My research interests first arose from my experiences as a professional theatre lighting designer, together with my work teaching lighting design at degree level. My PhD investigated the idea that theatre lighting could be performed rather than designed - that is, more of the creative decisions could be made in the moment of performance, instead of in advance.

Since completing my PhD in 2011, my research interests have broadened, led by my curiosity about the various relationships between light, space, vision, image, performance, technologies and people. My approach combines traditional academic scholarship and publication with creative practice-research, making performances, installations, photographs, videos and bespoke technological devices.

Click on an image or a link to find out more about specific projects and themes.

Basket ball hoop seen through trees and blossom
Photoscenography is an ongoing, long-term investigation into the relationship between photography and scenography.
Outdoor light bulb and pink blossom at dusk
The Light and Warmth project investigates the aesthetic, creative and social implications of the shift in how we make light, from incandescence (tungsten lamps) to luminescence (arc, fluorescent and now LED). The production of light is now decoupled from the production of heat - to what effect?
auditorium, proscenium arch and stage of a historic theatre
The history of technical theatre is a recurrent theme in my research, oftem because I want to look back in order to move forward. This was the case with my PhD research, and with the cross-European CANON project I am involved with.
A hand light by narrow strips of light
Traces is a performative lighting installation I created with fellow lighting designer and academic HansjΓΆrg Schmidt. It investigates the act of looking, the role of light in vision, and the instability of seeing.
Close-up of a manual lighting desk with faders and switches
Stage lighting control is another long-running theme in my research. I have gathered information about some of the significant lighting control systems, as they prompt questions about how we want to control light, not just in technological but also creative and philosophical terms.
Logo for What's the Small Idea?
What's the Small Idea? is a miniature art gallery for one person, created to explore the relationship between the theatre and the gallery experience.
Hands operating a lighting console with glowing buttons
My PhD, entitled "Repositioning the Role of the Lighting Artist in Live Theatre Performance", investigated how a shift might be made from lighting artist as designer to lighting artist as performer. As part of the research, I created a bespoke lighting control system, Theolux, and a performance, Passages, to test my ideas.
Man in close up, half lit and half in shadow
Passages was a devised performance about the curious death-story of the German critic and theoretician Walter Benjamin, created as part of my PhD research.
Close-up of a journal article with part of title and text
My research has generated peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations. Abstracts and in some cases full texts are available online, primarily on my page.

This article was updated on April 24, 2024