September – November 2015 (archived post)

Over the past few months I have been making the final tweaks to my piece Standing By. This personal sound/image piece focuses on the 60-year relationship between my parents (both born in the 1920s), focusing on their use of the crossword. It’s intimate, and, I hope, humorous. It also looks at traditional gender roles, class, old age and, fleetingly, Alzheimers.

It’s a 26 min piece, using soundtracks recorded between 2000 and 2007. It includes 67 still images.

The photographs were taken over an 11 year period, (2000-11), mostly as family snaps, and they come from a range of sources: Lumix (digital), i-phone 3, Leica (35mm film) and medium format film (Mamiya 7). I have also included 1950s images from my parents’ wedding and honeymoon album.

I’ve presented the work at recent conferences (work in progress at the 2010 Journal of Media Practice conference, and a close-to-final version at the Family Ties Network Public and Personal Archives: Creative Negotiations in April 2014). However the completed piece will be experienced as an installation piece in a gallery or other public space. I’m not putting it on You-Tube or uploading it to my website, but plan for it to go out in 2017/18. I’m currently talking with curators…

May – August 2015 (archived post)

As usual it’s been a really busy summer at the university. In June I was also part of the panel judging the FotoDocument One Planet Living photographic competition.

On 15 May I had a fun trip up to Liverpool where 12 images from The Home Front were included in the opening night programme for LOOK/15: Exchange, the biennial Liverpool International Photography Festival, at Tate Liverpool, organised by Anna Fox.

I am now External Examiner for the BA Photography at DIT (Dublin Institute of Technology), so until 2018 I’m spending a few days in Dublin each year. Great to meet the staff & students there…

I’ve started researching a new long-term project, UK based, which is exciting. I’ll be carrying out the bulk of the photography and interviews for it during 2016/17. More soon!

April 2015 (archived post)

It’s been such a hectic few months at Sussex, but tomorrow I am picking up the reins of my personal (& very long term) sound/still image project about my parents, Standing By. It’s almost done; I’ll make the final tweaks this summer and hope to start putting the work out there before long…

March 2015 (archived post)

I gave a Guest Lecture at University of Westminster on 25 March, and had a lovely time meeting a really interesting range of students there. Am looking forward to their Degree Show in August. I felt moved returning to the institution where I had studied for my own BA Photography, when it was called Polytechnic of Central London (just a decade or two back!). I am still close friends with six fellow students…

Had a brilliant time in Nantes on 27 March where I was presenting The Home Front at a workshop organised by Julie Morère et Jane Bayly, CRINI research centre:

“Representations of Power and Power of the Image in British and American Contemporary Photography”

Intriguing papers & fun time that evening, hope to return. Great to be able to get there by train too.

December 2014 (archived post)

Photos from The Home Front opening reception at UH gallery last week – Thur 4th Dec. I really enjoyed this; the gallery space is inspiring, and it was a relaxed evening. Many of the visitors had interesting & incisive comments. I’ll be meeting one visitor again in January, to hear more about her childhood WWII memories evoked by the beach images. I am planning to keep an eye on the UH Galleries programme in future; it’s an easy hop from north London.Thanks to Matthew Shaul, Annabel Lucas and all the gallery team, and also to Louise Harman and Lesley Lawson for the photos. Sadly Pippa Oldfield, the curator of the original Impressions exhibition of The Home Front, was busy installing a new show in Bradford and couldn’t make it but was there in spirit…

Photograph by Lesley Lawson

Photograph by Lesley Lawson

from left to right: Mark Pettit & Paul Davies of UH Gallery team, me, Matthew Shaul, UH Gallery Head of Programme & curator

from left to right: Mark Pettit & Paul Davies of UH Gallery team, me, Matthew Shaul, UH Gallery Head of Programme & curator

Photographs by Louise Harman

Photographs by Louise Harman

October 2014 (archived post)

I’m very much looking forward to the UH Galleries show of The Home Front, which opens on 14 November. The opening reception has been confirmed for Thursday 4 December, 6-8pm, and I’ll be doing an artist’s talk at 7pm. Only a short journey from Kings Cross so I hope to see some Londoners there (and Herts people too, of course!). It’ll be at the Hatfield gallery, see

On Monday 20 October I had a wonderful time at the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia campus. Academic/curator Dr. Ferdinand de Jong of UEA had invited me to talk about my 2007 work Border Country, which focused on UK immigration detainees, alongside Dr. Benedetta Rossi, whose talk was entitled ‘Departures, Crossroads, and Ways of Moving in the longue durée of African History’. The talks were set up to accompany the opening reception for two new exhibitions Points of Departure: Photography of African Migrations & Crossroads of Empires: Archaeology in West Africa. Moving exhibitions, on till the end of January, and stunning space.

