About the Author

Gillian McIver

Gillian McIver author of Art History for Filmmakers
Me at the Wallace Collection in London

Hi I’m Gillian McIver and I am a Canadian filmmaker and curator based in London UK. I’m the author of Art History for Filmmakers and I created this blog to explore some of the themes I write about in the book, and a few new ones too.

I’m interested in opening up the amazing world of art to help cinema’s visual storytellers. This blog offers some of the ideas explored in the book as well as new material.

I did my BA and MA in History in Canada, at the Universities of British Columbia and Toronto. After travelling and trying to be an underground filmmaker I found myself in the UK, at film school. I quickly got involved in London’s art scene, in the Luna Nera Group and I ran the Studio75 Gallery in East London. I’ve made a lot of artist films and I’ve produced  films by others. Most recently I directed the arts documentary Taking Over the King’s Land

I decided to write Art History for Filmmakers in order to explain art in an accessible way, and to help filmmakers make more visually expressive films. 

Not long ago, I completed my PhD thesis at the University of Roehampton, on the relationships between cinema and painting in visual culture. My thesis explored art and cinema in historical films – researching films like Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette and Amma Asante’s Belle, among others. I am interested in the way that art has shaped “the past” for us in films.


I’m currently Associate Lecturer at the University of the Creative Arts and at I also teach at Central St Martins. I teach workshops at the National Film and Television School (NFTS UK) and the Picturehouse Cinemas Education Unit. I’ve lectured at the National Gallery and at many institutions and conferences.

If you are interested in the book or the talks or courses, get in touch