Ms Ines Rae

Ms Ines Rae

Lecturer in Media Arts

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



Lecturer in Creative Media (Photography)


MA Social History of Art, University of Leeds
BA Fine Art, Brighton Polytechnic

Professional membership

Member of the Higher Education Academy

Association for Photographers in Higher Education

Roles on external bodies

2015-19  External Examiner, BA Photojournalism, Southampton Solent University

2008-12  External Examiner, BA Photography, UCCA Rochester
2010     Member of Editorial Board XCP-Streetnotes Journal of Urban Culture,UC Davis
2007-9   Steering Committee Rogue Studios, Manchester
2005-6   Mentor at Patrick Studios, Leeds. Artists Professional Development
2004     Independent Evaluator AHRB
1998     Project Co-ordinator, Leeds City Art Gallery for Photo98
1997     Selection Panel, North West Arts Photography Awards
1997     Judge, Leeds College of Technology Photography Awards
1994-6   Management Committee, Pavilion Photography Centre, Leeds



Teaching interests

Teaching and research is in the area of contemporary photographic practice. I have a particular interest in the role of women within representation.

Ines contributes to the BA(Hons) Media Arts and BA(Hons) Creative Media programmes in the areas of Collaborative Practice, Documentary and contributes to the Critical Theory programme and Dissertation Supervision.

She has also supervised postgraduate students with interests in feminist art practice, class cultures and documentary photography practices.

Staff serving as external examiners

External Examiner for BA(Hons)Photojournalism at Southampton Solent University 2015-2019

External Examiner for BA(Hons) Photography University of the Creative Arts, Rochester 2008-2012



Research interests

Awarded Arts Council England funding from Developing your Creative Practice scheme May 2021 for Portrait of a Woman

Current work in progress is Portrait of a Woman. At my mothers death I inherited photographs and letters which pointed to an interesting family history. At the work’s centre are the memories of life in Basque Spain in the 1930s embedded in particular stories passed down to me by my mother. There is a potential detective story here as my mother is invisible in this history because she is illegitimate. 

Trained in Fine Art, Rae’s work uses photography and text to explore representation, femininity, consumer culture and the everyday.

Rae's research aims to analyse the labour of femininity in a contemporary photographic culture where this still remains largely invisible. A Real Work of Art uses a model of image-making which is largely dialogic and interactive in its involvement of participants. This piece established a lot of the groundwork for subsequent research, especially in terms of methodology. central to this is the relationship between photographer and subject. A Real Work of Art explores the business of surface appearances through portraits of women whose job it is to crete a facade. The work visually describes a number of retail sites as consisting of both consumption and production.

Publications include Kurl up n Dye, a monograph published by Wild Pansy Press with an introduction by Simon Grennan and incorporating photographs and typography investigating the vernacular in British high street culture. A feature on the book was recently on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour. The research has led to a number of conference papers and articles exploring the photographic image in terms of the vernacular, cultural anthropology and material culture.

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

2008 MA by Research, Sean Cousin Pentimento: A re-evaluation of the integral polaroid

Grants & contracts

2021 Arts Council England Developing Your Creative Practice for Portrait of a Woman £10,000

2008 Sandbox Sabbatical (internal Uclan award) £7858

2007 Arts Council England £11482 for In-between Spaces

2005 Arts Council England £9043 for Settling In

2005 Arts and Humanities Research Council, Small Grants in the Creative and Performing Arts £5000

2001 Arts and Humanities Research Council, Small Grants in the Creative and Performing Arts £5000

Creative practice & artistic projects

Research Projects

A Portrait of a Woman/Retrato de mujer - work in progress

The project takes its name from a photograph of an unknown woman.
I inherited photographs and letters which pointed to an interesting family history 

At the work’s centre are the memories of life in Basque Spain in the 1930s embedded in particular stories passed down to me by my mother. There is a potential detective story here as my mother is invisible in this history because she is illegitimate.

The Grammar of Glamour 

explores the business of surface appearances through the use of imagery within independently owned businesses concerned with the manufacture of glamour. The intention is to ask how the spell of glamour can be broken. And at the same time how the power of material objects can transform the identity and status of those who own them. We cannot now begin to imagine what non-photographic glamour might be like, but we can ask what it represents within an economic, political, even philosophical, system. 