August 2014 (archived post)

Writing this as about to go off email and social media for a fortnight – my summer holiday in Wales… it’ll be great.

I really enjoyed my second trip up to Durham this year for The Business of War Photography conference organised by Impressions curator Pippa Oldfield and University of Durham academic Tom Allbeson. The first day of the conference took place in Durham Art Gallery where The Home Front is on show. Stimulating papers, and some great times with colleagues. I’ll post more on this when I’m back from holiday…

It’s been a good month. The Home Front was featured in the British Journal of Photography’s thought-provoking August issue This is War. The show in UH galleries (University of Hertfordshire) in Hatfield, was confirmed, so The Home Front is coming south! It’s organised by Impressions Gallery, as HF is an Impressions touring show. The UH exhibition will open on 14 Nov 2014 and run through to 31 Jan 2015. I’ll be doing an artist’s talk at the reception which will be held on Thursday 4 December…

More updates on my return from holiday mid September.

July 2014 (archived post)

Well three months have gone by and no time for an update. Till now!

Forthcoming, 31 July
So… I’m looking forward to the Business of War Photography conference up in Durham at the end of this month part of which will be held in the gallery space where The Home Front is showing (DLI Museum & Art Gallery till 21 September…). Some very interesting paper titles, check out the link to the conference programme here:

On 21 July I had a very moving meeting at the Wellcome café with my Kosovar friend Edita, who was visiting London. We hadn’t met for 12 years but had stayed in touch on email; I first met her when she was in the refugee camp in Neproshten in Macedonia. I photographed & interviewed her for my book No Place Like Home: Echoes from Kosovo and then she began to translate for me – and became a sensitive interpreter for other interviewees in the book. In the café memories started to flood back of the very moving times we had spent together in 1999/2000 in Macedonia & Kosova, and the extraordinary connections with the individuals in my book. I am looking forward to going back to Kosova before too long.

On 10/11 July I had a fun time at the SEAS Beyond The View: (New) Perspectives on Seaside Photography conference in Canterbury and Margate. Some fascinating papers & great keynotes. An engaging & friendly conference, thanks to Karen Shepherdson and her colleagues from Canterbury Christ Church University. I spoke about The Home Front and really enjoyed sharing the Panel II session with Lewis Bush who I know from Twitter (@LewisKayBush) and Martin Newth (@martinnewth). I’d been given Martin’s intriguing book Sentinel by Impressions curator Pippa Oldfield last year…

27 June 2014 (archived post)

Went up to Durham for The Home Front opening at Durham Art Gallery, which is housed above the Durham Light Infantry Museum. Great to meet Durham curator Lucy Jenkins and the other exhibiting artists, & see Impressions curator Pippa Oldfield again, and friends from Sunderland: Arabella Plouviez, Pete Fryer & Carol McKay. Fun evening out with Pippa and the other exhibiting artists. Very happy with the ‘hang’.

©Pippa Oldfield. Thanks Pippa!  The Home Front,   Durham Art Gallery (DLI Museum & Art Gallery).

©Pippa Oldfield. Thanks Pippa! The Home Front,
Durham Art Gallery (DLI Museum & Art Gallery).

Pippa Oldfield (left) and I on opening night.

Pippa Oldfield (left) and I on opening night.

©Donna-Lisa Healy, thanks…

©Donna-Lisa Healy, thanks…

16 June 2014 (archived post)

On 16 June I spoke at an evening event Politics in Focus: A Discussion of Photography and Politics at Birkbeck college, UCL, with photographers Martin Argles and Carlos Reyes Manzo. Organised by Dermot Hodson, Senior Lecturer in Political Economy at Birkbeck.I’d not seen Martin for about 20 years. I also remember meeting Carlos on a couple of demonstrations in the 1980s when I was a young photojournalist. So, quite incredible to re-connect. Intriguing to see their work and to hear thoughts from the audience.

12/13 June I spoke about The Home Front at the Sensing War conference, organised by Kevin McSorley of Portsmouth university. In a different world here, of sociologists engaged with war. Some excellent papers and plenty of food for thought.

May, June & July 2014 (archived post)

Since my stint as one of the judges of the FotoDocument One-Planet Living commissions, I have enjoyed acting as ‘artistic mentor’ to one of the 10 selected photographers, Jonathan Goldberg, who is focusing on transport. It’s great to see how his work is developing; an intense time, only about 3 months to work on this. Looking forward to seeing the final edit!

April 2014 (archived post)

Had a very interesting day on 4 April at the Family Ties Network – Public and Personal Archives: Creative Negotiations at University of Sussex, lots of interesting discussions & projects. Fantastic, curious & engaged audience.

