Ms Heidi Morstang

Ms Heidi Morstang

Associate Professor in Photography

School of Art, Design and Architecture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)

Associate Professor in Photography

Convener Arts Research: Land/Water and the Visual Arts Research Group

2nd Year co-ordinator BA (Hons) Photography

Dissertation supervisor

PhD supervisor

Personal tutor

Module leader: DOCU 501 (Documentary Moving Image), PHO 518 (Collaborative Practice), PHO 514 (Developing Practice), PHO 522 (Professional Futures)

Heidi Morstang works with photography and experimental documentary films. Her work explores the significance of landscape; she is interested in the social, cultural, environmental and archaeological histories embedded in landscapes. She uses images to explore and offer insight into the complex and subtle tensions and conflicts that characterise places, however beautiful our environment might appear. The majority of her work is created in the Nordic Arctic region, often in collaboration with scientists.

She has exhibited her photographic work and screened her films internationally since 1995. Her work is represented in several private and public collections.

She is Associate Professor in Photography at University of Plymouth, where she convenes the research group Arts Research: Land/Water and the Visual Arts.


Postgraduate Certificate: Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University of Plymouth

MA Documentary Photography with Distinction, University of Wales College, Newport

BA (Hons) Documentary Photography, First Class Honours Degree, University of Wales College, Newport

Art History, University of Oslo

Examen Philosophicum, University of Oslo

Professional membership

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Member of the Society of Fine Art Photographers, Norway (FFF)

Member of British Beekeeping Association (BBKA)

Teaching interests

Photography. Moving image. Experimental Documentary Film Practice. Documentary Photography. Interdisciplinary collaborations. Sustainability.

Pedagogic grants

2015-16 PedRio funded grant for developing collaborative / interdisciplinary teaching and learning model for arts / science students (‘The Sea and Me’ – collaboration between BA (Hons) Photography students and BA (Hons) Marine Conservation students)

Staff serving as external examiners

External Examiner at Volda University College, Norway, 2019 - ongoing
BA Documentary Photography and MA Documentary Photography

Chief External examiner at Brighton University, 2018 - 2022
BA (Hons) Photography

External examiner at Hereford College of Arts (University of Wales Trinity Saint David) 2015 - 19
BA (Hons) Photography and FdA Commercial Photography

Research interests

Observational Documentary Film and Photography. 

Environment. Landscape. History. Seed collections. Ecology. Mathematics. Philosophy.

Research groups

Other research

Convener of Arts Research: Land/Water and the Visual Arts Research Group 

Researcher in Arts Research: Land/Water and the Visual Arts Research Group

Creative practice & artistic projects

Films produced, directed and edited:

2019: Pseudotachylyte                  (UHD, 54 min 28 sec)

2015: Thinking Space                   (HD, 60 min)

2013: Prosperous Mountain              (HD, 15min 49 sec)

2011: In Transit                        (HD, 19 mins 24 sec)

2008: Brand                           (S16 mm film, 13 mins)

2007: Certain Degrees Below             (S16 mm film, 5 mins)

2005: Notes from Ithaca I, II and III          (DV, 5 mins x 3)

2005: A Doll's House                    (DV, 4 mins 40 sec)

2004: The Waves                       (HD, 4 mins 13 sec)

2001: Divers                           (DV, 5 mins)

2001: In Between                       (DV, 5 mins)


Selected film festivals / screenings / exhibitions


2019  Bergen International Film Festival. Premiere screening. Norwegian Documentaries Competition and Golden Owl Competition


Thinking Space

2015  World Premiere screening at Science Museum London as part of the LMS 150th Anniversary Mathematics Festival What’s your Angle: Uncovering Maths 28-29 Nov 2015.

2016  London Mathematical Society, De Morgan House, London. Film Screening and presentation at 151th Anniversary of the LMS.

2016  Nordkapp International Film Festival, Norway. Invited keynote speaker for Masterclass at film industry seminar and presentation on ‘Camera as my research instrument’.

2016  56th Krakow Film Festival

2016  Nordic Panorama, Malmø, Sweden

2016  Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival. Selected for MarketPlace Programme.

2016  Oslo University, Realfagsbibliotektet. Invited Film Screening of ‘Thinking Space’ in conjunction with Sir Roger Penrose public lecture, 24 October.

2016  Bergen International Film Festival, Norway. Selected for ‘Golden Owl International Competition Programme’ the Research and Science competition awarded by the University of Bergen to the best science documentary.

2017  International Science Film Festival 'World of Knowledge' St. Petersburg, Russia. By invitation and selected for Official Main Feature Film Competition.