“…the fashion object …reveals how far we, as consumers, are from perfection. Fashion’s reminder of fragile mortality is perhaps shard with art, both manifesting fatality – their own failures to endure and to satisfy our desires – in the circulation of common tropes and shared lifestyles.” Chris Townsend Rapture: Arts Seduction by Fashion p8

Remembering the City; On memory, experience and the urban landscape

My interest in memory work has developed from a smallproject called ‘Memory City’. The project investigates the relationshipsbetween personal memory, everyday experience and public space. Its focus is on narratives of security andinsecurity, anxiety and confidence, and belonging and alienation in the urbanlandscape. Using a sequence of themed workshops the project focuses on: thepleasures, risks and dangers of city life; mobility and the cosmopolitan city;and cultural landscapes of the city. The aim is to see how people use theirmemories to construct their understandings of public space in the present.

Funded by Sandbox/Uclan 2009. 

With Claire Corrin and Daniella Watson ‘Inbetween Spaces’ Funded by Arts Council England (£13,000) Completed 2007 (Lead Applicant: Rae)

Inbetween Spaces (2007), explores ideas of marginality on several billboard sites around Manchester and Salford. The bus tour explored the marginal and overlooked in the urban fabric through the rehearsed performance of a tour guide.

With Simon Grennan and Alan Ward ‘Kurl up n Dye; an exploration of the vernacular in British high street culture’ Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council (£5000) and UCLan (match funding) Completed November 2006 (Lead Applicant: Rae)

In Kurl up n Dye there is a nod to the motifs and pictorial strategies from which other photographers work: There is a long tradition in using photography to document and explore aspects of British popular culture and sometimes with a nostalgia for disappearing worlds. But there is a point to be made here about the stories that don’t get told, or that need a differently skewed vision. Perhaps as Diane Arbus felt when she made the image of an interior of a barber shop there is always another way of seeing a place. 

The shop names and typefaces signal economic status,class and taste beyond the frame. The humour in the shop names is self-directed, belonging entirely to the independent trader – to the lower rent, non-corporate, “other mainstream” undertaste that laughs at the aspiring by making deprecating laughter part of the pleasure of aspiration itself. The people and places in Kurl up n Dye understand the operation of glamour’s oxymoron in their lives, making use of the knife-edge between image and reality.

 In 'Kurl up 'n' Dye', I think we are squarely in the sights of glamour.Or perhaps, Rae has her sights set on glamour. Either way, we seem more than anything to be looking down the barrel of a gun, which is curious, seeing as the images in ''Kurl up 'n' Dye' ' have been made within the pleasure industry,at the salon. Nobody seems to be having much fun in the peopled interiors that contribute to the work. The salon facades also appear either dreary or shabby.The conventions of documentary photography are assaulted by Rae in 'Kurl up 'n'Dye', not discarded or ignored, so that the private views, the intimate views and the set-up images still seem motivated by a desire to reveal social relationships…

Simon Grennan in Kurl up n Dye 2006 


 With Jo Lansley, Manchester Metropolitan University ‘Settling InFunded by Arts Council England (£11,000) Completed April 2006 (Lead Applicant: Rae)

Settling In explores ideas of home and performativity.Using a tradition of artist-led initiatives the research aimed to reassess the diversity of artistic practice funded by the Arts Council in Manchester and to introduce new artists and work to the region, particularly female practitioners. The exhibition was intended as a comment on the corporate extravaganza that is the British Art Show.

Taking home as it’s starting point Settling In explores how we move within and experience this most intimate of spaces – the home becomes a metaphor for the creative process, a locus for female activity, as well as a place of secrets and self, of rituals and routine. 






Rae, I. (2009) ‘Shear Class: a visual ethnography of the British hair salon’ in X-cp Streetnotes


Rae, I (2013) Memory-Images in Momchedjikova ,B, ed, (2013) Captured by the City: New Perspectives in Urban Culture Studies, Cambridge Scholars Publishing 978-1443842891

Rae, I. & Grennan, S. (2006) Kurl up n Dye, Leeds, Wild Pansy Press


Rae I (2013)Remembering the City-Memory Images in Momchedjikova, B (ed) 2013 Captured by the City : Perspectives in Urban Culture Studies, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Cambridge UK

Rae, I. (2008) ‘Some will pay (for what others will pay to avoid): Vernacular typography and the irreverence of popular culture’ in F. Hackney, J. Glynne & V. Minton, eds, Networks of Design, Brown Walker Press


Exhibition Catalogues

Corrin, C., Rae, I., Watson, D. (2007) Inbetween Spaces, Manchester, Look07/Redeye 

ISBN 978 1 901922 63 2

Lansley, J., Rae, I., Tormey, J. (2006) Settling In, Arts Council England 

ISBN 9781901922 65 3

Beech, D. & Rae, I. (2003) A Real Work of Art, Lancaster, Folly Gallery
ISBN 1 901922 49 9

