Joan Ashworth  is an artist/ filmmaker whose award-winning animated films explore aspects of materiality, narrative, archives and water. Ashworth works in both fiction and documentary film, as well as in collaborative research projects such as CHILDSPLA:  Ashworth’s films have been screened and awarded at international festivals and events.  Ashworth headed up, designed and developed the internationally renowned MA Animation Programme at the Royal College of Art, which she joined in 1994 until 2015 during which time the Programme, was awarded for Best Animation Programme at a number of International Festivals with its students and staff work being screened and awarded as best in the field.  She has directed and designed commissioned titles, commercials and graphic identities for cinema and TV including the opening titles for Tim Burton’s Batman 1, and BBC1 and 2 idents.  Ashworth lectures internationally in Taiwan, China, Trinidad, Portugal and India. She is developing Serious Animation as an area of research to expand and explore how animation can be developed to explore difficult or fragile subjects.  Ashworth is currently in production of a documentary on Sylvia Pankhurst, suffragette and artist, featuring original interviews with Richard Pankhurst, Sylvia’s only son, and using animation to access and represent archive texts, paintings and objects, and using pixilation techniques developed in her project Mushroom Thief.

Susan Brind and Jim Harold are artists and academics based in Glasgow. Their independent and collaborative works have been exhibited nationally and internationally, with works held in public and private collections in the UK, Australia and USA. Their joint projects include Passieren, Bremen (1992) and Mysteries of the heart, Camden Arts Centre, London (1994). More recent collaborations include: a temporary commission for the Library at Hospitalfield House, Arbroath (2010); sound installations for the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh (2008) and for ‘What we make with words’, CCA, Glasgow (2011); and a wall text, ‘Hinterlands’, Renmin University Gallery, Beijing (2015). Further text installations include, ‘Foreign Encounter’, Munich (2015); and ‘For you …’, part of the ‘Bitter Rose’ project, Glasgow International (2016). Their published works include ‘Curious Arts – No.6’, (a book funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, published by CCA, 2013) and artist’s pages in the journal ‘The Burning Sands: Vol 5’ (April 2016). Both publications focus on the relationship between culture and nature.

They are currently working with artist, Duncan Higgins (KHiB, Bergen and Nottingham Trent University) on a project entitled, ‘In a place …’, investigating concepts of territory, agency, boundaries and borders in defining or contributing to the negotiation and representation of a place.


Jacqueline Butler is a Scottish artist living and working in Manchester, England. She works with photography, digital video, the artist book, and writing and has a particular fascination with archives and collections (both public and private). Her interests are in exploring visual narrative and contemplating on the material qualities of photography in both analogue and digital forms.  Currently undertaking a PhD at Glasgow School of Art, her research considers what constitutes photography in the 21st Century, combining pre-photography principles with traditional and new print technologies. Jacqueline’s arts practice evaluates the tangibility of the contemporary photograph and explores themes associated with analogue photography, of loss and melancholia. She exhibits her work internationally and regularly presents arts performances at international conferences and arts events.  She is a coordinator of a national artists group FTN (Family Ties Network), and founding member of MCollective (artist book co-operative). She is a Principal Lecturer in Photography and Director of Studies, in the Department of Media at Manchester School of Art, MMU and is an Executive Board Member of Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool.

Liza Dracup is a photographer who lives and works in the North of England, and is a lecturer at Bradford School of Art. The artist has stated that she makes work in response to the British landscape. She is currently studying for a PhD at University of Sunderland. The research is on The British Landscape – Photographic strategies for visualising the landscape and natural history of Northern England: the ordinary and the extraordinary. Dracup has exhibited in galleries and non-traditional spaces across the UK. Her work is held in both public and private collections. She uses both analogue and digital media in the production of her work.

