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Dr Sarah Bowen

About Dr Sarah Bowen

Dr Sarah Louisa Bowen is Head of Animation at the Northern Film School, Leeds Beckett University, teaching Experimental Film, Research-based filmmaking practices, Animation and Moving Image Theory.

Her practice-based doctorate, supervised by Andrew Kotting and Dominic Rahtz, investigates specific camera movement through cinematic space - contexts, meaning and affect - positing this as a popular trope that communicates the psychological experience of transitional space as described by D.W.Winnicott.

A graduate of the National Film and Television School, she was taught by Jerzy Kucia and Piotr Dumala in UK and Poland and has a keen interest in Eastern European Animation and Experimental Animation techniques.

Sarah’s main research interest is movement through landscape and cinematic space using experimental stop-frame techniques and technologies in my practice.  Current research investigates dance movement and animation in collaboration with Dr Sue Miller.

Starting out in 2D drawn animation, Sarah worked on both commercial and independent productions before post-graduate studies at the National Film & Television School, sponsored by the Welsh Broadcasting Trust, led to a career as a promo director, combining live-action with digital and traditional animation.  Clients have included; BBC, HTV, Palm Pictures, Parlophone, EMI Records.   As writer and director of personal films, her work has been screened at the major international animation festivals and broadcast in the UK and Europe.  Studies with Prof Jerzy Kucia at the Jan Mateko Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow and NFTS had a major influence on her work and understanding of film form.  Other major influences are former tutor Marjut Rimmenen and PhD supervisor Andrew Kotting. 

Before joining the Northern Film School in 2007, Sarah taught animation/ filmmaking theory and practice at Brunel University, University of the Creative Arts, National Film and Television School and Lincoln University. She has curated and exhibited in gallery spaces and expanded cinema settings that included the Willow Globe Theatre, Powys, Moebel Fabrik, Berlin and most recently in Ferndale California.

Dr Bowen is currently supervising four practice-based doctorates

Current Teaching

  • Animation Theory
  • Dissertation Supervision
  • Animation Filmmaking
  • Experimental Filmmaking and Theory
  • PhD Supervision
  • MA Filmmaking
  • Head of Animation, Northern Film School
  • BA (Hons) Animation - Course Leader

Research Interests

Sarah Bowen's filmmaking practices engage with experimental stop-motion animation techniques to explore movement through cinematic landscape.

e.g In her film 'Walking Albion', a stop-motion camera travels 550 miles across the widest part of England (Cornwall to Norfolk) between Beltane and the Summer Solstice. The camera passes through diverse landscapes connecting significant pre-historic, Christian and pre-Christian sites.

Out of this original journey, came the follow on book 'Awakening Albion' and the film 'Walking Albion'. These helped to establish this route as an official footpath (Michael/Mary Pilgrims’ Way), now waymarked between West Cornwall and Avebury and continuing toward Norfolk.

Selected Publications

Journal articles (1)

  • Bowen S (In press), Mindscapes and Landscapes: Pixillation and Live-Action in the Making of Daze. EnterText 4.1
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