Solo Exhibitions  

2015   The Grammar of Glamour, Aronson Gallery, New York

2013    Memory City, Plymouth University             

2006   Kurl up n Dye, Cube, Manchester

2003   A Real Work of Art, Folly Gallery, Lancaster

2000   Perm-u-tations, Installation as part of YOTA, New Image Salon,  Preston

1999   Remote Imago-Lucis Gallery, Porto, Portugal and Culture House, Estarreja, Portugal

        Sponsored by The British Council, Lisbon

1996   Ideal Home, Site Gallery, Sheffield

        Sponsored by CPL, Yorkshire and Humberside Arts

1994   Spaces of Difference/Memories of Place Lanchester Gallery, Coventry

        Sponsored by Geonex UK. Catalogue essay by Griselda Pollock

1993   Project 10 00 22 Selen-Oldenstrand, Stockholm

1993   Voices of Fury, Pavilion Photography Centre, Leeds

Group Exhibitions 

2016  Brighton Photo Biennial Fringe Festival, Lock In Gallery, Brighton

2016  Plymouth Art Weekender September

2014  Karst Open Studios, Plymouth

2013  Textually Active 2, Athenaeum, Plymouth

2007  Inbetween Spaces Billboard bus tour , Cube Manchester

2006  Settling In, 338 Great Western St, Manchester

2005  Mind Where You Look, Gallery Oldham

2004  Joy, International 3, Manchester

2003  Thermo 03, The Lowry, Manchester

2003  PureScreen 2 at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester

2001  Venture Year of the Artist Celebration, BBC Manchester

2001   AnOtherPlace, Storey Gallery, Lancaster

2000   Regional Launch of Year of the Artist, North West

        National Launch of Year of the Artist,The Lux, Hoxton Square

1999   Travel Bag, University Of Central Lancashire Research Centre, Preston

1997  Domus:North and South, Art Gallery Too: a nomadic artspace for NEW ART

       Private residencies in York and London

1997  I dont want to play house, Zone Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne

1995  Imagining the unimaginable, Pankhurst Centre, Manchester

1994  Indications, Impressions Gallery, York Commissioned by Impressions

1993   Absent Bodies/ Present Lives, Leeds City Art Gallery Catalogue available

1992  BT New Contemporaries Manchester, Belfast, ICA London.



Reports & invited lectures

2018 Visual cultures, consumerism and the grammar of glamour, Sociology Research Seminar Series at Plymouth University, Feb 21 2018

2018 Undertaking Effective Community Engagement Through Community-Led Research: The Maker Memories Project, Guildhall, Plymouth 

2017 (Our) Generations and (Expanded) Geographies: Living Feminist Lives for A Feminist Space at Leeds; Looking back to Think forward December 16-17 2017, University of Leeds

2016 The Grammar of Glamour Part 2, Helsinki Photomedia: Materialities

2013 Remembering the City, Contemphoto'13, Istanbul

2012 The Grammar of Glamour, Helsinki Photomedia Conference, Aalto University

2010 Memory City; Remembering the City. MAPACA 2010, Alexandria VA. Urban Culture Panel

2009 Kurl up n Dye; the vernacular in British High Street culture. Northernness; Ideas and Images of the North in Visual Culture, University of Northumbria

2009 Shear Class; an ethnographic study of the British hair salon. MAPACA , Boston. Urban Culture Panel

2008 Some will pay (for what others will pay to avoid): Vernacular typography and the irreverence of popular culture. Networks of Design, University College, Falmouth

2008 Kurl up n Dye; the vernacular in British High Street culture. The Street, University of California at Irvine

2006 Towards an Ethics of Gnerosity in Contemporary Photographic Practice. North West Art and Design Research Seminar, Liverpool John Moores University

2004 AHRB and A Real Work of Art; Practice as Research. North West Art and Design Research Seminar, Cumbria Institute of the Arts, Carlisle.

Conferences organised

Mapping; The Land/Water Summer Symposium July 2013

Other academic activities

2015 Visiting Scholar, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts

2012-19 Faculty of Arts and Humanities Ethics Committee, Plymouth University

2012-19 Faculty of Arts and Humanities Equality and Diversity Committee, Plymouth University

2003-2010 Pathway Leader in Photography in MA Fine Art, University of Central Lancashire

2000-03 Course Leader MA Fine Art in Print, Photographic and Time-based Media, University of Central Lancashire

1997-00 Photography Pathway Leader MA Art and Design, University of Derby


Personal website 

Interview on Radio 4 Womans Hour

Visiting Lecturer Parsons School of Design