• Stephen Clarke: End of the Season

      Clarke, Stephen; University of Chester
      A solo exhibition of an ongoing project that focused on family holidays at Rhyl, the seaside resort in North Wales. The exhibition at the Grosvenor Museum, Chester (25 July – 18 October 2015) comprised black & white digital photographic prints, vintage silver gelatin prints, and colour digital photomontages; a wall-mounted hand-drawn map and a DVD transfer of cine film footage; four themed vitrines that displayed photobooks, postcards and print ephemera from Clarke’s personal archive. The exhibition hinged on the artist’s photobooks of Rhyl published by the independent publisher Café Royal Books: Ocean Beach, Rhyl (2014); Rhyl Seafront (2015); and Rhyl Caravan Parks (2015). Accompanying the exhibition were two public lectures given by Stephen Clarke ‘Picturing the British Holiday’ (17 Aug. 2015) and ‘Holiday-ed in North Wales’ (17 Sept. 2015); and a public drawing performance titled ‘Drawing the End of the Season’ (25 and 26 July, 2015).
    • Adaptations: Moby Dick Performance Research Project

      Piasecka, Shelley; University of Chester
      Adaptations: Moby Dick is a performance research project, consisting of a script, stage production, and site-sensitive performance. The adaptation was commissioned for the International Cornerstone Arts Festival (2017). In-kind funding was provided by the Tall Ship Zebu for a site- sensitive performance for the River Festival, Liverpool (2019). There were two interconnected stages to the project, underpinned by three research questions: 1. How do we re-imagine character within ensemble-led practice? 2. How does dramatic time differ from narrative time? 3. What is the relationship between the source text and adapted iterations? The first stage of the project led to a fully realised stage production, shown in Liverpool and Chester (2017). A further iteration of the adaptation was performed on the Tall Ship Zebu, Liverpool (2019). Following this performance, the project considered the impact of site as cultural memory, disseminated through conference papers.
    • Postcolonial pictures examining the Penguin edition book covers of Paul Theroux's travel writing through a visual social semiotic lens

      Waller, Rhian; University of Chester
      Travel literature, Paul Theroux writes, “moves from journalism to fiction, arriving […] at autobiography” (2008: 332). Perhaps because of this hybridity, travel writing is an enduring genre, and its texts are subject to fertile academic interpretation and re-interpretation. However, less attention has been given to the paratextual elements of the travel book. Book covers play a key role in establishing the nature and context of a written work. They operate as visual social semiotic forms, comprising textual and visual signifiers that stand “for an object or concept” (Moriarty, 2011: 228). The argument here is the resulting signs may encode meanings beyond the commercial purpose of the book cover. Semiotic analysis is therefore applied to the covers of Paul Theroux’s novel-length travel books. It is argued the Penguin book covers that feature on editions released over the last 40 years frequently include covert signifiers of unequal power relationships between western travellers and the peoples and cultures they encounter.
    • Detours and Dislocations - Liverpool /Isle of Man / Vancouver: In the Footsteps of Malcolm Lowry

      Quayle, Cian; University of Chester (Williamson Art Gallery and Museum, 2019-07-07)
      An exhibition of artworks by Cian Quayle at the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum, July 7 - August 26, 2018. The installation included a neon artwork/text, a 1/50 scale model, photographs, a lightbox mounted transparency, single channel video, loaned artworks (Chris John Symes and George Cuitt), hand-made photographs from glass plate negatives and an automated 35 mm carousel, slide-projection. The research triangulates, Wirral born author of Under the Volcano (1947), Malcolm Lowry's relationship with Liverpool, the Isle of Man and Vancouver as the basis of a psychogeographic encounter with places and sites of habitation, which held significance for Lowry's life and writing. The exhibition formed part of IB 18 (Independents Biennial) and was exhibited in conjunction with 'Tom Wood: Cammell Laird Shipyard 1993 - 1996'.
    • Malcolm Lowry's Elephant and Colosseum: A Manx Radio Discussion

      Quayle, Cian.; University of Chester (Manx Radio, 2016-10-09)
      As part of Manx Litfest 2016 and a forerunner for a planned Manx Radio podcast of Malcolm Lowry's 'Elephant and Colosseum': Cian Quayle, Jane Killey and Doug Sandle (the author of the podcast transcript) were invited to take part in a discussion with broadcaster Roger Watterson on Manx Radio's Sunday Opinion. The contributors discussed Malcolm Lowry's life and writing and its connections with the Isle of Man, which feature in 'Hear Us O Lord from Heaven Thy Dwelling Place' (1961) with specific reference to Elephant and Colosseum.
    • The Plotlands Archive

