I am creative practitioner, curator-producer and educator. Regardless of which creative hat I am wearing, I actively seek out to instigate and produce collaborative projects that support and promote social change.
Most of my work takes place outside of the gallery, working on short and long term residency projects, across health, social housing, justice, learning, heritage and environmental settings.
For example I helped establish and have been working in collaboration with the Many Hands Craft Collective (an over60s group based at Victoria Square, Northwards Housing Association building) for the past six years. Together we have explored arts and craft as an activist tool for the creative agency of older communities. Between 2016-2018 the group also collaborated with me on a Masters by Research project exploring the role of photography as a socially engaged arts practice.
I work mostly in photography and video, but am interested in the expanded notions of what photography can be, often playing with traditional or alternative materials to produce work.
My work often focuses on the representation of local communities, reflecting on society at points of loss or change, working in socially engaged ways, to collaborate with the individuals & communities who make up each specific place. Together we can question how a co-authored and co-produced approach to practice creates greater narratives and representations of our shared society.
CV & Education
Overview: I am a visual artist, curator and creative producer specialising in socially engaged arts practice. I am particularly interested in how photography and digital media can be used as collaborative engagement tool and have been collaborating with health and Over60s groups across the North West to explore this for the past 6 years. I am the Head of Social Practice at Open Eye Gallery and teach on the Socially Engaged Photography and MA fine art and design courses at University of Salford.
Glasgow School of Art - BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art Photography and Film (June 2008)
Manchester School of Art - Masters by Research (practice based) - Tracing the social contract - the role of photography in socially engaged practice (October 2018)
EXHIBITIONS & RESIDENCIES
October 2020 - Current
Photographer in Residence for The Peoples River Project, with Manchester Histories and communities across North Manchester
Dressing the Space exhibition - part of AA2A artist residency with University of Chester at Chester Contemporary Art Space
Collaboration with textile student Xiaoxue Chen and the FACT’s Digital Ambassadors group, responding to the redevelopment of Chester’s canal side pocket park site
December 2018 - April 2019
209 Women at Portcullis House (Westminster) and Open Eye Gallery (Liverpool)
To mark 100 years since some women achieved the right to vote, Hilary Wood and partners invited female practitioners across the UK to take over parliament with 209 new photographic portraits of all female MPs, shot exclusively by female photographers, and make it free and open to the public. It was a pleasure to work with Leigh Labour MP Jo Platt on this project. The exhibition launched at Portcullis House, Westminster, in December 2018 before touring to Open Eye Gallery from 28 February - 14 April 2019.
October 2018 - May
AA2A artist in residence with University of Chester (re-animating Chester Canal’s pocket park) - The AA2A project provides placements for visual artists and designer makers in Higher and Further Education institutions across England
Border Bound residency and open studio
Selected as the 2018 English artist for the Studio Boat project, supported by Arts Council Wales
Group exhibition at Grosvenor Gallery, Manchester School of Art, Curated by Rachel Burns
January – March 2018
Cross site exhibition at Museum of Liverpool & Open Eye Gallery commissioned by Merseytravel and supported by Grants for the Arts, Arts Council England. The work reflected a 9 month residency working in collaboration with the people who make up the Mersey ferries community.
Present and Continuous
Collaborative project exhibition with local Over60s group, Many Hands Craft Collective, at Manchester Craft and Design Centre (Manchester), This exhibition is part of a current research project with Manchester School of Art – exploring the role of photography in socially engaged practice.
August – November 2017
Mersey Ferries Residency
Artist in residence with the Mersey ferries and surrounding Pier Head community, Liverpool. Commissioned and in partnership with Mersey travel and Museum of Liverpool.
Politics of Paradise
Group exhibition for the inaugural show at Paradise Works Artist studio and gallery space, Salford
Group exhibition at Irwell House (now Paradise Works), as part of Manifest programme 2017
August 2016 – Current
Photographer in residence for social history and digital Over60s programme, in collaboration with FACT (Foundation For Art and Creative Technology) and supported by HOP (Happy Older People’s Network), Open Culture Liverpool.
Record, Archive, Rewind & With Love from Co-op, Rogue Open Studios, Rogue Artist Studios and project space, Manchester
Familiar series, Rogue Open Studios, Rogue Artist Studios and project space, Manchester
June - July 2014, Artist in residence as part of Common Ground Collective garden residency programme with Victoria Square Housing Association (with Claire Tindale and showcased at Northern Art Carbooty 2014)
October 2012, Common Ground Collective, Collaborative residency, Rogue Project Space,
Manchester. This project is supported by Arts Council England, Grants for the Arts.
August - October 2012, Artefacts of Failure, Group exhibition, QUAD gallery, Derby
June 2012, Cultivation Field Group exhibition Curated by Kate Corder, University of Reading, Reading
March - May 2012, Knitterfeed with artist Jenny Steele, programmer Tom Kinniburgh and Cross Acres Community Centre - collaborative residency and live art event, Handmade, Future Everything Festival
Summer 2011 – September 2013 residency and long term UK social documentary project ‘Environmental Hubs/ Allotment Politics’, Exhibition, publication and artist residency on allotment site. This project is supported by Arts Council England, Grants for the Arts.
June – July 2011
User Generated Content, Collaborative project and exhibition with Jenny Steele, MadLab, Manchester, curated by Rose Barraclough and Taneesha Ahmed (Blank media collective).
March 2011, Artist in residence for sound artist and composer Daniele Ledda, responding to “Six memos for the Next Millenium” by Italo Calvanio, various locations in Manchester.
June - July 2009, This Land Is Your Land, Group exhibition, CCA (Centre for Contemporary Art), Glasgow.
Part of artist residency with Drummore Primary School, Drumpchapel
January – June 2009, Artist in residence at Drummore Primary School, working on sensory garden project with SEN group and Hazelwood SEN School developing photography projects for young people with visual impairments.
Degree Show June 2008,
'The Things after the Physics’, Mackintosh Building, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow.
July - August 2007,
'Triptych; Place, Person, Memory', East Gate Theatre, Peebles, Scotland.