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. .

Sub-communities within this community

Collections in this community

Recent Submissions

  • Drawing in Drag by Marie Duval: subjective reformation in the production of a new pseudonymous comic album by Simon Grennan

    Grennan, Simon; University of Chester
    This chapter will examine ways in which my production of the 2018 comics album 'Drawing in Drag by Marie Duval' (Grennan 2018) attempted to discover, examine and articulate a concept of the gendered subject, through the revival and performance of drawing activities that visually ventriloquised nineteenth-century cartoonist and actress Marie Duval (1847 – 1890), in the twenty-first century.
  • Beyond Facsimile: The haptic photobook as a distributed archive

    Daly, Tim; University of Chester
    For photographers and visual artists of all disciplines, self-publishing has grown exponentially through the use of digital print technologies and the Internet, providing new ways to distribute work to a worldwide audience. Annette Gilbert suggests contemporary practitioners now engage in publishing as art practice, renegotiating the traditional publishing frameworks of processes, institutions and discourses. Certain photobooks operate by re-materialising recent and archive photographs to create new, tactile ‘things’ that challenge our notions of the past and the present; public and private and the original and the copy. In the post-digital era, such books are made to be handled and scrutinised at close quarters in the personal space of the reader rather than behind glass in an art museum or library. Many photographers employ ‘thingness’ as reflexive strategy in their book works, and as Ivan Vartanian and Ryuichi Kaneiko observe, an astute choice of materials ‘can bring a heightened level of physicality to the photobook as [an] object.’ Bill Burke’s I Want to Take Picture (1987) and Donovan Wylie’s & Timothy Prus’ Scrapbook (2009), are both facsimiles of unique journals, where original pages are rephotographed and presented verbatim. Yet can a book that has been materially or reprographically enhanced ever become more than a mere facsimile?
  • Meaningful play: applying game and play design practices to promote agency in participatory performance

    Harper, Jamie; Newcastle University
    As interactive and immersive forms of performance have proliferated, performance scholars have devoted increasing attention to gaming practices in order to describe the types of agency that these forms offer to their participants. This article seeks to problematise links that have been drawn between interactive performance and games, however, arguing that discussions of gaming in relation to performance are often limited to a textual paradigm which conceives game play as the exploratory uncovering of performance texts rather than the generative creation of emergent play narratives. This argument will be advanced by making three propositions: firstly, that performance practitioners and scholars who wish to draw upon games in their work should move beyond a textual paradigm to develop an understanding of how games can be understood as systems. Secondly, the article will propose that if the enhancement of participatory agency is desired, participatory performance designs might usefully respond to the cultural particularity of those involved. Thirdly, the article will argue that although system-based design can imply connotations of top down control, participatory performance design can be reconceived as a ‘curatorial’ practice that creates contexts for play that is co-created by participants, affirming their agency in shaping the emergent content of the work.
  • Restoring the Faith: The repainting and maintenance of Catholic devotional statuary in Ireland

    Daly, Tim; University of Chester
    Catholic statuary found in shrines and grottoes remains a familiar sight in Ireland despite the diminishing influence of the church in a swiftly modernising society. Most statues are cast from concrete, fibreglass or plaster, few are far from immaculate and many require ongoing repainting and maintenance from the pervasive damp climate. For a short period of time at the end of the twentieth century many sites featured repeatedly in the newspapers. Supernatural events including weeping madonnas, swaying statues and miracle cures quickly turned the most obscure location into a destination for both fervent pilgrim and curious sightseer. Established through different circumstances and events, statues symbolise the contradiction between approved church narratives and more local interpretation. Superstitious beliefs remain an enduring influence, especially at natural springs or wells which share a lineage with pagan rituals and Pattern Days. As described by Patrick Kavanagh in The Green Fool - the folklore, customs and practices connected with these sites had little to do with the church and piety was not an essential prerequisite for the visitor. Unlike more prestigious religious artefacts preserved in elaborately crafted reliquaries, outdoor shrines and grottos are widespread and constructed of less precious materials. Most are cast from concrete, fibreglass or plaster, few are far from immaculate and many require ongoing maintenance from the pervasive damp climate. Painted, repaired and continually retouched, they are blank templates for official stories retold in a local visual dialect.
  • More than a cliche? Futureproofing meaningful notions of professionalism in journalism teaching