2017  Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation Film Festival, Heidelberg, Germany. By invitation as special guest with screening.

Group exhibition – Thinking Space:

2016  Conversations across art and mathematics: George L’Legendre, Marc Francis and Heidi Morstang. Peninsula Arts Gallery, University of Plymouth, UK. Panel discussion with Professor Stephen Huggett (General Secretary of the London Mathematical Society) chaired by Timandra Harkness (BBC).


Prosperous Mountain

2014  31st International Environmental Film Festival, Paris. European premiere. Official Competition.

2014  20th International Short Film Week, Regensburg, Germany. International Competition.

2014  Festival international du Documentaire Eau et Climat, Belgium. Official short documentary film competition. Winner of 2nd prize.

2014  37th Norwegian Short Film Festival, Grimstad, Norway. Official competition.

2015  4th Ecofalante Environmental Film Festival, São Paulo, Brazil.

2015  Royal Norwegian Embassy Film Screening hosted by the Norwegian Ambassador Mona Juul. Panel Debate between Heidi Morstang (filmmaker), Ingrid Dokka (The Norwegian Film Institute), Åsmund Åsdal (The Svalbard Global Seed Vault), Camille Parmesan (Plymouth University) and Barry Phipps (Cambridge University). Topics concerned the future of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, the vulnerability of the arctic and the role art can play in the debate.

Exhibitions – Prosperous Mountain    

2020/21  Seedscapes – Future-proofing Nature

Impressions Gallery, Bradford; Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter; Kilmarnock Gallery, Scotland;

2014  ‘Prosperous Mountain’ Bomuldsfabrikken Kunsthall, Arendal, Norway.

2014  Maryland Art Place / Baltimore and Washington International Airport, USA.

Photographic works ‘The Road North’ and ‘Prosperous Mountain’. Group exhibition.

Other related published material – Prosperous Mountain   

2015  Prosperous Mountain film and photographs by Heidi Morstang. Limited edition DVD (231 editions) with an accompanying essay by fellow and curator Barry Phipps (Churchill College, University of Cambridge). International distribution. Artefact (hand-made artist’s film / booklet in fabric-bound case). Publication launch at Norwegian Ambassadors’ Residence, London

Pascale Weber (ed.) (2018) ‘Prosperous Mountain (La montagne prospère) – réflexion d’une cinéaste sur l’importance du facteur temps et du paysage de l’Arctique’. In Le Mythe de l’Abondance. Published in French with the support of the Contemporary France Research Chair/ French General Consulat Montreal/ CERIUM-Université de Montréal.


In Transit

2013  Focus Film Festivals Programme at the 20th Ozu Film Festival, Italy

2012  International Docurama Programme, 31st Uppsala International Short Film Festival, Sweden

2012  Best Short Films from Around the World Programme, Helsinki Short Film Festival, Finland

2012  International competition in Concorto Film Festival, Italy

2012  International competition, Sapporo International Film Festival, Japan

2012  Official competition, In The Palace International Short Film Festival, Bulgaria

2012  Official competition, Kortfilmfestivalen, Grimstad, Norway

2012  Oslo Screen Festival, Cinemateket, Norway

2012  Lab Programme, Tabakalera, San Sebastian, Spain

2012  Official Lab competition, 34th International Clermont Ferrand Short Film Festival, France

2011   Aesthetica International Film Festival, York, UK

2011   Ostrava International Cinematographer’s Festival, Czech Republic

2011   Avanca International Film Festival, Portugal

Exhibitions – In Transit

2014   Film screenings and photographic exhibition at Churchill College, Cambridge

Other related published material – In Transit

‘In Transit’ part of Norwegian Short Documentary Collection, part of The Norwegian Film Institute’s FilmBib collection

Spring 2016

‘In Transit - revealing history through landscape in contemporary film’, published in ‘Painful Heritage - Leaving the dead’ anthology edited by Marek Jasinski and Leiv Sem, Skrifter (Transactions), The Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters.

February 2012

‘In Transit’ Limited edition DVD (120 editions) with an accompanying text by Dr Brieg Powel and photographs by Heidi C Morstang. Internationally distributed



2014  2nd Prize. Festival international du Documentaire Eau et Climat, Belgium.