      Daly, Tim; University of Chester
      A visual database of photographs of Plotland-era houses and chalets in the UK
    • Sculpture as screen

      carrick, stephen; University of Chester
      A multi-component output consisting of a series of three works ('Kitchen Collider', 'Office Metropolis', 'Brunel's last dream') that exist as either video projection installations or videos documenting the said installations. These works utilise projected animations to examine the nature of the screen as a sculptural concern whilst acknowledging its relationship to the vernacular and the technological. These works have been extensively disseminated from 2014 to 2020 in a variety of exhibitions. This output forms part of an on-going, larger series of works.
    • Tom Wood - The DPA Work (A Reprise - Revoiced): Photographs of Rainhill Hospital & Cammell Laird Shipyard

      Quayle, Cian; University of Chester
      In 2013, in collaboration with Tom Wood, Quayle curated an exhibition entitled The DPA Work – Photographs of Rainhill Hospital and Cammell Laird Shipyard at CASC (Contemporary Art Space Chester), University of Chester. The exhibitions featured Wood’s photographs of both institutions prior to their closure. Wood was originally supported by the Documentary Photography Archive and the Open Eye Gallery in conjunction with the mental health charity MIND. The DPA was founded by Audrey Linkman and established in Manchester in 1985. Linkman commissioned photographers with whom she collaborated in negotiating and gaining access into different walks of life across the North West. The exhibitions at CASC ran concurrently and formed part of the Parallel Programme for Look 13 Liverpool International Photography Festival. The project, for which I was lead researcher also involved students undertaking an Experiential Learning module. This involved their engagement with former shipyard workers and research into established as well as community based groups in recovering narratives and objects in order to reactivate lost dialogues. The students also made visual responses to the the exhibition’s context which were also formed part of the exhibition. This project has also been embedded as part of a teaching methodology in BA Photography at the University of Chester, which encourages and fosters ‘socially engaged practices’ across a range of contexts which will also be explored as well as visually evidenced as part of this paper.
    • Tom Wood - The DPA Work

      Quayle, Cian; University of Chester
      'Tom Wood - The DPA Work' is the culmination of a long term research project led by Dr Cian Quayle. The Documentary Photography Archive was founded by Audrey Linkman, in Manchester, in 1985. In 2012 photographer Tom Wood invited Quayle to investigate an archive of two landmark commissions which he had undertaken for the DPA, which had lain dormant and unseen since their deposit with the DPA and holding at Greater Manchester County Record Office. Wood first exhibited a selection of the Rainhill Hospital photographs at the Open Eye Gallery in 1988, and in 2020 current Open Eye Executive Director Sarah Fisher has described the instrumental significance of Quayle's role as 'independent researcher-curator' evidenced in new writing, the collaborations, commissions, exhibitions, publications and events, which he has curated, authored, edited, and published. The development of the book project emanated from The DPA Work exhibitions at Contemporary Art Space Chester, which featured as part of Look 13 Liverpool International Photography Festival and the publication of Tom Wood - The DPA Work are the culmination of this research. In his writing Quayle contextualised the origin of the DPA projects, the subsequent journey, reception and wider reach of Wood's work. The introductory, contextual essay 'Tom Wood - The DPA Work' revisits the basis for the original commissions and their contemporary significance and wider contextual understanding and interpretation.
    • Walking with Shadows: Index, Inscription and Event in Malcolm Lowry's In Ballast to the White Sea

      Quayle, Cian; University of Chester
      A series of 15 black and white photographs and writing authored in response to the publication of a scholarly edition of Malcolm Lowry’s lost novel In Ballast to the White Sea. The photographs are integrated in an essay entitled ‘Walking with Shadows’ – a photo-text – indebted to W.G. Sebald’s use of photographs in The Rings of Saturn (1995). A method adopted which fuses ‘fiction, travelogue, history and biography’ where the images offset or displace the narrative, rather than illustrate it, as the psychic and physical journey unfolds from page to page. The text also references Denis Hollier’s essay ‘Surrealist Precipitates: Shadows Don’t Cast Shadows’, in which the position of the artist /author and the role of the reader highlights the significance of André Breton’s novel and use of photographs in Nadja (1928). The correlation of these sources includes Michel de Certeau’s ‘Walking in the City’ in The Practice of Everyday Life (1984) and Paul Auster’s novella ‘City of Glass’ in New York Trilogy (1987) where the notion of the author / protagonist are posited as interchangeable positions, as they reveal the significance of a method, in which autobiography, fact and fiction coalesce. The photographs which are imbricated within the text function as a series of staging points and motifs, which index the journey undertaken by the novel’s key protagonist. In Lowry’s novel these are uncovered in a series of surreal, psychogeographic encounters across the urban terrain and landscape, and the sonic hum, which imbues his writing. The events and locations which define the novel were rediscovered, or otherwise substituted, as they are re-inscribed in text and image. The project also integrated archive and vernacular images, which include Edward Chambré Hardman’s photographs of Liverpool and the North West as the setting which provides the point of departure for Lowry’s novel and the terrain, which was revisited for this project.
    • Concentrated Noir: Reinforcing and transgressing genre boundaries in Echo

