I have been researching the work of the poet and filmmaker, Margaret Tait for nearly twenty years, an experience which has largely informed the direction of my research.  Unsurprisingly, many of my publications draw from this research.  

My research on Tait also fuelled an interest in archival research,  as well as deepened my engagement in Scottish film history.  Over the last ten years, I have been fortunate to be involved in three research projects which have allowed me to explore both of these interests: one on British silent cinema and the transition to sound (led by Laraine Porter), another on the history of the Highlands and Islands Film Guild (led by Ian Goode), and Cinema Memory and the Digital Archive (led by Richard Rushton),  a project building on an archive interviews about cinema-going in the 1930s, which Annette Kuhn (co-Investigator on the project) collected as part a pioneering study undertaken the 1990s.  In recent years, many of my publications have also arisen from this research.

A further aim for this research has been to explore the potential for creative methodologies and responses to provide an alternative and/or complement more traditional oral history and archival methods.  Through the facilitation of various workshops and commissions, the projects have examined the ways in which the creative exploration of memory, as well as archives, can provide new kinds of insight and ways of expressing aspects of remembered experience or engagements with the archive that conventional academic writing sometimes struggles to articulate, or in many cases is unable to register at all.  As part of a larger project, drawing together this research, I am writing a book-length study on  memory, archives and creativity, which reflects on the creative outputs from these projects, as well as the work of other artists and filmmakers, including Margaret Tait.

Banner: Installation view. Interim Edition: the Margaret Tait Poetry Archive, exhibition at Summerhall, Edinburgh, 2018-19. Photo: Roseanne Watt.