       Prosperous Mountain

2008  1 Premio de VideoArte, El Almacen de las Artes Foconorte / El Ayuntamiento de Astillero, Spain (1st prize for ‘Divers’ and Official Selection for ‘Certain Degrees Below’)


Selected exhibitions of photographic and moving image works

2016              MAS, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Santander, Spain

2014 / 2015        Sichuan Fine Art Academy, Chongqing and Jialing Jiang Gallery, Nan Chong City, China, group exhibition 

2014              Video Guerrilha / FENACULT 2014, Luanda, Angola                 

2013              Nottingham Contemporary, UK

2013              5th International Video Art Festival Camaguey, Cuba

2012/13            Video Guerrilha, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2012              Plymouth Arts Centre, UK, solo exhibition

2011 & 2010        MadridFoto. Contemporary Photography Art Fair, Madrid, Spain

2011               Espacio Atlantico, Vigo, Spain (Feria Internacional de Arte Contemporaneo)

2011               Elusive, Camberwell Space, London

2010               ‘Third Space’ II Baltic Biennale of Contemporary Art, Derzhavin Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

2010               Northampton University Gallery, Land/Water group exhibition

2009               ‘Atmosferas’ Galeria Ana VilaSeco, La Coruna, Spain, group exhibition

2009               Chelsea Art Space, London, group exhibition

2009               Galerie Art Fort Reveur, Bruxelles, Belgium (ArtExpo)

2009               Collaborators’ ROOM Artspace, London, group exhibition

2009               ‘Brand’ Videotank, Zurich, Switzerland, solo exhibition

2008               ‘Chapters’ Galeria Ana VilaSeco, La Coruna, Spain, solo exhibition

2008               ROOM Artspace, London, group exhibition

2008               National Centre For Contemporary Arts, Moscow, Russia, group exhibition

2007               ‘Trace & Transcience’, CCANW, Exeter

2007               ‘Forest Dreaming 7’ CCANW, Exeter

2005-06            ‘The Art of White’, The Lowry, Salford / Manchester

2005               ‘On Leaving & Arriving’, G39, Cardiff

2005               Silent Movements Intercity: Vlissingen, Breda, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

2005               Pump House Gallery, London (The White Station)

2004               Clapham Picture House, London, cinema screenings

2004               London Gallery West, University of Westminster (with Christie Brown)

2004               Gyumri International Biennale, Armenia

2004               R O O M, Bristol, solo exhibition, commissioned by Picture This

2003               L’Alternativa, CCCB, Barcelona, Spain, International Film Festival

2003               Watershed Media Centre, Bristol, solo exhibition

2002               ‘Observatori 2002’ Museum of Illustration and Modern Art, Valencia, Spain

2002               ‘European Award For Women Photographers 2002-2002’, Italy

2000               Watershed Media Centre, Bristol, solo exhibition

2000               ‘The John Kobal Foundation’, The National Portrait Gallery, London & The Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham

