I write non fiction. My published Art and Film Criticism is aggregated on my Cuttings page  Mainly though, I write books.


My new book Art and the Historical Film: Between Realism and the Sublime is out now in hardback,  ebook and paperback coming. Read an excerpt here

between realism and the sublime


In 2021 and 2022 I contributed chapters to two new books:

SCREENING THE ART WORLD BOOK my chapter is “A world made of Art” about Dutch painting

my chapter is “Michael Chapman’s Rauschenberg”

I contributed a chapter to THE PALGRAVE HANDBOOK OF THE VAMPIRE.

coming soon:

I’ve contributed  a chapter on the Abel Ferrara film ‘The Driller Killer’ for the book Refocus: the films of Abel Ferrara.

Art History for Filmmakers (2016)

read a preview

“Art History for Filmmakers” is the first ever comprehensive book that shows the relationship between cinema and art. Covering over 2000 of visual art and over 120 years of cinema history, the book demonstrates the wide variety of ways that painting has informed and inspired moving-image practice – including cinematography, production design and VFX. Movies have  adopted images, themes and techniques from the history of painting.

“Filmmaking does not exist in an artistic vacuum, and Art History for Filmmakers is a phenomenal book that explores how filmmakers can use the visual arts …” Kira Cook, Editor’s Picks Cinema Thread Magazine | Issue 1 | Winter 2016-17

The book may be purchased directly from Bloomsbury Press, or via Amazon or from any good book dealer. 
ISBN: 9781472580658 E-Book or high quality paperback

Some reviews

“Since its creation, film has been strongly influenced by literature, but it is less well known that the film may have the same amount due to painting. Much of the knowledge essential to cinema, such as composition, color, the use of light, but also ideas about the meaning of realism and representation, is embedded in painting. By means of many images Gillian McIver shows how, for example, the film Goodfellas (1990) by Martin Scorsese the painting Supper in Emmaus(1602) from Caravaggio directly translated into film, and that complete genres such as the horror film and the road movie would be inconceivable without painting. As a reader, thanks to this book, you build up an ‘image literacy’ that enables you to discover the equally famous paintings in many famous films.” Janna Reinsma DeFilm Krant (The Film Newspaper) | Jan. 2017

“Excellent integration of art and film. Particularly useful in regard to cinematography and mise en scene. Ideas are well-expressed and illustrated. This text will cause filmmakers to look anew at painting.”
– Dr Ashley Gaskin, Institute of Technology Tralee, Ireland

“A year ago I ordered ‘Art History for Filmmakers’ to help me teach critical and contextual studies in creative media. I found that there is no other book that so comprehensively ties context with the art of filmmaking. I have since shared it with both colleagues and students, and our library has ordered copies of it at their request.”
– Rozy Sarkis, filmmaker and Lecturer in Film & Digital Media, Westminster Kingsway College, London

“This is an outstanding book for filmmakers, opening up art history and providing a visual vocabulary beyond the technically cinematic that is sure to enhance student and professional work. In taking a broad survey of art movements and linking to examples of contemporary and classic cinema, this is an approachable, essential text for film production students as well as writers and directors seeking to augment their visual knowledge.”
– Chris Buxton, University of Wales Trinity St David, UK

“This is a nicely presented and engaging text which relates film to fine art practice in a novel and interesting way. It will be useful for students extending their practice in film making and should inspire them to consider the origins and impact of decisions in composition and lighting.”
– Tracy Piper-Wright, University of Chester, UK


My published writings and some creative writing and photography are collected in TWIXT published by Nant Studios Press 2012 ISBN0956356745

Critical Cities

“I Am Here”chapter in Critical Cities: v. 2: Ideas, Knowledge and Agitation from Emerging Urbanists ed. Deepa Naik and Trenton Oldfield, Myrdle Court Press 2011
ISBN-10: 0956353916



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