Brian J Morrison Resist, Resist, Release.

Photo UCLAN lecturer and MA Course Leader, Brian J Morrison is producing a new exhibition in collaboration with Artist Emily Warner and contemporary art critic Jonathan P Watts as part of four week public art program, DOMINO in Norwich.


DOMINO is proposed as the first of a sequence of SAVORR led programmes that will launch a self-supporting network with other regional art scenes. Here, two artists from Birmingham, Brian J Morrison and Emily Warner, have been invited to create new work for the first floor of The Shoe Factory. Working in dialogue with contemporary art critic Jonathan P. Watts, the progression of the invited artists’ ideas will be documented and such material will be on display for visitor insight and discussion.

Resist, resist release, will see Brian and Emily work collaboratively to produce works informed by crossovers in their practice. Both Artists are interested in the body and its relationship to art and will develop a response to each other and the exhibition space.

As part of the exhibition Brian and Emily will be acting as judges for a film/moving image open call. To submit to this please follow the link below.

More information and documentation of the project will be updated on the SAVORR webspace during the production week.


Everyday, Manchester.

On Thursday PhotoUclan students visited Manchester for a range of activities and events to inform their photographic practice.

Manchester City Art Gallery for ‘Strange and Familiar’ featuring the work of many great photographers such as Henri Cartier Bresson, Bruce Gilden, Tina Barney, a very fitting exhibition for the ‘everyday’ and curated by Martin Parr.

Followed by a visit to Manchester Central Library for The Living Library. The Living Library provide opportunities for a range of people to talk about there range of personal stories. PhotoUclan students found this experience thouroughly engaging and interesting. Staff and students heard the stories from Manchester Deaf Centre, Sofia and Tony. img_7475img_7480img_7481img_7495tony

The 2nd International Workshop on Visual Research – March 29th 2017

As the new term begins to take shape, I’m pleased to announce that the Photography Research Group (PRG) have sprung into action with their first event of the year.

The 2nd International Workshop on Visual Methods will be a one-day symposium/workshop premised  upon building relationships between visually orientated research and the social sciences. The workshop will open with two keynote speakers followed by a presentation from the Vice President of the International Sociological Association’s Visual Sociology Group. In the afternoon, the workshop will turn its attention to the wider doctoral community, spotlighting some of the most exciting  scholarship undertaken at a PhD level, internationally.

The event will host speakers from a range of locations and institutions including the UK, USA, Germany, Israel and Russia, with the event promising to to be a great platform upon which to promote and exchange knowledge and ideas. Over the course of coming weeks we’ll publish speaker profiles and begin to unpick some of the themes that the event will address.

In the meantime keep an eye on the dedicated webspace, found in the hyperlink above which, includes the registration link, abstracts, speaker bio’s and much more.

Registration is free and lunch will be provided. There is also a grant to support current ISA PhD students to attend.

Here is sample of the images and environments that’ll be addressed by our speakers on the day.

Gary Bratchford

March 29th 2017
Uclan 4th floor, Media F
9am registration and prompt 9:30am start


Berger and Sontag – Two of the Greats

Following on from John Aitken’s blog post below, and in keeping with a conversation both John and I had only last night about the passing of John Berger, I was prompted to share this fantastic video.

John and I had a conversation ‘about conversations’; conversations, narratives and of course, about John Berger’s passing. In doing so, I mentioned this great video where Berger talks with another great, and sadly missed critical thinker, Susan Sontag. Thus, while it is timely to think and reflect on Berger’s passing, it is equally apt to share this specific video because, it is also a conversation about conversations, narratives, mediations and of course, the visual.

With all the charming idiosyncrasies you’d expect to find in academia, Berger and Sontag discuss editing and film, montage, the issues of what is said and not said in the every day, gestures, oral and visual editing, the tradition of story telling and the addition of art, artfulness and the modification of storytelling when you ‘read with the eyes rather than listen with the ears’.

Both Berger and Sontag underpin much of my thinking and teaching, but they are more than just key thinkers within the field of visual studies. More than reliable ‘go-to’ names on a shelf that I turn to when I want someone to help me think through an idea or problem.

They were adversaries and colleagues, testing each other’s knowledge with a compelling enthusiasm, something we should all aspire to have; a sparing partner upon which to test the depth and validity of our ideas and arguments.


Gary Bratchford

A Tribute to John Berger


I want to spend a few moments today remembering the great writer on photography, John Berger. For those of us of a certain generation Berger was a seminal figure. We were struck by his compassionate and insightful way of writing about photography. Berger was able to present to us many of the great philosophical insights into visuality and representation in a way that we could understand. As a young person struggling through the vast forest of modernist thought he was a friendly guide with good intentions. Reading his work left us feeling empowered rather than diminished. We got ‘it’ and felt that people like us could take part in the great debates that still continue to rage throughout the cultural world today.


For myself, Berger made me feel ok about my endless sense of wonder at the combined simplicity and complexity of representing what it is we see and experience. His statement that ‘ the relation between what we see and know is never settled’ is as true today as ever. As a lecturer, I still feel that if a student has left us without reading his work Another Way of Telling than somehow we’ve failed to point them to a pathway that every photographer should tread. Every photographic practitioner should read this excellent text. It opens up for us simply the complex scenario of how meaning is made from our strange medium whose ‘raw materials are light and time’. The book is also an amazing experiment to try and explore how images alone could be used to communicate without the use of text (students also love reading the book as half of it made up of images!). Those writing their dissertations, its well worth the time to read through this classic text.


On a final personal note, I always remember one of our Turkish undergraduates completing the course at UCLan and coming to see me before she left to travel Europe. She confidently told me that she was going to visit John Berger. ‘Of course you are’ I said smiling not believing her. Two months later I received an e-mail. As I opened the attachment I saw her sitting next to John Berger on his living room sofa, both of them beaming big cheeky smiles like kids. I burst out laughing. A great moment. The humanity of the shot said a lot about Berger and how he still had his love and respect for people despite his age and fame. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Berger I thoroughly recommend his works, especially Another Way of Telling and his classic A Seventh Man. Although he is gone, his thought is as fresh and as inspiring as when it was first published. Get to know him. He is a great guide and a still a much needed friend as we walk through the sometimes lonely world of critical theory.

John Aitken

First Year Student GIF Project

A project designed to encourage students to consider the multimedia capacity of photography as a communicative ‘new media’ medium, each new first student was asked to crete a Gif’s. As contemporary practitioners students need to understand the versatility of the medium and the visual image. Some of the GIFs below reflect the range of visually engaging work being produced across the year group.