Key publications

Morstang HC 2018 ''Prosperous Mountain' - Reflexion de une videaste sur le temps et le paysage de l'Arctique' in Weber P Le mythe de l'abondance - Ressources, imaginaire, formes de vie Paris, France CQFD - Contemporary France Research Chair/ French General Consulat Montreal/ CERIUM-Université de Montréal 23-38 Publisher Site
Morstang HC 2014 'In Transit - Revealing history through landscape in contemporary film ISBN 978-82-93175-31-5' in Jasinski ME; Sem L Painful Heritage - Studies in the Cultural Landscape of the Second World War Trondheim, Norway The Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters 119-132
Morstang HC 2011 'In search of a landscape play' in Standing S; Wells L Beauty Land/Water and the Visual Arts Plymouth University of Plymouth Press 8-27
Morstang HC & Shafford E 2007 '‘Margarita’s story’' in Jarrett L ‘Creative engagement in palliative care’ Abingdon, Oxon Radcliffe Publishing Ltd. 16-25
Conference Papers
Lewin A, Morstang H, Parker K & Sealey J 2013 'Unfolding Narrative (from middles to beginnings to endless loops)' film art symposium Plymouth University 5-/-0/20135-/-0/2013
Morstang HC 2011 'In Transit: revealing history through landscape in contemporary film' Avanca I Cinema: International conference, cinema, art, technology, communication Avanca, Portugal 7-/-0/20117-/-0/2011Publisher Site
Thinking Space. Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation, Film Festival, Heidelberg, Germany, 2017 10/12/20171 Publisher Site
Thinking Space. International Science Film Festival 'World of Knowledge', St. Petersburg, Russia, 2017 20/10/20171
Thinking Space. Realfagsbiblioteket, Oslo University, Norway 24/10/20161 Publisher Site
Thinking Space. 56th Krakow Film Festival, 2016 15/10/20161
Thinking Space. Bergen International Film Festival, Norway 01/10/20161 Publisher Site
Thinking Space. Nordic Panorama, Malmø, Sweden,2016 15/09/20161
Prosperous Mountain. Cinemateket, Oslo, Norway 18/08/20161
Thinking Space. Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival, MarketPlace Programme 15/06/20161
Thinking Space. Peninsula Arts Gallery, Plymouth, UK 20/04/20161 Publisher Site
Divers. Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Santander y Cantabria, Spain 03/03/20161 Publisher Site
Frames of Mind. London Mathematical Society 01/03/20169 Publisher Site
Thinking Space. Science Museum London 25/11/20151
Prosperous Mountain. Royal Norwegian Embassy, London 24/11/20151 Publisher Site
Prosperous Mountain. 4th Ecofalante Environmental Film Festival, São Paulo, Brazil, 2015 16/03/20151 Publisher Site
The Road North. Sichuan Fine Art Academy, Chongqing and Jialing Jiang Gallery, Nan Chong City, China 19/11/20143
Prosperous Mountain. SREM Film Festival, Serbia, 2014 20/06/20141 Publisher Site
Prosperous Mountain. Bomuldsfabrikken Kunsthall, Arendal, Norway 13/06/20141 Publisher Site
Prosperous Mountain. Pelicam International Film Festival, Romania 11/06/20141 Publisher Site
Prosperous Mountain. 37th Norwegian Short Film Festival, Grimstad, Norway 10/06/20141 Publisher Site
Prosperous Mountain. ‘Festival international du documentaire Eau et Climat’, Belgium 19/03/20141 Publisher Site
Prosperous Mountain. 20th International Short Film Week Regensburg, Germany 19/03/20141 Publisher Site
In Transit. Churchill College, Cambridge, UK 01/03/20142 Publisher Site
In Transit. Churchill College, Cambridge, UK 01/03/20142 Publisher Site
In Transit. Churchill College, Cambridge, UK 01/03/20142 Publisher Site
Prosperous Mountain. Maryland Art Place, USA 12/02/20142 Publisher Site
The Road North. Maryland Art Place / Baltimore and Washington International Airport. USA 12/02/20143 Publisher Site
Prosperous Mountain. 31st International Environmental Film Festival, Paris, France. 04/02/20141 Publisher Site
Prosperous Mountain. 31st International Environmental Film Festival, Paris. 15/01/20141
Prosperous Mountain (documentary film). Wellington, New Zealand 17/08/20131
In Transit. Focus Film Festivals Programme at the 20th Ozu Film Festival, Italy, 2013 14/08/20131
Certain Degrees Below. Nottingham Contemporary, UK 08/05/20131
Divers. 5th International Video Art Festival Camaguey, Cuba, and Festival de La Imagen, Colombia 01/03/20131
In Transit. International competition at Sapporo International Film Festival, Japan, 2012 20/11/20121 Publisher Site
In Transit. 31st Uppsala International Short Film Festival, Sweden. 19/10/20121 Publisher Site
In Transit. The Helsinki Short Film Festival, Finland. 12/10/20121
Land's End. Plymouth Art Centre, UK 01/09/201212
In Transit. International competition (doczone) in Concorto Film Festival, Pontenure, Italy, 2012 15/08/20121 Publisher Site
In Transit. Official competition, In The Palace International Short Film Festival, Bulgaria, 2012 20/06/20121 Publisher Site
In Transit. Tabakalera, San Sebastian, Spain 21/02/20121 Publisher Site
In Transit. 34th Clermont Ferrand International Short Film Festival, France 27/01/20121 Publisher Site
'In Transit'. Aesthetica Short Film Festival. Aesthetica Short Film Festival, York, UK 03/11/20111 Publisher Site
'In Transit' Ostrava Kamera Oko International Cinematographers' Film Festival, Czech Republic. Ostrava Kamera Oko International Cinematographers' Film Festival, Czech Republic. 23/09/20111 Publisher Site
Chapters. Galeria Ana VilaSeco, La Coruna, Spain 12/09/200815
A Doll's House. R O O M, Bristol, UK 01/05/20041
In Between. Watershed Media Centre, Bristol, UK 01/05/20031
Camera Obscura. Watershed Media Centre, Bristol, UK 01/05/200020
Pseudotachylyte. Bergen International Film Festival 25/09/20191
Morstang HC Morstang HC 'Prosperous Mountain - Environmental Photography and Humanities'
Other Publications
Frames of Mind.
In Transit.
Prosperous Mountain.
Thinking Space.

Reports & invited lectures

2020 Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

2019 Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

2019 'Voices in the Anthropocene' Keynote Speaker, Institute of Photography Symposium, Falmouth University, UK

2016 Keynote speaker at film industry seminar for film screenings and presentation on ‘Camera as my research instrument’, Nordkapp International Film Festival, Norway.

