The Faculty of Arts and Media delivers a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate media and creative arts courses across both campuses at Chester and Warrington, and supports considerable foundation degree delivery at a number of partner colleges. The Faculty received our highest research rating in the 2008 research assessment exercise. .

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  • Courir deux lièvres: un roman de peu de mots

    Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Les Impressions Nouvelles, 2015-01-01)
    A scholarly remediation of one of the later novels of Anthony Trollope for the Francophone market.
  • Michael Sandle: Grit in the Oyster and Ideas Never Completed

    Quayle, Cian; University of Chester (Cheshire West and Cheshire Council, 2018-05-18)
    'Grit in the Oyster and Ideas Never Completed' appears in the book publication which accompanies the exhibition 'Michael Sandle - Monumental Rage' at the Grosvenor Museum, May 19 - October 7. The exhibition was curated by Peter Boughton, Keeper of Art at the Grosvenor Museum. The artworks in the exhibition were loaned by the artist and Flowers Gallery, London following their exhibition entitled 'Time, Transition, and Dissent', 22 January - 20 February, 2016. Michael Sandle is one of the leading sculptors of his generation with public artworks on display worldwide. The essay takes the form of an interview based on meetings and correspondence with Sandle, which focus on a collection of the artist's sketchbooks from 1965 onwards. Sandle's work is rooted in drawing as a medium as he continually works through ideas for sculpture, which are not completed in the sense that the themes and concerns, which the work addresses thematically, are unresolved in relation to their subject and content. The sketchbooks reveal the development of thoughts and ideas for artworks and their relationship with time, place, dream and memory. These ideas are continually reformulated in drawings and etchings, which are then made manifest in site-specific works of sculpture. The essay references significant events and influential works by other artists, writers and composers which have shaped Sandle's life and work. Sandle's empathy for humanity, and the injustice and catastrophic tragedy of war are also referenced in relation to Walter Benjamin's 'Theses on the Philosophy of History' (1940) via Paul Klee's drawing 'Angelus Novus'.
  • The Once and Future King: Negotiating the Survival of Boys in 1990s Cinema

    Barnett, Katie; University of Chester (Berghahn, 2015-09-01)
    On the cinema screen, boyhood has often been depicted as a period of freedom, rebellion, and energy, a pre-cursor to manhood in which young boys are able to negotiate their identity and place within the world. In 1990s Hollywood, however, a wave of films turn to depicting the death of young boys on screen. As a result, boyhood becomes a site of vulnerability and weakness. This article seeks to examine the implications of these deaths, framing them within the context of a wider negotiation of masculinity and fatherhood politics. In addition, it questions the extent to which the deaths of these young boys can be read queerly, subverting the drive towards the future inherent in the figure of the child.
  • Marie Duval

    Grennan, Simon; Sabin; Waite, Julian; University of Chester, Central Saint Martins (Myriad Editions, 2018-03-22)
    General audience book presenting and analysing the work of Victorian cartoonist and actress Marie Duval.
  • Medium, knowledge, structure: capacities for choice and the contradiction of medium-specificity in games and comics.

    Grennan, Simon; Hague, Ian; University of Chester, London College of Communication (Image [&] Narrative Journal, 2018-03-01)
    Chris Ware’s Building Stories (2012) is a box containing fourteen items that can be read in any order, and for this reason it appears to offer its readers a great deal of choice over the narrative structure of the work. This paper contrasts Building Stories with the video games Fallout: New Vegas and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to demonstrate that that although Building Stories does offer choices, these choices are not ultimately meaningful because while the reader can decide the order of presentation, they cannot decide the order of events as they can in the games, and in other examples such as Marc Saporta’s novel Composition No.1. The article draws upon the work of Seymour Chatman, Gonzalo Fresca and Espen Aarseth in analysing narratives in games and texts, and concludes by considering the implications of choice in narrative.
  • Horizontal dancefloors and vertical screens: Club culture in the cinema and the diegesis of the dancefloor

    Morrison, Simon A.; University of Chester; University of Leeds (Cine-Clube de Avanca, 2012)
    The culture – in particular the counterculture - of an age will always inform its cinema. This paper will argue that the most significant countercultural movement of the last 25 years has been the “rave” revolution, that morphed into Electronic Dance Music Culture (EDMC). The paper will address how that scene can be read through the medium of its cinematic representation, in UK films such as Human Traffic (1999) and North American productions such as 2012’s Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy. The paper will focus on the way music is utilised within EDMC film texts and the particular issues raised by the use of music in “clubbing” movies. The paper will firstly address non-diegetic codes and the particular issues of scoring a film that itself is focused on the tropes and modes of electronic music, by drawing on the primary input of composers. The argument will then move on to the more ambiguous area of diegetic codes, for instance retro fitting music to time-coded nightclub sequences, postproduction. The paper will then look at metadiegesis, when the music actually forms part of the club experience, blurring these diegetic boundaries and highlighting the peculiar issues that arise when rotating a horizontal dancefloor onto a vertical cinema screen.
  • Tramps Like Them: Jack and Bruce and the Myth of the American Road