Recent work includes: Landmarks with The Mercer Art Gallery Harrogate to respond to their photographic archive. The project aims to extend the context of this collection by responding to early photographers visualisation of the landscape of northern England. The artist is interested in the original photographers’ approaches, methodologies and subject matter. The contemporary motivations behind Landmarks are to contribute to the wider discourse of landscape photography and the re-activation of a photographic archive. (Exhibition dates: 17 Sept 2016 – 8 Jan 2017) Re: Collections (2013) an artist in residence commissioned by Bradford Museums & Galleries. Their Natural Sciences Collections formed the reference material for this work, a photographic study of British wildlife vertebrate specimens. The photographs presented a series of birds and mammals, made timeless both by the taxidermist and the photographer, allowing the viewer to consider the paradox of their reworked ‘natural’ form. The work resides both in an artistic and scientific context and was intended to bring about questions about our own personal relationship to the British wildlife and its conservation. Chasing the Gloaming (2011) commissioned by The Mercer Art Gallery, used both analogue and digital methodologies across various sites across the north of England. A collection of photographs made in response to the lifetime’s work of Victorian painter John Atkinson Grimshaw; from his early still life paintings through to his later work of moonlit landscapes of cities, woodlands & coastlines. Chasing the Gloaming was nominated for The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2012. Sharpe’s Wood (2007) commissioned by Impressions Gallery Bradford, is a series of photographs made in a woodland over several years. The camera was used to reveal a land once obscured by the night. Sharpe’s Wood was nominated for the Prix Pictet EARTH Photographic Prize 2009 for the nocturnal interpretations of a woodland space.

Sophie Gerrard, is a photographic artist who began her career in environmental sciences before studying photography at Edinburgh College of Art followed by an MA at London College of Communication in 2006. A recipient of a number of awards including the Jerwood Photography Award, Sophie’s editorial and personal work has been exhibited and published internationally. Drawn To the Land was most recently exhibited at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Sophie’s work is held in a number of private and national collections and she is represented by The Photographers’ Gallery in London. Sophie is a lecturer in Photography at Edinburgh Napier University.

Cathy Greenhalgh  is an anthropologist, film-maker, lecturer and writer. She directs and shoots films which using a combination of media for film/gallery spaces. She worked for years in the film industry as a cinematographer and for over twenty-five years in higher education, formerly as Principal Lecturer in Film and Television at University of the Arts London (until August 2015). Her current research focuses on cultural attitudes to light and landscape and cinematographic/photographic visual strategy and aesthetic praxis.

Aileen Harvey – the artist has stated: ‘my work focuses on the experience of place: from landscapes to more intimate indoor spaces. I use walking and material abstraction to make drawings or analogue photographs that look for a balance between subjective experience and a wider sense of the physical landscape. The works are often built around small details and structures, causal or hierarchical, that belong to a landscape. They also refer to recounted experience and memory, and the role of visual imagery (whether primary or supporting) in these forms of experience.

In developing a work, I am looking for ways to engage closely and attentively with a place: a kind of digging in of my toes. Working in series and using a set of rules is part of the making and it then becomes the structure of the work. I also think of these rule-guided processes as particular methods of gathering data, aimed at two things: emphasising the landscape’s own agency and material nature; and acknowledging the contingency and limitations of my experience, in time, weather and chance, as well as in my body, language, history and imagination.’

Recent work includes: The Workers Standpoint Gallery, 2016; The Walking Encyclopaedia Airspace Gallery, 2014; An absent portrait: Emmanuel Cooper artist’s book, limited edition of 500, 2013, published on the occasion of the Emmanuel Cooper Retrospective exhibition at Ruthin Craft Centre, the University of Derby and Contemporary Applied Arts, London; What is drawing? Customs House Gallery, 2013; Sköp, Karussell, Zürich, 2013.

Alexandra Hughes is a Canadian born, UK based artist and academic, currently undertaking a practice-­based PhD at Northumbria University, UK (2015-­) previously completing her MFA at Slade School of Fine Art, UK (2008). Hughes’ artistic practice is in the field of expanded photography, undertaking physical explorations of the photographic medium, moving from the 2D to 3D, bringing image and material together to redefine the Photographic Object to explore our mediated relationship with the landscape through technology and seemingly immaterial, ubiquitous photographic images in the current digital age.

Hughes’ current practice utilises the spatial and haptic potential of the Photographic Object to create immersive mixed-media installations that attempt to reverse a sense of visual distancing of notions of the landscape, to explore the complex and temporal nature of experience and the imagination, blurring the boundaries between landscape and photography and psychological and architectural spaces.

