The Photography research group includes members who are writers and artists as well as photographers. Its interests range across a number of research themes that are both national and international in nature. For example, one key strand of its work is focused on long-term projects both in Eastern Europe, centring on utopian expressions of urbanism, and in Salford, Greater Manchester, examining the effects of gentrification on local communities and public space. Another is focussed around a number of recognised projects within contemporary photographic practice and incorporates publishing, live events, site specific installations and writing. The group’s interests include also a focus on researching the experience of photography students, together with ways of making that experience more holistic. Work in this area is led by John Aitken.
The Photography research area is led by John Aitken. Aitken works collaboratively with his partner Jane Brake (see, for example, The Politics of Space and Place (Cambridge Scholars, 2012). Their work combines ethnographic methods with forms of visual research to explore contemporary articulations of place. Most recently (April 2013) Aitken was invited to take part in a group show, Issues of Urbanisation, at the Guangdong Museum of Art.
For the photography group research and practice are an integrated whole. Their work continues to have impact in the world outside academia on a number of fronts.
Brian J Morrison exhibited a series of photographic sculptures at the Warsaw Photography Festival, Poland in 2015. The Main Programme in Warsaw galleries featured thirteen individual projects selected through a competition addressed to visual artists, covering themed photographic projects and multimedia forms with the use of photographs and /or video that visually analyze and problematize the idea of masculinity.
Brian presented a selected number of photographs used in advertisements from Muscle and Fitness (1980 to 89) outside of their original visual context. The cut-out images in Ripped, Chiselled and Rock Hard have not been manipulated and remain as they were found in their magazine, with no alterations made other than enlarging the image after tracing its outline and removing it from its background.
This was Brian’s first international exhibition having displayed his work previously in the UK and Ireland. This work has received international media attention and was on show until mid December 2015
For more information on Brian’s exhibition visit Warsaw Photodays.
8 November 2016, 4-6pm, UCLan, Preston, Lancashire
As part of the Great Northern Creative Festival photographer Ian Beesley and poet Ian McMillan use original magic lantern projectors to tell a story of the First World War from the point of view from the men and women who survived it and lived on to old age.
While Ian Beesley was working as artist in residence at Moor Psychiatric Hospital in Lancaster in the 1990’s, where the majority of patients suffered from some form of dementia, he came across a drawer full of reading glasses and another full of photographs. Some patients had been in the hospital for decades and for those who had died with no living relatives, their last few possessions were placed carefully into these drawers. Many of the photographs were related to the First World War, and the reading glasses were the glasses they must have used to look at their fading photographs perhaps to attempt to pull back some fading memory. ‘Magic Lantern Tales’ features original photography by Ian Beesley and captures final memories and reflections on the changing world these people had lived through and grown old in.
This is a not-to-be missed event of first-hand storytelling, photography and poetry exploring memory and remembrance. The show has been touring since 2014 around the UK, including the Imperial War Museum North for Armistice Day and at the Imperial War Museum London for the commemoration of the beginning of the Battle of the Somme.
Book onto the 8th November event via our Eventbrite.
As part of John Aitken’s research examining the spatial effects of gentrification on local communities in Salford, UK, The Institute of Urban Dreaming (IUD) is hosting a one-day Arts Council funded conference examining how contemporary art practices engage with the current housing crisis.
Date: Friday 18th November 10.00 - 4.00
Venue: People's History Museum (PHM), Coal Store Conference Room, Manchester, M3 3ER
The event will consist of a series of talks and round table discussions. It aims to consider the encounter between art and housing in a critical, trans-disciplinary way. It will consider housing and art practice before & beyond the current trend for socially engaged art. It will also debate the ethics and politics of practices that relate to gentrification and displacement.
This conference is part of IUDs public events that coincide with their show at the People's History Museum 'Promising Home' at the PHM between October 31st - January 12, 2017.
The Fieldwork Photography Forum is to be an annual free event in November of each year. It is a part of the Great Northern Creative Festival run by the School of Journalism, Media and Performance. Fieldwork is a 'beacon event' that welcomes photographers, local people, FE and HE students and alumni from around the country to take part in two days of talks, discussions and workshops based on a range of photographic practices. It is part of the School’s programme to connect with a wider audience in a range of communities.
This year The Fieldwork Photography Forum hosted over 150 people to a programme that included discussions on drone photography, the history of contemporary photographic curation in the UK, to talks by such prominent photographers as Peter Kennard and Magnum's Ian Berry. For information on next years event contact email@example.com
As part of the Great Northern Creative Festival the Photography Research Group are holding a Fieldwork Photography Symposium on November 9th. Fieldwork is made up of a series of talks by photographic practitioners on the theme of the urban image. The talks start at 9.30 and end at 4.30 with time for breaks, discussion, networking and lunch. The talks will take place in Greenbank Lecture Theatre on the university main Preston campus.
Alongside the day of talks is an exhibition of photographic work on the same theme held at the PR1 Gallery in the university’s Victoria Building. The Symposium lunch will be held upstairs in PR1.
At the Symposium the second volume of ‘North’ will be launched. North is a magazine showcasing the outputs by UCLan's photographic students, alumni and staff. This volume is based on the same theme as the Symposium.
For more details on the event check the Photography areas blog https://photouclan.com/
To book tickets go to Eventbrite.
A selection of recent events involving the group is mentioned in the sample of its ‘impact’ provided elsewhere on this site.
The School has a growing community of UK and international students working on taught Masters . The Photography team welcomes applications from those wishing to undertake postgraduate research.
MA Photography Postcard pdf (.207kb)
MA Photography Leaflet pdf (.577kb)
MA Visual Journalism pdf (1.93mb)
John van Aitken is Course Leader for the BA and MA Photography routes at UCLan. Since 2001 his research practice has centred on urban-based photography. Currently his work examines the spatial effects of gentrification on local communities in both Guangzhou, China and in Salford, UK. He works collaboratively with his partner Jane Brake (MMU) http://iudblog.org/ . Their work is included in the book The Politics of Space and Place (Cambridge Scholars 2012). He is currently a doctoral researcher at the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM), University of Westminster. He leads the Photography research group.