    Erzan-Essien, Ato, Charles; University of Chester
    Despite the existential challenge posed by a notion of professionalism within journalism both individually and organisationally, for many practitioners, it has become synonymous with good or even ‘ethical’ journalism practice. This has led to the contention that ‘professionalism’ is now an inherent component of a broader understanding of what constitutes ‘quality’ journalism. And although a paradigm of professionalism such as that alluded to in the Leveson Report might be effective within real world journalism practice, a pilot study analysing the use of the term ‘professionalism’ demonstrates that when it comes to journalism teaching, identifying the contexts in which such a notion is understood appears to be problematic.
  • Faith and understanding hold the key to change

    Erzan-Essien, Ato, Charles; University of Chester
    Former Lancashire Post journalist Ato Erzan-Essien explains what the Black Lives Matter movement means to him and how he believes it can be a driving force for much needed change in the world.
  • More than a Cliché? Futureproofing Meaningful Notions of Professionalism in Journalism Teaching

    Erzan-Essien, Ato, Charles; University of Chester
    Despite the existential challenge posed by a notion of professionalism within journalism both individually and organisationally, for many practitioners, it has become synonymous with good or even ‘ethical’ journalism practice. This has led to the contention that ‘professionalism’ is now an inherent component of a broader understanding of what constitutes ‘quality’ journalism. And although a paradigm of professionalism such as that alluded to in the Leveson Report might be effective within real world journalism practice, a pilot study demonstrates that when it comes to journalism teaching, identifying the contexts in which such a notion is understood appears to be problematic.
  • Elvis: Roots, Image, Comeback, Phenomenon

    Duffett, Mark; University of Chester
    Elvis Presley remains the single most important figure in twentieth century popular music. To many commentators, however, he has simply embodied the benefits and problems of uncritically embracing capitalism. By 2005 the ‘Memphis Flash’ sold over a billion records worldwide, yet his cultural significance cannot be measured by these extraordinary sales figures alone. He cannot quite be reduced to a placeholder for the contradictions of commerce. As the most prominent performer of the rock’n’roll era, then as a charismatic global superstar, Elvis fundamentally challenged the established relationship between White and Black culture, drew attention to the social needs of women and young people, and promoted the value of Southern creativity. He functioned as a bridge figure between folk roots and high modernity, and in the process became a controversial symbol of American unity. Elvis interprets the image and music of Elvis Presley to reveal how they have evolved to construct a particularly appealing and powerful myth. Following broad contours of Presley’s rollercoaster career, the book uses a range of analytical frames to challenge established perspectives on an icon. Its shows that the controversy around Elvis has effectively tested how far a concern for social equality could be articulated through the marketplace, and ultimately challenged how popular music itself should be assessed.
  • Can political public relations be used as a tool for social integration, with particular reference to the Muslim community in the UK?

    Okour, Sarah (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-12)
    Political, social and demographic change has resulted in a search for new techniques for building public trust and reconciling relationships between the Muslim community and others in society. In this study, extremism and social cohesion have been chosen as potential new aims for the PR industry. This study assesses whether political PR can be diverted from its role in spin doctoring towards new cultural and social functions. My argument is that political public relations can be used as a tool for social integration with particular reference to the Muslim community in the UK. This research distinguishes between two issues. The first connects with political PR within a political communication background, which relates to politicians, election campaigns, news management, and their relationship with the media. The second issue is that political PR can be reconsidered from a corporate perspective, one that endorses the use of PR in challenging political environments. My study places emphasis on the second issue. It applies a triangulating methodology based on using questionnaires and semi-structured interviews to answer the research questions. A sample of seven UK public relations academics evaluated the current communication policies for their effectiveness, explained how political PR could help, and gave their recommendations. In addition, seven NGOs in Britain described their work, the problems they encountered, and their concerns. A lack of social integration and the continuing rise of extremism were repeatedly explained in terms of stereotyping, marginalisation, and counter-productive techniques. The results suggest that a change in political PR is possible and should be encouraged to intervene in fighting against radicalisation, extremism, and enhancing social cohesion. They also show a lack of PR support for NGOs. More broadly, my findings move the field of inclusivity forward by working on a bottom-up approach instead of a top-down model of communication. The best answer for sustaining long-term community relationships was improved communication and engagement, inclusive messages and campaigns, and the Muslim community remaining open to others in society.
  • A Trace of Actions Unseen: The Photographic Error as Photography ‘in performance’

