Showcase – Kevin Crooks – Fieldwork Photography Symposium

Kevin Crooks is an exhibitor at this years Fieldwork Photography Symposium on November 9th. His work will be shown at the University’s PR1 Gallery as alongside a range of other practitioners during the symposium. He has come back to UCLan to talk about his photographic development and the project he will be exhibiting.


Kevin Crooks (2016)

KC – I am a St. Helens based photographer who has recently won the Deutsche Bank Award for Creative Enterprise after completing an MA in Photography at the University of Central Lancashire. The award will provide funding and support to produce ‘M62: The Trans-Pennine Motorway’, a social documentary project which will explore the effects of how the Northern Powerhouse initiatives, and other government policies and programmes shape the lives of people within society, but more specifically those individuals and communities that are intrinsically linked to the motorway. The project will be produced between 2016-17, and will culminate in the production and a publication, this will be accompanied by the site specific presentations at relevant locations.


Kevin Crooks (2016)

Continue reading

Fieldwork Photography Symposium – The Urban Image

The Fieldwork Photography Symposium is a free one-day conference on 9 November 2016 here at UCLan. In addition to the conference there will also be an exhibition of photographic work in UCLan’s PR1 Gallery.


There is an open call to photographers interested in taking part in the exhibition – please contact John Aitken or Jon Purcell

This year’s theme is The Urban Image.

IRIS Exhibition – ETALAGE

IRIS is an artistic platform offering talented individuals the opportunity to share their creativity through a range of innovative exhibitions.

A number of BA & MA photography students and graduates from UCLan are involved and AWOL Studios in Manchester will host their next exhibition:

Hope Mill, Pollard Street, Manchester M4 7JA

Gallery Visits, Liverpool

Students from all years of the BA and MA saw a fantastic range of work during our recent visit to FACT, Bluecoat and Open Eye.


The staff at FACT gave us a tour of the Mark Boulos exhibitions:

Mark (3)

There were some interesting pieces in the Bluecoat’s 3am exhibition:



But the highlight of the day had to be the work of the late Tim Hetherington at the Open Eye, particularly the video piece Sleeping Soldiers.


Mark (9)

Mark (6)

Mark (5)

Mark (4)

Mark (1)

Many thanks to all the staff at

MA Exhibition at Cube in Manchester

The exhibition was a great success, with many visitors for the Artists’ Talks and Private View.


Visitors gather for the Artists’ Talks

Kim Vermeulen talks about her work with breastfeeding mothers

Kim Vermeulen talks about her work with breastfeeding mothers



Karl Lagan Reyes stands next to his images of the Igarot community in London

The MA Photography programme at UCLan has its own blog with more details and photographs of the exhibition:



MA Exhibition in Manchester

Reflections – an exhibition by MA Photography students and graduates from the University of Central Lancashire

The exhibition contains a very diverse range of images including visualisations of personal trauma, cultural divides, industrial decline, meditation, Christianity, isolation and Igorot identity; other work discusses personal possessions, breastfeeding and the depiction of landscape.

Karl Lagan Reyes

Image © Karl Lagan Reyes

The exhibitors are

Kitty Clark

Francesca Dent

Zhi Li

Goujie Liang

Zill Niazi

Karl Lagan Reyes

Geoff Smith

Kim Vermeulen

David Wade

Huw Wahl

Sicong Zhou

Blaydon Burn by Francesca Dent

Image © Francesca Dent

18 to 21 September 2013

CUBE Gallery

113-115 Portland St


M1 6DW


Image © Kim Vermeulen

Artists’ Talks

Thursday 19 September 4pm

Private View

Thursday 19 September 6pm

For more information please contact:

John Aitken


David Dennison

Staff Profile – David Dennison

David teaches on a number of undergraduate & postgraduate modules, and describes one of his research interests as Text and Context:

Many writers have discussed the way that text can work with an image – Roland Barthes, Susan Sontag, Martha Rosler, John Tagg and Gillian Rose, among numerous others.

At its simplest level a caption can define a moment and location in the subject’s history – for example this image from an old family album captioned “Blackpool July 1958”:


(That’s me on the donkey)

At other times the text can provide us with an insight into contemporary attitudes and discourses, as in these examples from the early 20th century. These simple tourist images seem innocent enough,


but may become less innocent when you read the hand written captions on the reverse:


Seemingly these were “a delightful group of Indian Officers who moved away when they saw my camera”.

And in another example from the same collection:



“Camels swathed in scarves following the “Mahmal” carrying old old sheikh playing absurd little tunes on ridiculous little drums and penny whistles”.

You can make your own judgment about how the attitudes and cultural anchorage of the photographer affected how she or he interpreted the scene. If you are interested in this sort of Discourse Analysis you might like Discourse Analysis Online from Sheffield Hallam University:

Staff Profile – John Aitken

Exhibition in Guangzhou, China

My partner Jane and myself were invited to take part in a group show at the Guangdong Museum of Art in mid April. The exhibition was entitled Issues of Urbanisation. All the artists chosen were either from China or U.K. based and had work that investigated the impact of urbanization on individuals and communities. We went to Guangzhou to install the work and do a series of talks with local students, journalists and artists.




The work Jane and myself have been undertaking since 2004 is a longitudinal study of the council housing estate I’ve lived on since 1993 in Pendleton, Salford. The project has been documenting and archiving a landscape in change using observational reports, photography, video, audio recordings and archival based research.




Our exhibition piece, a three channel video installation, focused on the effects of Media City on the surrounding area. Media City was once the former dock area for Manchester and Salford that has now been transformed into a global media hub, housing the BBC and a growing army of high-end apartments blocks.


The areas dramatic economic development has meant that the once undesirable land of the housing estate next door has suddenly become attractive to real estate speculation. As a result people are slowly moved out, houses demolished and the land prepared under a number of ‘legitimate’ guises. A new type of urban prairie momentarily emerges awaiting new lucrative investment. A host of informative pamphlets, persuasive council strategies and user- friendly community focused websites emerge to mediate the evictions and changes.



Talking to students in the Guangzhou gallery many related to the things we were discussing. Guangzhou has transformed at a dramatic rate over the last twenty years and some of the changes they felt weren’t for the better. The pace of change and the lack of justice in who benefited from these developments particularly disturbed them.


As in Salford, communities who had inhabited the city for generations are being evicted to make way for high-density lucrative apartment blocks to house the new wealthy. In our own wanderings near the river we came across such several sites of demolitions where displaced people were living in liminal public spaces.





Below is a link to a great article examining some of the issues this blog entry touches on:

My own article on the housing estate in Salford can be found in the UCLan Library:

View Camera Workshop

“It’s the result of thinking—and I see this with students all the time—that using the view camera forces conscious, decision making.  You can’t sort of stand somewhere, and it is exactly where you want to be.  Do I want it here, or do I want it there—two inches this way or two inches that way.”

– Stephen Shore


The MA cohort were inducted into the 5×4 View Camera, they spent the sunny afternoon working in a small group getting to grips with this format and exploring it’s implications when producing imagery.


This format produces great detail and students were taken aback by the clarity of the ground glass, the flipped image causing them to slow the process down and consider composition in a way that they haven’t before.



Using large format sheet film can be a very costly exercise, so the students also explored an experimental way of producing prints using darkroom paper negatives. The developed results provided unique and unpredictable prints that mirrored the subjects they put before the camera’s gaze.


Stephen Shore – Uncommon Places Interview