme to celebrate the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 and is funded by Arts Council England, thanks to National Lottery Players, and the Host Cities.