      Waller, Rhian; University of Chester
      Nordic Noir has emerged as an increasingly codified set of aesthetic, political and philosophical televisual elements. Echo compresses these elements, subjecting them to the crucible of short film. This article investigates the dramatic potential of stripping back cross-genre tropes to reveal the defining characteristics of a newly emergent format.
    • “If ever there was someone to keep me at home”: Theorizing screen representations of siblinghood through a case study of Into the Wild (2007)

      Barnett, Katie; University of Chester
      Images of siblings pervade the screen, yet their representation remains under-explored. Though sibling relationships are common, these lateral bonds are often overlooked in favor of the vertical bonds privileged by Freudian psychoanalysis. Into the Wild (dir. Sean Penn 2007), though ostensibly focused on the solitary journey of its protagonist, Chris McCandless, can be read as a narrative of siblinghood and here serves as a case study for exploring ways of theorizing the sibling relationship on screen. Often, there is an inherent anxiety embedded within representations of close adult bonds between brothers and sisters, resulting in frequent on-screen separation. Though Chris and his sister Carine are similarly separated for the majority of the film, their relationship is foregrounded by framing Chris’s story through Carine’s re-telling. Here, the sibling pair may be better understood through the prism of modern discourses of the soulmate, emphasizing the value of knowledge to the sibling relationship and looking beyond the vertical to consider how lateral bonds might be excavated from the edges of the screen.
    • Can political public relations be used as a tool for social integration, with particular reference to the Muslim community in the UK?

      Roberts, Simon; Charles, Alec; Okour, Sarah A. (University 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.
    • In Darwin’s Garden

      Summers, Alan; Meigh-Andrews, Christopher; University of Chester; University of Central Lancashire (Glyndwr University, 2017-09)
      The artwork In Darwin’s Garden was exhibited in the exhibition Carbon Meets Silicon II at the Oriel Sycharth Gallery, Wrexham, curated by Dr Susan Liggett. The exhibition was associated to the ITA(17), the 7th International Conference on Internet Technologies and Applications, held at Glyndwr University, Wrexham.
    • Kurt Schwitters in Isolation - An Aesthetics of Resistance

      Quayle, Cian; University of Chester
      Following his escape from Norway and arrival in Britain - via Edinburgh - Kurt Schwitters was interned in the Isle of Man from July 1940 to November 1941. The essay investigates Kurt Schwitters isolation and marginalised position during the internment period and the different modalities of exile which Schwitters trajectory reveals. Upon his arrival in Douglas Schwitters use of the discarded and worthless in his finding, collecting and transformation of materials was already established. In the context of exile this process finds its denouement in a series of collages, assemblages, sculpture and paintings, which form part of an archive of over 200 works made during this time. In these works, the febrile and sensitive nature of their handling and making embodies the conditions of habitation, isolation and exile within which they were crafted. The artworks which Schwitters made embody a very specific material presence in the rarefied use of objects, materials and things, which take on a different significance in this context. Schwitters status as an artist in exile is that of a ‘double-bind’ having fled a home to which he and fellow refugee artists could likely never return. The situation was one defined, confined and reconfigured by circumstances both within and beyond his control in terms of the choice and or availability of materials, which he and fellow artists had access to. These conditions were ultimately defined by the isolation, uncertainty and fear, which the internees endured in their separation from family and friends. At the same time the fabric of the environment and significantly here the lived-in-space, which Schwitters inhabited came to signify the hermetic nature of specific works and performances. The separation from home, family and friends and the depression and anxiety, which Schwitters and other internees suffered was compounded in their not knowing from one week to the next when they might be released. This was exasperated as a result of the restrictions which their correspondence was subject to in its censorship.
    • Across the threshold: a somaesthetic approach to the design of extended realities

      Summers, Alan; McGuirk, Tom; University of Chester
      The prospect that extended realities (XR) will become a seamless part of our everyday environment comes ever closer with the development of mixed reality headsets. These devices allow a blending of digital objects with the user’s actual spatial environment. The user interacts with the virtual objects and these objects can, in turn, interact with the ‘real-world’ environment. We argue that the design and interpretation of these extended realities requires design thinking that questions the dominant standard model of cognition, which is indebted to Cartesian perspectivism. We suggest that situated and enactive models of cognition furnish a better understanding of how the body, mind and environment are essentially integrated, enabling us to apply such understanding advantageously to the design of these devices and environments.
    • Conversations in Sculpture

      Turner, Jeremy; University of Chester
      An exhibition at Huddersfield Art Gallery during July ~September 2019 brining together members of the Royal Society of Sculptors from the north and the midlands to coincide with the 2019 Yorkshire Sculpture International. Ten members and fellows of the RSS took part in the show curated by Grant Scanlan. The exhibition was lottery funded by Arts Council England and Kirklees Council and featured an accompanying catalogue with foreword by Clare Burnett, President of the RSS and catalogue essay by Stephen Clarke, University of Chester. Nine artists talks, three workshops and one mentoring session were also schedules through the duration of the exhibition.
    • 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 (Taylor & Francis, 2019-06-24)
      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.