    Morrison, Simon A.; University of Chester (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018-03-03)
    Abstract: ‘I try to explain to him the teddy is throwing a kink into our Kerouac On The Road cool, but Matt’s committed to his bear, so we drive on.’ Bruce Springsteen, Born To Run autobiography When Bruce Springsteen appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs at the end of 2015 he did not mention author Jack Kerouac in the list of writers he would consider for his book choice. However, his reference to Kerouac and the teddy bear in his autobiography (above) perhaps reveals stronger, if stranger connections than he imagined, with Kerouac ending the key work On The Road looking over ‘the long, long skies over New Jersey’, Springsteen’s home state, where ‘tonight the stars’ll be out, and don’t you know that God is Pooh Bear?’ Unlike, then, the physical proximity of Allen Ginsberg to Bob Dylan, or the overt creative influence of Jack Kerouac on music characters such as Patti Smith and Tom Waits there is, at first glance, no obvious link between Jack Kerouac and Bruce Springsteen. This chapter, however, will explore and then uncover the links that do, in fact, exist between the two. These can broadly be defined in three ways. Firstly, there are sartorial connections in the way the two men dress and present themselves, with Springsteen adopting the jeans, T, and work-shirt look that very much defined The Beats. Secondly, there are obvious thematic links between the musical and literary work of these two icons of American popular culture: a mythologising interest in blue collar, small town America and the way it harbours past love affairs; male friendship; the open road and the freedom it suggests. Finally, there are defined stylistic links in the free-flowing lyricism that defines the words and worlds of both men. Although these three areas provide the main focus for this account other synergies may also be seen between the two: their European heritage; troubled relationship with patriotism and the American flag; family dynamics; Catholicism. More than anything, however, this chapter will explore the ways Jack Kerouac was able to make literature powerful in a new and alluring way, and similarly how Springsteen was able to engage globally, musically, in a way that could never have happened without Kerouac’s influence. Key words: Bruce Springsteen, Jack Kerouac, Beat Generation, Rock Music
  • Medium (un)specificity as material agency – the productive indeterminacy of matter/material

    Bristow, Maxine; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-03-22)
    In this article, I consider some of the debates brought to the fore by the proliferation of recent textile focused exhibitions; namely the tension between a continued allegiance to medium specific conventions and the richness, hybridity and heterogeneity afforded by the post-medium condition of contemporary art. Through a new body of sculptural and installational practice I propose a constellatory opening up of textile in which the medium specific can be (re)mapped in a fluid and fragmentary way. Drawing particular reference from Adorno’s conception of the constellation and mimetic comportment, this model of practice involves a mode of behaviour that actively opens up to alterity and returns authority to the affective indeterminacy of the sensuously bound experiential encounter. This is manifest through a range of practice strategies - “thingness”, “staged (dis)contiguity”, and the play between “sensuous immediacy and corporeal containment” - which mobilise a precarious relationship between processes of attachment and detachment. Acknowledging the critical currency afforded to textile through feminist and poststructuralist critique, the work moves away from “a rhetoric of negative opposition” and predetermined discursive frameworks, returning authority to the aesthetic impulse, privileging the ambiguous resonances of an abstract sculptural language over more overt strategies of representation.
  • Practical Projects for Photographers: Developing rich practice through context

    Daly, Tim; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2018-07-01)
    The book will make explicit the benefit of linking practice skills with contextual research and knowledge. Each project will point students to well-known textual and visual contextual sources which will further develop their awareness. Unlike many titles in this subject area, this book joins together contextual underpinning and practice. In essence, both skills and contextual knowledge are embedded within each project rather than delivered as separate elements, so students effectively contextualise through practice. The projects work like a briefing document containing all the necessary information required to spark off practice ideas.
  • Restoring the Faith: Vernacular repainting of Catholic devotional statuary in Ireland.

