Dr Gary Bratchford
Senior Lecturer in Photography, MA Course Leader (Photography)
School of Arts and Media
Gary Bratchford is a Senior Lecturer in Photography and MA Photography Course leader in our School of Media and Art. He is an Associate Director of CPRA (Creative Practice Research Academy) and leads the Visual Culture Research Group. He is president of the Visual Sociology Research Committee at the International Sociological Association, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).
He is the author of Visual Sociology: Practices & Politics of Space (2020). He co-edits the Social Visualities book series published through Palgrave-McMillian Press, and is the co-editor of Visual Studies Journal (Taylor & Francis). He has co-edited a special issue Towards a Visual Sociology of the Sky with Visual Studies (2021). Gary co-produced the photobook, As & When: Documenting Socially Engaged Practice as part of his 6-year, longitudinal and co-produced Open Eye Gallery/NHS supported residency with the residents of Runcorn. A notable output was his co-authored article, Socially Engaged Photography & Wellbeing: Reflections on a Case Study in the North West of England (2018).
His most recent book on Vision & Verticality examines how vertical and atmospherically framed socio-visual analysis is beginning to shape. It informs how we see and experience urban spaces, travel, leisure, politics, and environmental challenges through various prisms, including artistic practices, methodological processes, and user-generated content. This is due in 2024 with Palgrave Press.
In his research, Gary focuses on the intersections between vision, visibility, power, and space through artistic practices. He also explores the ways in which image-makers engage with themes of visibility and power in various contexts and geographies.
As a practice-based researcher/writer, Gary uses mixed-methods approaches, including collaborative, longitudinal, socially engaged processes and curatorial practices. This is to develop a critical understanding of how practice-based research and visual cultures can engender more inclusive and participatory ways to think about health issues, community cohesion and value.
Gary welcomes PhD enquiries based on the topics of visual culture, photography, socially engaged practice, Israel/Palestine, power, in/visibility, verticality and aerial vision.
- PhD Visual Culture, Manchester Metropolitan University, 2016
- MA War, History & Culture, University of Manchester 2010
- PGDE University of Bolton 2010
- BA (Hons) Film and Media Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University, 2003
- AHRC Fully Funded PhD Scholarship: Awarded for Manchester Metropolitan University (2011-2015)
- Visual Sociology
- Photography (history and practice of)
- Visual Culture
- Visual Methods and Socially Engaged Practices, Wellbeing & Health
- Co-Editor - Visual Studies Journal
- President - International Sociological Association's Visual Sociology Research Committee
- Scientific Committee - Art Style Magazine
- Board Member - Open Eye Gallery
Gary’s research focuses on three domains of visual practice and critical thinking:
Firstly, Gary is co-developing research (with Dr Dennis Zuev) on verticality, new aerial visions and scopic regimes. The project is entitled ‘A Sociology of the Sky’. This project’s first output is an edited collection of papers in the Visual Studies Journal (forthcoming 2020) as well as a core component of their co-edited monograph, Visual Sociology: Practices and Politics in Contested Spaces (forthcoming 2020, Palgrave). A subsequent, edited volume with Palgrave is due in 2023.
Secondly, though his collaborative, community-based practice with artist, Robert Parkinson, Gary uses Socially Engaged approaches to examine how photography can positively impact upon health and wellbeing in community settings.
Recent publications in the field include his book, As and When: Documenting Socially Engaged Practice (2017), Socially Engaged Photography and Wellbeing: Reflections on a Case Study in the Northwest of England (Journal of London Primary Care, 2018) and an essay for Stephen Willat’s CONTROL magazine in 2019.
Lastly, Gary is writing, researching, and developing visual methods to map urbanisation and gentrification in Manchester and Salford, UK with recent outputs including: “Visualising the invisible: a guided walk around the Pendleton Housing Estate, Salford, UK” (2019) and a chapter in an edited volume, Gentrification Around the World Vol 1: Gentrifiers and the displaced (Palgrave, 2020).
Use the links below to view their profiles:
- Institute for Creative Practice Research
- Lancashire Centre for Global Development
- Centre for History and Public Engagement with the Past
- Photography Research Group
- Arts and Wellbeing Network
- Know Thy Neighbour - Socially Engaged Photography commission funded by the Open Eye Gallery & Paul Hamlyn fund (2019-2021)
Telephone:+44 (0) 1772 893045
Email: Email:Dr Gary Bratchford
Use the links below to view their profiles: