My Ph.D research is about the way in which ideas from surrealism are often used as elements amongst others to enrich storytelling in British films in some way. This way of using surrealism as one of several components is the most frequent way surrealist ideas are mobilised in cinema, but to date this has been little recognised in studies of British films. My thesis presents a broad survey of surrealism in British cinema and three case study chapters in which specific films are discussed more closely. The basis of these chapters is fine textual analysis which is embedded in observations about references drawn from cinema, fine art, literature and design.
I have been a Critical and Contextual Studies lecturer at Art and Design Schools across the North West of England for the past seven years. Before that I worked as a Costumier for the BBC and Angels the Costumiers. I worked on a broad range of projects in these roles including the West End show Hitchcock Blonde, British and Spanish Vogue, Stephen Frears’ Dirty Pretty Things (2002), and the television series The League of Gentleman; as well as fashion research for international companies such as Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs and Chloé. I began my costuming career as a trainee on Alex Cox’s Revengers Tragedy (2002). My experiences as a practitioner in the film and television industry inform my approach to textual analysis in my own research and in my teaching.
July 2011 ‘Subversive storytelling: Neil Jordan’s Mona Lisa (1986) and the surrealist canon’ - presented at the University of Glasgow’s Screen conference.
May 2011 ‘National Identity in Neil Jordan’s The Company of Wolves (1984)’ - presented at the University of York’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television postgraduate symposium.
May 2010 ‘Surrealist misadventures in Neil Jordan’s The Company of Wolves (1984) and Mona Lisa (1986)’ – presented at the University of York’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television postgraduate symposium.
September 2009 ‘Surrealist misadventures in Neil Jordan’s The Company of Wolves (1984) and Mona Lisa (1986)’ – presented at Winchester School of Art’s conference, ‘Framing Film’.
August 2008 ‘Neil Jordan’s The Company of Wolves (1984): Trauma, Sublime, and the Terror of Wolves’ –presented at the University of Swansea’s conference, ‘Trauma and the Sublime’.
May 2007 ‘Telling Tales with Costume: Neil Jordan’s The Company of Wolves (1984)’ – presented at Sydney Technical University’s conference, ‘Costume and Narrative’.