2015 ‘Environmental Photography and Humanities International Symposium’, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

2014Of the Earth’ conference, Plymouth University

2013 ‘Everywhere and Nowhere – New Photographic Encounters with Space, Place and Dislocation’ symposium.

     Photography Research Group, Plymouth University

2013 ‘Avanca / Cinema: Art, technology and communication international conference’, Portugal

2012 Artist talk and screening at Govett Brewster Contemporary Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand.

2012 Keynote speaker at ‘Making visible’ International Symposium. Massey University, New Zealand.

2011 ‘Avanca / Cinema: Art, technology and communication international conference’, Portugal

2010 ‘Painful Heritage’, International symposium, Falstad Centre, Norway

2008 ‘Landscape & Beauty’, Annual symposium, Land/Water Research Group, University of Plymouth

Conferences organised

Organised the following international conferences

2019 Environmental Arts Research Practice International Conference

Keynote speakers: Anne Noble (Massey University, New Zealand); Tyrone Martinsson (Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden); Camille Parmesan (CNRS, Moulis, France, University of Texas at Austin, U.S.A, University of Plymouth, UK), Yan Wang Preston 
(co-organised with Liz Wells)

2012 Water : Image International Conference
(co-organised with Liz Wells and Jem Southam)

Organised the following Land/Water and the Visual Arts Research Group symposium:

2017 'Territories' (co-organised with Kayla Parker)
Speakers: Barbara Bosworth, Domenika Williamson, John Martin, Susan Trangmar, Emeric Hluisset,Fedra Dekeyser, Claudia Pilsl, Carole Baker, Tom Cox.

2017 'Safe-keeping bees: an interdisciplinary exploration of the future for bees in Britain'
Speakers: Nick Bentham-Green, Mark Edwards, William Kirk, Andrea Liggins, Amy Shelton

2015 'Wilderness / Wildness' (co-organised with Oli Udy)
Speakers: Liz Wells, Eva Cooney, Daro Montag, Jay Griffiths, Stephen Huggett,Temujin Doran, Angus Carlisle

2014 'Nocturnal' (co-organised with Ines Rae and Liz Wells)
Speakers: Nick Alfrey, Angela Kingston, Susan Derges, Jem Southam, William, Arnold, Milo Newman, Liz Nicol, Louisa Fairclough, Tabatha Andrews, Fergus Heron, Chryste lLebas

2013 ‘Mapping’ (co-organised with Ines Rae, Liz Nicol, Liz Wells and Jem Southam)
Speakers: David Chandler, Jean Delseaux, Caitlin Desilvey, Justin Partyka, Yan Preston, Susan Trangmar, Oliver Udy, Martin Warren, Pascale Weber, David Wyatt

2011 'No Man's Land' (co-organised with Liz Wells and Mike Lawson-Smith)
Speakers: Alev Adil, Anthony Haughey, Anne Noble, Emma Stibbon, Liz Wells, Anthony Caleshu

2010 'Land and the Metaphysical' (co-organised with Liz Wells)
Speakers: David Williams, Jo Love & Mike Evans, David Rayson, Jane Grant, Peter Cusack

2009 'Land and Expedition' (co-organised with Liz Wells)
Speakers: Anne Burke, Melanie Challenger, Neville Gabie, Vicky Long, Jorma Puranen,Stephen Vaughan  

2013 ‘Unfolding narrative - from middles to beginnings to endless loops’
(co-organised with Anya Lewin and Kayla Parker)

Moving Image Research Group, Media and Arts Research Centre

Other academic activities

2020 International Environmental Arts Research Network: Symposium I & II
Initiated and organized research network with Anne Noble, Massey University, New Zealand and Tyrone Martinsson, Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Member of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee
School of Art, Design and Architecture

Athena Swan Bronze Award
Member of School of Art, Design and Architecture Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team

2012 - 15
Initiated, organised and led the following International Artist-in-Residencies hosted by Land/Water and the Visual Arts Research Group:

2015 Artist: Caroline McQuarrie, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand

2012 - 14 (three visits) Artists: Hantu (Pascale Weber, Sorbonne University, Paris, France and Jean Delseux, University of Clermont-Ferrand, France)
Final film works screened at the Ocean City Festival, September 2014. Supported by the Marine Institute, Erasmus European Programme and Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Plymouth.

Hosted by Land/Water and the Visual Arts Research Group in collaboration with the Marine Institute, University of Plymouth.

Additional information

Represented by Galeria Ana Vilaseco, Spain.

Represented by photographic agency Millennium Images, London.

Selected works shown at The Royal Norwegian Embassy, London.

Founder of Plymouth University Beekeeping Association.