Dr Sarah Pucill

Sarah Pucill's films and photographs explores a sense of self which is transformative and fluid. At the core of her practice is a concern with mortality and the materiality of the filmmaking process. The majority of her films take place within the confinements of domestic space, where the grounded reality of the house itself becomes a portal to a complex and multi layered psychical realm. In her explorations of the animate and inanimate, her work probes a journey between mirror and surface, in which questions of representation are negotiated via the feminine, the queer or the dead.

Her recent film, Magic Mirror 16mm b/w film, premiered at Tate Modern. Funded by the Arts Council the film explores the relationship between Claude Cahun's writing from her book Aveux Nos Avenus, (Cancelled Confessions), through a re-staging of her photographs. The film tour with the LUX at UK and international venues. A LUX DVD publication of the film will be published in 2014.

Her previous film Phantom Rhapsody (2010) was screened as part of the opening night of Tate Britain in Assembly: The Best of British Film and Video from 2008-2013. In 2011 the film was shown at Edinburgh International Film Festival, at Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts Superieure in Paris, the Millennium, New York and as part of the DVD compilation published by the LUX which was launched at BFI Southbank and again the same year as part of a Maya Deren Season where a retrospective of Pucill's films were screened again. Distinctive in its stark use of black and white, this film draws connections between canonical painting, early cinema and theatrical side-show 'magic' acts. The film examines the appearance and disappearance of the phantom as it relates to the present/absent dynamic of visible lesbian sexuality in the canons of both cinema and art history.

Sarah Pucill's films which span two decades have been screened at major international film festivals where she has won awards at Oberhausen Short Film Festival, Atlanta Short Film Festival and Images Festival, Toronto. Cinema and gallery screenings have included BFI Southbank, Tate (Modern and Britain), ICA, London, Anthology Film Archives and the Millennium, New York. Retrospective screenings include the Tate, BFI Southbank in London, Millennium Film and Anthology Film Archives, New York. Funded by the Arts Council of England, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Film London and Carlton Television, her films are distributed through Lux, The British Film Institute (BFI), New York Film-Makers' Cooperative, Canyon Cinema and Light Cone Paris. She lives and works in London and is Reader at University of Westminster.

Sarah is an active member of CREAM. She is the recipient of 3 AHRC grants between 2002 and 2007 and of many grants from the Arts Council as all her 13 films to date have received public funding.

Her research interests are in experimental film and video, feminist art practice and theories, theories of art and film.

  • Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media

In brief

Research areas

experimental film practice and history, feminist and queer art practice between artist film and practice in general

Skills / expertise

experimental/artist filmmaker, and photography

Supervision interests

artists film, feminist and queer film or photographic related practice
Best Experimental Film

Toronto International Women Film Festival 2022 February