    Piper-Wright, Tracy; University of Chester
    In contemporary digital photography the accident or fault is an increasingly rare and unusual phenomenon, but it presents valuable insights into the practice of photography. This article discusses how the photographic error reveals qualities of the photographic experience normally hidden in conventional photographs, and proposes a reconsideration of time in relation to photography perceived through the accidental image. The error is conceived as a performance, extending the conventional time scales of the photograph from the ‘snap’ into three ‘acts’: the photographic event, the recording of an image and, lastly, interpretation by the viewer. In each stage the error’s relationship to time is shown to be ambiguous and multifaceted, counterpointing a simplified concept of time which prevails in the conventional photograph. The error exposes the entanglement of actors and relationships within the act of photographing and in so doing destabilises common assumptions about photographs as simple, immediate documents.
  • Knowsley Flower Show Archive: a Resource and Celebration

    Grennan, Simon; University of Chester
    The Knowlsey Flower Show Archive presents personal memories, materials and memorabilia of Knowsley Flower Show, between its inception in 1999 and today. In particular, the Archive focuses on the growers, competitors and visitors to the Marquee, which remains the centre of the event. Knowsley Flower Show averages around 20,000 visitors to its large day event in August every year. It is a free public event held at Court Hey Park, a public park in Knowsley. The event centres on a traditional Marquee with around 90 amateur growers exhibiting and competing for prizes in categories encompassing fruit and vegetables, flowers, produce and crafts. The Archive includes a free online image and text archive, a publication and a touring exhibition.
  • The New Map of Barset

    Williamson, Michael; Grennan, Simon; University of Chester
    A comprehensive map of the County of Barsetshire, based on Anthony Trollope’s original sketch plan (1860) but incorporating all the references contained within the Barchester and Palliser Series of novels and other references within Trollope’s works.
  • Beyond Facsimile: The haptic photobook as a distributed archive

    Daly, Tim; University of Chester (2019-03-15)
    This is a case study describing the development of a dossier format photobook as a distributed archive, Long Grove Asylum Medical Journal by Tim Daly. The work presents a twenty-five year long project recording the interior spaces, ephemera and artifacts of an abandoned large scale hospital facility, alongside material collected separately by a county archivist. The work makes explicit the link between past and present by re-materialising archive matter and original photography to create new, tactile ‘things’ that challenge our notions of the past and the present; public and private and the original and the copy. The books forefronts the materiality of collected photographs, documents and ephemera through touch and disruptive sequencing. By handling the loose-leaf contents of the books, viewers are presented with an enhanced, haptic reading experience. The recirculation of material artefacts within the dossier provides an additional kind of archive experience recalling souvenirs, the museum and private collecting. As Scott (2014: 130) suggests ‘The interaction between the book as a material object and its readers brings the book to life, just as the materiality of the book interacts with its narrative.’ Designed to be handled and navigated in a manner that wouldn’t be possible with fragile originals, the choice of papers, unconventional printing processes and hand assembly techniques creates an enhanced experience for the reader. Disrupting the reader’s expectations of a facsimile, the book encourages touch and explores a type of tacit knowledge that is unavailable from viewing alone.
  • Emotional Fusebox: Presence, absence and sibling loss in Adult Life Skills

    Barnett, Katie; University of Chester (2018-09-05)
    “Are you still a twin if your twin is dead?” This is the question that Anna (Jodie Whittaker) poses as she struggles to come to terms with the death of her brother Billy and her—their—imminent 30th birthday. The question structures much of Rachel Tunnard’s 2016 film Adult Life Skills, as Anna attempts to rebuild a life around the gaping absence of Billy and their shared childhood. Anna is challenged by those around her to both ‘let go’ of her brother and ‘grow up’. The film treats these not as parallel problems but, as it were, twin problems: one is inextricably linked to the other. As such, Tunnard’s film addresses the place and function of sibling relationships in adult life. In sociology, psychology and developmental studies, sibling relationships are often perceived as being primarily a facet of childhood, a lateral bond whose significance diminishes into adulthood. Adult Life Skills appears to give space to the adult brother-sister relationship and yet complicates this by erasing one of the pair; such a relationship is only ever figured, on screen, as one that twins presence with absence. Likewise, the narrative drives towards a point at which Anna might embark on a romantic relationship with a man. Indeed, Anna’s mother (Lorraine Ashbourne) measures her daughter’s grief by her willingness to engage with members of the opposite sex. There remains a sense that Anna would always have to ‘let go’ of Billy (absent or not), to avoid expending her energy on what amounts to the ‘wrong’ heterosocial pairing. This paper examines Adult Life Skills as one example of a recent film that tackles a young adult woman’s loss of her brother (see also Into the Wild [2007], Personal Shopper [2016]), and explores the ways in which a close brother-sister relationship is persistently figured through absence rather than presence.
  • The Evolution of Alan Grant: Narratives of Reproductive Futurism in Jurassic Park