 “My studio contains accumulated material. C-type prints of hands and water sprawl alongside Cyanotypes, filmstrips and appropriated archival photographs, temporarily juxtaposed with my rock collection, sheets of metal, glass and mother-of-pearl veneers. Bags of clay and plaster sit next to 35mm slide projectors, 5 x 4, medium format and digital cameras and my laptop, storing videos and GIF works. Duraclear prints of the Canadian Rockies, dipped in clay from the Northumberland coast, hang in the window. I observe the effect the light reveals through the transparency, on the film’s surface and image…”

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Aly Jackson has an ongoing fascination with social, historical and personal factors affecting us over time, with particular reference to growing up in the industrial and natural landscapes of the North East of England. The artist has commented that she is drawn by the powerful emotions attached to fragmented memories whether real or imagined. The identification of events which inspire emotional recollections from sound, sight, smell or taste have influenced much of her work. She draws out specific aspects, disrupts landscapes and develops layered, disjointed images to create new unrecognisable places which identify with the confusion of truth versus flawed memory or conscious denial.

Taking the opportunity to spend one month in Northern Iceland last February,  Aly explored the relationship between an isolated community of 400 people and the landscape in which they lived and worked.

A Careers Adviser for 20 plus years, Aly consolidated her ongoing love of photography with a formal change of direction in her late forties, gaining a First Class BA(Hons)Fine Art and MA Fine Art, completed in 2014.

Joanne Lee is an artist, writer and publisher with a curiosity about everyday life and the ordinary places in which she lives and works. Much of her activity emerges through a serial publication, the Pam Flett Press, which explores the visual, verbal and temporal possibilities of the ‘essay’, and via the opportunities for production that arise in dialogue with creative and critical friends. She is a member of Returns, a collaboration between artists/academics at Sheffield Hallam University and Nottingham Trent University, formed through Bergen Academy of Art and Design’s Topographies of the Obsolete, an international research project on post-industrial landscape. Recent research has been presented in Forms of Inscription: surfaces, patterns and the typography of place for Practising Place, a strand of the curatorial initiative In Certain Places at University of Central Lancashire; in Art of the Edgelands at Spacex Gallery / University of Exeter; and in Species of Spaces: A Transdisciplinary Conference on the Work of Georges Perec, Teesside University. In May she is presenting her work on at Perecquian Geographies, an interdisciplinary symposium, University of Sheffield; at Sheffield Hallam University’s Space and Place Group Workshop Day, and at a seminar for the Department of English, Liverpool John Moore’s University.

Anna Lilleengen is a process-driven fine art photographer who uses the physical structure and limitations of the medium to create sculptural pieces that explore materiality and transient states of being. Based in Scandinavia and Yorkshire, her romantic images exteriorize inner conditions of the psyche and explore their reflection in the Nordic wilderness landscape.  Since gaining a distinction in her MA Time and Image Based Media (Harrogate School of Art and Design) in 2012, she has held over 20 solo exhibitions in the UK and abroad, as well as contributing to group shows.   Lilleengen was shortlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2014 and included in their Art Anthology 2014 publication of “100 most exciting contemporary artists”. In 2013 she won the Vantage Art Prize and completed a collaborative residency in London with the two other (interdisciplinary) prize winners. In 2015 she was awarded a Leeds Inspired small grant to produce public work in the local Leeds community, Rothwell, interpreting local history, myth and legend through research, consultation and photographic response.  The Arts Council England supported the production of a full set of large scale C-prints of her Metamorphosis, Series 1for an exhibition at Sunny Bank Mills, Leeds, in 2014. This series can be seen at SIA gallery (4th – 31st July, 2016) adjacent to the Northern Light Conference.

Emily Mennerdahl and Jonas Böttern are the research/production group Hillside Projects consisting of Emily Mennerdahl and Jonas Böttern. They create performance lectures, video and installations and play with ways of telling stories and the re-telling of stories. Lines between fact and fiction, knowledge and assumption become blurred as different voices and roles are explored. Hillside Projects experiment with ways of ordering and altering facts, events and experience whilst leaning toward a realm of poetics. The group playfully make use of an academic and scientific language and explore cultural, social and political narratives in a continuing discourse on nature. At the Northern Light conference the group will present Searching for the European Roller,a lecture performance that weaves in and out of the history of a blue disappearing bird. The lecture brings to surface questions around culture-nature, belonging and migration and includes found photographs, drawings, video, bird bones and slides. The lecture re-traces the memories and emotions of the European Roller and questions its need for departure and the strong national desire for its return.

