• 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.
    • 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 (Equinox Press, 2020-04-07)
      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.