Sarah Pucill completed an MA in Fine Art at the Slade in 1990, and is currently Senior Lecturer at University of Westmister on the Fine Art BA. She has been making films for 15 years that have been funded by the Arts Council, London Production Fund, the AHRC and Carlton Television. Her films have been screened and have won awards at key international festivals including the London Film Festival, New York alternative film festival, Oberhausen short film festival, Montreal Image-Nation, Melbourne, and Rencontres Paris. Sarah has also had works screened at international gallery venues in the UK such as the ICA, Tate, Barbican, and Serpentine galleries and her work has had retrospective screenings at the Tate Britain, Lux, and 291 Gallery. Her work was included in ‘A Century of Artists Film’ at Tate Britain.
Her last film Stages of Mourning
(2004) was included in IRIS’s ‘Masquerade: Women’s Contemporary Portrait Photography’ exhibition and book at Photofusion gallery and in a duo show (Wake) with Peggy Atherton at London’s Gallery West. A review of the show will appear this year in n.paradoxa by Karen Bearor. Sarah is currently on sabbatical leave working on a 45-minute 16mm film both of and with her mother. A profile on her work with essays, reviews and film clips can be viewed at http://www.luxonline.org.uk/artists/id/607921/
Helena Blaker is a writer and curator living in London who has worked for 7 years for Public Art Development Trust on artist’s commissions, and has worked on specific projects for the BFI and Tate Modern. She has written about artist’s film and visual art performance for luxonline, 292 Magazine and Art Monthly, and for Arts Council England as well as contributing to Tate and BFI publications. She is currently writing research on ‘The Image of Performance’ in visual art, and developing curatorial practice in relation to performance history.
Stages of Mourning
Sarah Pucill, 2004, colour, sound, 19 minutes
'I ritualise through a performance to camera the coming to terms with the loss of my partner, Sandra Lahire. A journey of mourning incorporates this staging both for myself and for the camera / audience. The film explores the relationship between the hallucinatory power of the phantom of memory with that of the phantom ingrained in the photograph, film or video.' (SP)
Sarah Pucill, 2000, b/w, sound, 19 minutes
The to and fro action of a rocking chair and sea waves sway with the imagined oscillation of the self and other in a mirror as identities bleed between spaces and across time. A doll is caressed by a little girl whose imaginings bring the doll to life. Her desire for and her desire to be, merge as her face adopts the doll's make up. This active/passive dynamic is shown through the confusing of animate and inanimate female figures, that mutate across time and in and out of life. The continuous rocking motion of the chair (and later sea waves) mimic the to and fro psychic oscillation of the self and Other in the mirror, which in the film shift between different time and spatial scales. In a culminating moment, the glass smashes and the interior is taken outside the home. Amongst the living dead, the turning of time and withdrawal of colour, a sense of inexplicable loss emerges.
Sarah Pucill, 1998, b/w, sound, 20 minutes
A visual, surrealistic narrative of a woman travelling both literally and psychically through an interior space of several rooms. Memories, or fantasies, of another woman fill her imaginary space. Femininity, as a construction, is explored within a lesbian context where an assertion of lesbian symbolic imagery is created.