Guy Moreton’s  photographic work has been published, presented and exhibited widely in the UK and internationally notably in the Whitechapel Gallery London; EAST International Norwich; Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge;  Galway Arts Centre; the John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton; Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery; the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts,  EA Norwich; The Collection Lincoln and The Art Pavilion Zagreb, Croatia. Recent exhibitions include Wall to Wall at The Hatton Gallery, University of Newcastle and Full Circle with Roger Ackling, Tony Cragg, Richard Long, Ben Nicholson at Solent Showcase, Southampton until 16 April 2016. Moreton’s work is included in the public collections of the University of Southampton, and Southampton City Art Gallery. He is Associate Professor of Photography and Visual Art at Southampton Solent University.

Adam Murray is Senior Lecturer in Fashion Communication at Liverpool John Moores University and lives in Manchester. His work is rooted in photography and cultural studies, exploring themes of the everyday, representation and the now. Work is held in collections such as Tate, Fotomuseum Winterthur and Foam. Current research is centred on exploring visual culture in a fashion context from a socio-political perspective with an emphasis on vernacular culture.  A collaborative project is in development with SHOWstudio and Open Eye Gallery exploring the role of Northern England in fashion-based visual culture.

Julia Peck  is Academic Subject Leader, Photography at the University of Gloucestershire. Her doctoral thesis examined the visual construction of the Australian landscape in commercial photographic practices. Her photographic work has been exhibited in the UK and she has contributed images, articles and reviews to Next Level, Source, History of Photography, Journal of Australian Studies, Visual Studies and Photographies.

Simon Roberts is a British photographic artist based in Brighton, UK. Often employing expansive landscape photographs, his approach is one of creating wide-ranging surveys of our time, which communicate on important social, economic and political issues. He has exhibited widely with We English touring to over thirty national and international venues. He’s had solo shows at the National Media Museum, Bradford, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, and Multimedia Art Museum Moscow, and been included in numerous group exhibitions. Recent shows include Observers: British Photography and the British Scene (From the 1920s to Now) at Galeria de Arte SESI, Brazil, and Landmark: The Fields of Photography at Somerset House, London. His photographs reside in major public and private collections, including the George Eastman House, Deutsche Börse Art Collection and Wilson Centre for Photography.

In recognition for his work, Roberts has received several awards including the Vic Odden Award (2007) – offered for a notable achievement in the art of photography by a British photographer, along with bursaries from the National Media Museum (2007), John Kobal Foundation (2008) and grants from Arts Council England (2007, 2010, 2011, 2014). He was commissioned as the official Election Artist by the House of Commons Works of Art Committee to produce a record of the 2010 General Election on behalf of the UK Parliament. In 2012 he was granted access by the International Olympic Committee to photograph the London Olympics and most recently was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, UK (2013).

He has published three critically acclaimed monographs, Motherland (Chris Boot, 2007), We English (Chris Boot, 2009) – voted by Martin Parr as one of the best photography books of the past decade – and Pierdom (Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2013).

Andrew Robinson currently holds a full time post as Senor Lecturer in Photography teaching on the Mart and BA (Hons) courses at Sheffield Hallam University and currently acts as external examiner for the BA (Hons) Photography Course at De Montford University, Leicester.

After graduating with distinction in Photography from the Royal College of Art Andrew spent five years freelancing in London during which time he also worked as photographer and gallery assistant for the Zelda Cheatle Gallery, as technical consultant for Silverprint and as a visiting tutor on a number of photography courses. Since 1995 Andrew has undertaken a wide range of arts commissions and residencies and held lecturing posts at a number of Universities before moving to the Media Arts department at SHU in 2006 to help establish the BA (Hons) in Photography on which he now teaches.

Andrew’s photographic practice investigates notions of individual and communal identity through a visual anthropology of people, place and trace applying creative strategies that integrate still and moving imagery along with text, audio and found materials in an exploration of visual narrative.

He is currently working on a number of projects exploring the journey and it’s representation in book form as a creative strategy for photographic expression.

