Writing the West Midlands: A GeoHumanities Approach to the Poetry of Place
How does creative-critical practice open up new ways to imagine and understand the complex geographies of the post-industrial urban West Midlands? My research will produce a substantial body of original poems drawn from field-work; review post-1960 West Midlands place poetry; examine the creative approaches used to highlight geographical themes; plus expand regional knowledge and understanding, using existing spatial theories and auto-ethnography.
Granada Television: A Cultural History from the 1950s to 1970s.
This research explores the cultural and historical legacies of the Granada Television Company from the 1950s to 1970s. Funded by the AHRC (2016-2019) the project examines the company's reputation for being a socially-conscious ‘radical’ broadcaster, its presentation of youth culture and the development of Granada's visual identity and construction of place, focusing in particular on the organisation's presentation of Manchester.
What are the precursors to transformative moments within socially engaged arts practice?
I write as a participant, as an artist and as a member of the local community. By adopting artistic research methods, and specifically, by making work in the place where I live, which could be considered a form of auto-ethnographic artistic research, the research analyses social artistic processes from the perspective of the artist, adding to debates around what social arts practice is, and what its limits are in its original social context and within the gallery and documentary systems of dissemination.
Distance matters: A visual archeology of the Plaszow concentration camp in Krakow
Why do I keep going back to sites of Holocaust memory and how might it be possible for me to use drawing as a tool to excavate a past personally unlived? Foucault describes his approach to writing history as archaeology, where discursive traces of the past are investigated in order to write a 'history of the present'. This is important because it expresses a desire to link with something beyond ourselves.
An Investigation of Syrian Conflict Photography on Flickr
The Arab Spring of 2011 saw the employment of social media, and contributed to the way in which photojournalists, citizen witnesses, and activists mediate and represent struggles and conflict in the Middle East (Allan, 2013). Looking particularly at Syria, the visual construction of the conflict is ever more present, and images of the war have become more common, as we now live in a world that is constructed more readily through imagery. Images are circulated with an unprecedented speed on global New Media outlets such as Facebook, Flickr and Twitter instantaneously (Anden-Papadopoulos and Pantti, 2013). Activists and citizen journalists have worked to gain public attention to fight against the Assad regime in Syria, largely through access to social media sites. In the process, activist groups such as Lens Young Dimashqi seek to record and document the conflict through photographic images of life during wartime.
Ibrik: Invigorating Cultural Heritage Within a Contemporary Context Through Redesign
The ibrik is a traditional Lebanese spouted water vessel with ties to Lebanese cultural heritage. Its production started as early as the Phoenician period in the Mediterranean area. While this object was once common to every household in Lebanon, today the ibrik is rarely used as intended. It either no longer exists or serves merely as decoration. The following project aims to redesign the ibrik through its animated cultural heritage as a craft and as a drinking vessel by embedding it with a contemporary visual dynamism.
The transferware engraver; practice, scope and impact at the Spode Works
This research will examine the role of the copper-plate engraver in the transfer-printed ceramic industry, notably the process of image selection, use and modification. The literature on transfer-printed pottery is largely orientated to the collector and researched by collectors and dealers. Investigations have mainly dealt with factory identification, date, pattern derivation and evaluation of merit and value. My theoretical approach is one of scientific connoisseurship, material culture studies and new art history that includes the social and cultural context. Ultimately, the research will provide justification for saving and preserving the Spode copper plate archive.
Visual Activism in Israel and the Occupied Territories
My PhD thesis is concerned with examining the politics of visibility, expressly related to nonviolent Palestinian and international activist practices carried out in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Dissecting The Site: an investigation of space, place and memory in Central Manchester Hospitals
In my art practice, I uncover hidden narratives, and use the material qualities of site and story to create visual artwork which speaks of what Christian Boltanski calls ‘small memories’, the overlooked or undocumented experiences of ordinary people.
The Making of Manchester's Technical Colleges (1954-64)
This project is an investigation into the making of Manchester’s Technical Colleges (1954-64). How these colleges came to exist, and their importance within the canon of Britain’s post-war architecture has been little explored and is, consequently, poorly understood.
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