Professor Sarah Street: ‘The Art of Film Colour’. Colour Group (GB) Turner Medal Lecture.

The Committee of the Colour Group (Great Britain) is pleased to announce that the 2019 Turner Medal will be awarded to Professor Sarah Street. The award ceremony will take place at 5:15 pm at City University, London, Wednesday 6th February 2019 when Professor Street will deliver the keynote Turner Medal Lecture entitled The Art of Film Colour.

The Colour Group (Great Britain) Turner Medal is awarded to distinguished artists or art historians. The sterling silver medal will be awarded to Professor Sarah Street, a ceremony that accompanies her Turner Lecture on Wednesday 6th February 2019.

Sarah Street is Professor of Film and Foundation Chair of Drama at the University of Bristol. Her main areas of research activity are British cinema history, film genres, costume and cinema, set design and colour film. Her book publications include Cinema and State: The Film Industry and the British Government (co-authored with Margaret Dickinson, 1985); British National Cinema (1997; 2nd edition 2009); Costume and Cinema (2001); Transatlantic Crossings: British Feature Films in the USA (2002); Film Architecture and the Transnational Imagination: Set Design in 1930s European Cinema (co-authored with Tim Bergfelder and Sue Harris, 2007). Her latest book is Deborah Kerr (2018), focussing on a film star noted for her work with Technicolor, and Street has published numerous other books on film colour. Colour Films in Britain: The Negotiation of Innovation, 1900-55 (2012) was awarded First Prize for Best Monograph by the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies. This was the result of extensive research into the introduction and reception of film colour in Britain. Two volumes, co-edited with Simon Brown and Liz Watkins, were generated by the same project: Colour and the Moving Image: History, Theory, Aesthetics, Archive (2012) and British Colour Cinema: Practices and Theories (2013). The project was one of the last opportunities to gain an insight from surviving practitioners who worked with film colour in one of the most fascinating periods of its history.

In 2012 Street was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant for a three-year project on Colour in the 1920s: Cinema and its Intermedial Contexts. This project investigated the major spheres of colour expression in commercial and experimental cinema of the 1920s. Chromatic Modernity: Color, Cinema, and Media of the 1920s, a book resulting from the project and co-authored with Joshua Yumibe, will be published by Columbia University Press in 2019. Street’s latest colour film research collaboration is The Eastmancolor Revolution and British Cinema, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Street is currently co-editing with Anders Steinvall the ‘Modern Age’ volume of Bloomsbury’s forthcoming multi-volume book series The Cultural History of Colour. 

Abstract: What is The Art of Film Colour? This lecture examines themes and problems shared between film and other art forms, while highlighting areas specific to film. Through a rane of illustrated examples from the silent era to today’s digital environment, the lecture focuses on key contexts for creative enterprise in colour filmmaking. It identifies issues that present particular challenges, including questions of nomenclature, authenticity and realism, and designing particular colour palettes or ‘looks’ for films. The creative interventions of film technicians and other personnel who used colour in special or skilful ways are discussed in an assessment of film’s contribution to the cultural history of colour.

Admission to lecture and reception only by a free ticket.