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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Cathy Lomax


Research - PhD



After working as a makeup artist I studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design for an MA in Fine Art which I completed in 2002. My PhD supervisor at Queen Mary is Lucy Bolton and my research focuses on the role of makeup and artifice in the creation and perpetuation of the Hollywood female star image. Intersecting with this I am a practising artist and often use film imagery in my paintings, which are exhibited nationally and internationally. In 2016 I won the Contemporary British Painting Prize, and in 2014 I was an Abbey Painting Fellow at the British School at Rome. Since 2002 I have been director of Transition Gallery, a contemporary art project space in east London.


Research Interests:

  • Makeup
  • Stardom and Performance
  • Race, Gender and Masquerade
  • Fashion and Costume
  • Classical Hollywood
  • New Hollywood
  • British Cinema
  • Film and Painting


‘Dorothy Dandridge, The Invisible Star: Racial Segregation in Hollywood Fan Magazines in the 1950s’ in Tamar Jeffers McDonald, Lies Lanckman, Sarah Polley (eds), Stars, Fan Magazines and Audiences: Desire by Design (Edinburgh University Press, 2022) (forthcoming)

‘Makeup as Dark Magic: The Love Witch and the Subversive Female Gaze’ Frames Cinema Journal, Issue 16: ‘Magical Women, Witches and Healers’ (Winter 2019)

‘The Girl with the…’ in Catherine Grant and Kate Random Love (eds) Fandom as Methodology (London: Goldsmiths Press, 2019).

‘Inverted Reflections in a Silver Spoon: Confused Sexuality in Reflections in a Golden Eye’, Feast (2016) 

‘Ghostly threads: Painting Marilyn Monroe’s White Dresses’, Film, Fashion and Consumption, (special issue edited by Lucy Bolton), vol 4, nos. 2-3 (2015).



I am the editor of two art and culture magazines Arty and Garageland and regularly contribute articles. Recent examples include:

‘Why don’t you stop trying to make me something I’m not: creating an ideal woman in Stolen Face’ Garageland, no.23, ‘Living British Cinema’ (2020) 

‘When Surface was King: Makeup in the 1950s’, Arty, no.43 ‘Makeup’ (2020)

‘Typical Girls: masquerade and feminine allure’ Garageland, no.22, ‘Difficult Women’ (2018)

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