    Barnett, Katie; University of Chester (2018-06-08)
    As a quintessential product of 1990s Hollywood, Jurassic Park is reflective not only of shifts in form, production, and marketing, but of the underlying cultural preoccupations of the decade. In an era when Hollywood’s action heroes were increasingly making the transition to domesticated fatherhood, Jurassic Park offers a version of this narrative through the character of Alan Grant (Sam Neill). Alan Grant begins the film averse to the idea of parenthood and children in general; he dismisses them as “noisy, messy, expensive [and] smelly”, and is reluctant to engage with Lex and Tim on their tour of the park. This paper will examine the evolution of Grant’s character from this taciturn, aloof version of himself to a man who comes to embrace a paternal role by the end of the film. Shunted into the role of protector after the dinosaurs breach their compounds, he turns his focus to the survival of himself and the children. The narrative of Jurassic Park is preoccupied with reversing extinction. On a literal level, this concerns the dinosaurs resurrected by John Hammond. Beyond this, it is also applicable to Grant’s rehabilitation as a paternal figure. By the 1990s, Hollywood’s action heroes were diminishing, a reflection of the industry’s own preoccupation with the presumption of masculine crisis. Fatherhood was persistently constructed, throughout the decade, as an answer to this crisis, a way of ‘saving’ men and reaffirm their worth. As such, Jurassic Park may be read as a narrative of reproductive futurism, offering a tangible future as a father to Grant, channelling his energy towards his own survival as the helicopter flies past a flock of birds, the ancestors of the dinosaurs they have left on the island below.
  • Rattling- Arts Based Initiatives in learning and transformation

    Owens, Allan; Passila, Anne (IKAM, 2015-06-10)
    This track explores the process of arts-based initiatives, ABIs, (Schiuma, 2011; 2013) in the context of practice-based innovation (Melkas & Harmaakorpi, 2012). According to Schiuma (2011, pp. 2–3), an ABI is the planned managerial use of art forms to address management challenges and business problems with the aim of developing employees and infrastructure that affect the organizational value-creation capacity. ABIs integrate the traditional rational-based perspective of the organization with the emotive-based perspective of organizational life and its components. The organizational knowledge creation process depends on the integration of “technical knowledge“ with emotive knowledge. The arts provide approaches and innovation action tools to handle emotional and evocative dynamics within and around organizations.
  • Travelling the Imaginary Landscape

    Piper-Wright, Tracy; University of Chester (University of Chester, 2016-07-01)
    Catalogue essay to accompany the exhibition "Death Returned Her to Rags" by Alexe Dilworth at FZKKE gallery, Euskirchen Germany 2016.
  • Appendix 2: Questions of terminology and historicisation. 'Marie Duval: maverick Victorian cartoonist'.

    Grennan, Simon; Sabin, Roger; Waite, Julian; University of Chester; Central Saint Martins University of the Arts London
    This appendix considers questions of terminology and historicisation arising in the twenty-first-century study of the published work of Marie Duval.
  • Appendix 1: Questions of attribution. 'Marie Duval: maverick Victorian cartoonist'.

    Grennan, Simon; Sabin, Roger; Waite, Julian
    This appendix considers questions of attribution arising in the published work of Marie Duval.
  • Introduction

    Grennan, Simon; Sabin, Roger; Waite, Julian; University of Chester; Central Saint Martins University of the Arts London
    Introduction to the book 'Marie Duval: maverick Victorian cartoonist'.

View more