Andrew is the founder and curator of the online photobook resource ‘’

Theo Simpson lives and works in the North of England. His works examine and document British material culture and heritage through the examination of the built environment, vernacular architecture and objects of the everyday.  Simpson’s work has featured most recently in: Palladian Design, exhibition at RIBA (2016), Shooting Space: Architecture in Contemporary Photography (Phaidon 2015) and journals Mas Context and Photoworks.  His work is also held in various international public collections including the V&A National Art Library, Fotomuseum, Winterthur, Royal Institute of British Architects and the Tate Artists’ Book Library.

Brian Whalley is a geologist and glacial geomorphologist. He researched and taught at Queen’s University of Belfast until ‘retirement’ and now lives in Sheffield. His main research is in mountain regions and has worked and published on the glaciers and geomorphology of North Norway and Iceland in particular. He also has an interest in art and the visual interpretation of landscapes and landforms from both geologist and tourist points of view.  These link to part of his educational research; how earth science students ‘understand’ landscapes.  He is a Fellow of the Geological Society, British Society for Geomorphology and is a National Teaching Fellow visual culture.

Liz Wells  writes and lectures on photographic practices. She edited Photography: A Critical Introduction (2015 5th ed.) and The Photography Reader (2003, new edition due 2017); she is also co-editor for photographies, Routledge journals. Publications on landscape include Land Matters, Landscape Photography, Culture and Identity (2011), and ‘Modes of Investigation: On Photography and Environment’ in Hans Hedberg et al (eds) Broken: Environmental Photography (2014), as well as several essays in artist monographs including “A Man of the North’, in Esko Männikkö, Time Flies (2014) and ‘Poetics and Silence’, in Jorma Puranen, Icy Prospects (2009). Recent exhibitions as curator include: Light Touch, Baltimore Washington International Airport (February 12th – June 21st 2014); Futureland Now – John Kippin, Chris Wainwright (Laing Gallery, Newcastle, September 15 2012 – January 20 2013), Sense of Place, European Landscape Photography (BOZAR, Brussels, 14 June – 15 September 2012), and Landscapes of Exploration, British art from Antarctica (Plymouth, February/March 2012; Cambridge, October/November 2013; Bournemouth, January/February 2015). She is Professor in Photographic Culture, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Plymouth University, UK, and co-convenes the research group for Land/Water and the Visual Arts. She is also a visiting professor, Belfast School of Art, University of Ulster, and an elected member of the Board of Directors, Society for Photographic Education.

Darcy White is Principal Lecturer in Visual Culture, and Post Graduate Lead, in the Department of Media Arts and Communication, Sheffield Hallam University. She began her interest in art as a landscape painter and printmaker, first in Suffolk and then Yorkshire, and studied BA Fine Art at Bretton Hall (Uni of Leeds). Much later she undertook BA Art, Design and Film at Sheffield Hallam and MA History of Art at the University of Leeds. White taught for 5 years for the Workers Education Association before taking up an academic post at Sheffield Hallam in 2000, where she has researched and lectured across a vast range of areas in art, design and media arts. In recent years she has very much enjoyed the luxury of specializing in teaching the history and theory of photography, with a particular interest in land / landscape, and runs landscape photography residential field trips for her students.

Her research interests have lead to publications and conferences in areas such as widening the art and design curriculum to include ‘non-western’ visual culture, the relationship between design and consumption focusing on the mobile phone, public art and regional identity. However, her main academic research from 2001 focused on public sculpture culminating in the publication of The Public Sculpture of Sheffield and South Yorkshire (2015, Liverpool Uni Press) as part of the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association’s National Recording Project, for which she was editor, co-authored by Dr Elizabeth Norman.

Since 2014, after handing over the 180,000 word manuscript on sculpture and very anxious to return to her original muse, White refocused her research on land / landscape art and photography.

Publications and appointments: White, Darcy & Norman, Elizabeth, (2015), The Public Sculpture of Sheffield and South Yorkshire, Liverpool University Press. Panelist for the 2008 Marsh Award for Public Sculpture and Monuments. White, Darcy (2006), ‘Public art and regional identity. Sheffield; Steel city? A changing picture’, Regionalism and Identity in British Art: History, Environment & Contemporary Practice, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, 28 October 2006. Cooper, Rose and White, Darcy (2005), ‘Teaching Transculturation: Pedagogic Processes’, Journal of Design History, 18 (3), 285-292.