My presentation was called Standing By: The Ethics of Domestic Ethnography, and focused on my elderly parents’ daily habit of doing the quick crossword as a framework for exploring their relationship. It’s a personal, sound-led piece, and although I had played a few sound excerpts back in 2009 at the Journal of Media Practice conference, I had not returned to the work until this year, to merge in still images with the soundtrack  – and so I was showing the work as a sound/still image piece for the first time. It’s now almost complete, just a little tweaking to do.  I am not going to put the piece on my website or on the internet, but see it as an installation, a gallery piece. More details to follow when a gallery takes it on. But check out the work of the other artists here: Lizzie Thynne, Margaretta Jolly, Ed Hughes, Nicky Bird, Suze Adams, Rosy Martin, Marjolaine Ryley, Sally Waterman, Eti Wade, Jacqueline Butler.

Photo below of the Q&A after I’d presented Standing By is by Louise Harman.

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January 2014 (archived post)

Very happy that The Home Front (an Impressions Gallery touring show) will be travelling to DLI Museum and Art Gallery in Durham 28 June to 21 September this year… opening night 27 June.

November 2013 (archived post)

Last week I went to Newport – or to be more accurate The University of South Wales, as it is now – to give a guest lecture. Smart questions from the photography students there. It was great to see Paul Reas again and a lovely surprise to see Susan Butler. Amazed that Newport now has 500 photo students, 150 of whom are documentary!

November 2013 (archived post)

It’s been a really busy time and I’ve got behind with updating… The Impressions exhibition reception on 12th October felt great. Despite the English Defence League being in town that day, and chaos on the trains from London owing to signal failures, almost all my friends made it up to Bradford in time to see the show and have an afternoon curry at Omar Khan’s. Anti-fascist protestors were out in force, and Bradford stayed cool. Several friends had to stand on the train for 2 hours before they got seats, and spent 10 hours in one day travelling on trains and buses. Heroic stuff, and it felt amazing to have so many friends there and the support of other visitors, Pippa Oldfield, Anne McNeill and all the Impressions team. The show ends on Friday 23rd November, but it will be touring…




with (most of…) the Impressions team after the opening reception on 12 October, left to right: Sophie Powell, Sarah Read, Melanie Friend, Shaila Hamid, Angela Sheard, curator Pippa Oldfield and director Anne McNeill. Photograph by Louise Harman.


The following weekend, the Loughborough seminar (European Borderscapes) where I presented Border Country, was excellent. Afterwards there was a dearth of buses and taxis from the campus and I had to hitchhike to get from the university to Loughborough station to catch my train up to Newcastle/Sunderland in time for the opening reception of The Social. I would have missed the whole evening if it hadn’t been for Peter, an environmental health officer, and his wife, who responded to my flagging down of their car and drove me 15 minutes out of their way to Loughborough station. Amazing. Six of my beach images from The Home Front are in You are The Company in Which You Keep at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art. It’s good to be in such an excellent group show.

October 2013 (archived post)

Looking forward to the Sunderland exhibition previews including the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art  (see September news) and The Social opening on Friday 18 October

Heading up to Loughborough University on 18 October (and from there to Sunderland for NGCA launch) for the European Borderscapes Symposium, to present my 2007 project Border Country. Should be really interesting, with speakers presenting new art projects and research on Europe’s changing borders, mobility and migration.

The opening reception and book launch for The Home Front solo exhibition is (finally…!) happening at Impressions Gallery in Bradford on Saturday 12 October, at 3pm. I started the research for this project in 2008 (the images in 2009) so it’s been quite a journey and it’ll be good to see the work out. All welcome! Details here:

September 2013 (archived post)

28 September

Six of my beach images from The Home Front series have been included in a group show at Sunderland’s Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art which runs till 23 November

4 September 

The Home Front installation day. A bit knackered as had only had five hours gap since arriving back in London the night before from being on press in Italy, and then hopping on an early train to Bradford. Such an exciting time though, the adrenaline kicks in. Luckily the Impressions team led by Dominic Hopkinson and curator Pippa Oldfield were there in force, and as ever, the hang was a compelling process. I was interviewed by Ryan Baxter of the Impressions New Focus youth project and asked to think about encouraging more young people into photography. Ryan and his colleague William Sellars did a very good job editing the interview.  

2/3 September

EBS printers, near Verona, Italy


Had a fantastic time in San Giovanni Lupatoto, the small town outside Verona where EBS printers are based, seeing The Home Front on press. Whirring, clacking sounds of the printing presses, the smell of the ink, and the restaurants nearby all unforgettable… Only too happy to take a break from doing emails upstairs, and every hour rush down to look at the pages come off the press. Great to get away from computer screens and to see such skilled work by the printers. The top image shows publisher Dewi Lewis in discussion with printer Marco Motti, and the bottom image shows Paulo Marchiori adjusting colour balances.