10. a) The image speaks: Photography and research (Inox Conference Suite 2).

The Image Speaks: Photography and research

Dr David Forrest (English) and Amy Ryall (Faculty of Arts and Humanities)

What is this about?

The session is about The Image Speaks project, a project within Arts and Humanities which pairs a PhD student with a photographer and a designer to produce an exhibition of research. The key aim of the project is supporting students in finding ways of imagining and communicating their research in new contexts and to give them the opportunity to discuss their research in a cross-disciplinary environment. Students take part in a series of seminars where they learn about photography as a communication tool as well as an art form. They work across departments to share and discuss their research, analyse exhibition design and present their own photographs. The second part of the project is working individually with the photographer to take the image or images for the exhibition. This gives the students the experience of working directly with an artist and of negotiating the space between academic and external partner.  They receive training in text-writing to enable them to write an exhibition label for their image and also write a 500 word essay to accompany their work. The project culminates in a launch event for the exhibition which is displayed in Jessop West Foyer and an online catalogue featuring their essays.

How will colleagues benefit?

Colleagues will benefit from this session by becoming aware of a concrete example of how engaging with an external partner can benefit research development and enable students to discuss their research in a variety of ways, skills that are transferable across other areas of the research process. They will be introduced to an initiative, currently running in Arts and Humanities that could be replicated in other Faculties, and to members of staff who could support the development of similar projects if help is needed.

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