    Daly, Tim; University of Chester (Royal Anthropological Institute/ British Museum, 2018-06-03)
    The act of repainting and retouching allows devotees to re-tell miracle stories by proxy. Layering their own vernacular narratives onto figure groups and tableaux, this act of restoration and reconstitution provides essential maintenance to the community shrine and spiritual redemption for the decorator. Catholic devotional statuary, shrines and grottoes are a widespread and familiar sight in the Irish landscape. Rather than carved from marble, many are cast from concrete, fibreglass or plaster and require ongoing maintenance from the pervasive damp climate. Using non-traditional materials such as house paint and pebbledash local church dignitary and devotees extend their personal faith by adding the sign of their own hand to familiar tableaux. Without the sculptors grasp of form and without a painters eye for symbolism, this vicarious act of creation however, show official stories retold in a local visual dialect. Whilst not the primary narrators of miracles and visions, these statues and groups are treated as blank templates ready for customisation and local interpretation.
  • No Sign of Canals on Mars: An artist's response to the illustrated travel diaries of Eileen Burke

    Daly, Tim; University of Chester (Canal & River Trust/ National Waterways Museum, 2018-03-15)
    From 1960 to 1979, Eileen Burke created 23 illustrated travel diaries with her friend Flo Boyde while touring in their car and cruising the River Lee and the River Stort with their boat, the 'Lillian Maud'. The diaries are a unique example of leisure as documented by a keen amateur photographer and artist. Inspired by these diaries, Tim Daly, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chester, has produced a book: "No Sign of Canals on Mars", which includes reproductions of Eileen Burke's watercolours, drawings and excerpts from her diary pages. The exhibition celebrates the 'thingness' of the diaries especially their handmade contents and Eileen's formidable making skills.
  • Book handling as a research method

    Daly, Tim; University of Chester (Impact Press Publications, 2018-04-11)
    How do we conceptualise touch? Unlike most visual art, touch is a fundamental aspect of interacting with artists’ books and without such a physical interaction with the artefact it is impossible to fully make sense of it. Despite this, there is no obvious syntax for us to report our experiences of handling an artists’ publication. Without handling a book, entire swathes of intertextual nuances could be missed - the deliberate material choices of the artist and the reader’s own rich experiential past never get the chance to make meaning. It can be argued that handling books provides a type of tacit knowledge that is unavailable from viewing alone. Developing a framework for reporting this haptic experience applying notions from material culture (for touch) and from literary theory (for intertextuality) together into a discourse to enrich and enhance our understanding of artists’ book works.
  • Marie Duval: Victorian Cartoonist

    Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Myriad Editions, 2018-03-29)
    Book chapter.
  • Marie Duval: Laughter in the First Age of Leisure.

    Grennan, Simon; Sabin, Roger; Waite, Julian; University of Chester, Central Saint Martins (Guildhall Library London, 2017-11-17)
    A public exhibition of the work of 19th-century cartoonist and actress Marie Duval.
  • A Theory of Narrative Drawing

    Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017-08-01)
    A theory of narrative drawing.
  • No Sign of Canals on Mars: The Illustrated Travel Diaries of Eileen Burke

    Daly, Tim; University of Chester (Fugitive Press, 2018-03-15)
    No Sign of Canals on Mars is a multi-part publication containing reproductions of Eileen Burke’s watercolours, drawings and excerpts from her diary pages presented as a spiral bound diary with ephemera inserts and tipped in souvenirs. Alongside this is a small wallet of real photographic prints printed from Eileen’s collection of colour slides. Housed in a museum style clamshell box, the publication aims to be a kind of distributed archive allowing readers to handle and scrutinise works that would otherwise be inaccessible due to their fragile condition.
  • Concrete Knowledge

    McGuirk, Tom; University of Chester (Darc Space, 26 North Great George’s Street, Dublin, 2016-05-17)
    Catalogue essay in exhibition catalogue.
  • Documentation 77001^74103 Cargo Space

    Grennan, Simon; Sperandio, Christopher; University of Chester, Rice University Houston (Hardesty Art Centre, 2014-03-01)
    A book published to accompany the public touring exhibition "Documentation 77001^74103 Cargo Space" at Hardesty Arts Centre, Tulsa.
  • Leicester City lift the title: A triumph to touch the hearts of all sports fans

    Hassall, Paul; University of Chester (Eurosport UK, 2016-05-07)
    A focus on the afternoon Leicester City FC made a fairytale dream a reality and sealed one of the most famous sporting surprises of all-time.
  • Daily Mirror exclusive interview with ex-Liverpool and Arsenal footballer, Michael Thomas

    Hassall, Paul; University of Chester (Daily Mirror newspaper, 2014-02-07)
    An article recalling Michael Thomas's infamous goal for Arsenal at Liverpool on the 25th anniversary of his famous last-gasp title-winning strike.

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