Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Ellen Clifford 

BA [Hons] Art

Ellen Clifford is a visual artist from Monaghan. Ellen’s practice reflects her growing concern with environmental issues. She provides personal reflections, intertwining her feelings of fear and hope for the future. Ellen draws inspiration from the horror genre and delves into its themes through a variety of techniques, such as text, editing, and scans of found objects, to craft visually unsettling narratives. She has exhibited in Pallas for IADT In the Making – Aorta (2024) and the group show, Memories Exist Outside of Time, in DIVA (2023).

The Swans Have Not Returned

Ellen Clifford’s The Swans Have Not Returned captures a personal journey through a familiar forest that has changed. The narrator, returning to a childhood spot, comes across a lake that used to home swans, now instead covered with an invasive species. Her growing concern with this invasive species triggers a deep exploration into its background. Scans of diary entries, notes and scribbles guide the viewer through the narrator’s emotional response to the invasive species.
The Swans Have Not Returned touches on the themes of disorientation and loss in the face of a changing environment. Inspired by horror films techniques, Ellen uses audio and visuals to evoke a sense of dread and suspense in her film.

Thesis Title, From Chain Saws to Trauma: Unmasking the Transformative Journey of the Final Girl Trope

This thesis examines the Final Girl Trope in slasher films, spanning from its origin in 1974 to more contemporary portrayals in 2022. The term ‘Final Girl’ is rooted in Carol J. Clover’s 1992 book “Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film”. Clover’s study sparked many interesting conversations within feminist discourse. These discussions encompass various theories, including the exploration of the male gaze and the discussion on how the slasher film is shaped by gender dynamics. This thesis establishes the defining qualities of the Final Girl. Specifically comparing the consistencies and differences in her personality over the decades. This thesis looks at how the trope has evolved into the modern day. It focuses on the reprisal of the original Final Girls roles and their enduring trauma from their horrific encounter with a serial killer. This thesis aims to establish whether or not social stereotypes about the Final Girl in these slasher films have undergone a transformation or remained the same.