Professor Liz Wells
Professor in Photographic Culture
School of Art, Design and Architecture (Faculty of Arts & Humanities)
Member, Photography research group
B Sc Soc. Sociology/Social Administration, University of Bristol, 1977
PG Dip film Studies, Polytechnic of Central London (University fo Westminster, 1985
MA Visual Culture, Bath Spa University, 1994
Fellow, Royal Society of Arts.
Member, Society of Authors
Member, European Society for the History of Photography;
Board of Directors, Society for Photographic Education, USA.
Roles on external bodies
Visiting Professor, Belfast School of Art.
Member of teaching team for MA/MFA Photography.
Teaching interests: Photography History and Theory; land, landscape and environment as related to photographic practices
Staff serving as external examiners
No current appointments for taught courses.
Available as an external for doctoral level submissions.
Photography history, theory, criticism; contemporary photographic practices; Independent and Experimental Film and Video.
Land, Landscape and Environment; Image and Identity.
Research degrees awarded to supervised students
Gary Anderson, Ph D,
Grants & contracts
Visiting Research Fellow, Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra.
Jan - Apr 2010
AHRB Small Grant awarded, 2003, to support research towards the exhibition, Facing East, Contemporary landscape Photography from Baltic Areas.
British Council funding,
2011 (Oct), keynote talk, symposium, Tallinn Photography Festival, Estonia
2011 (June), contribution to symposium ‘Chrystel Lebas and SofijaSilvia, In Conversation’,Rijeka, Croatia
2004 Chobi Mela 3, PhotographyFestival, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Public lecture,broadcast TV interview; also workshop at SE Asian Institute of Photography
2001 conference paper, Why Pictures Now? - uses of photography, Bunkier SztukiKrakow, Poland
Creative practice & artistic projects
2014 Curator, Flow, time, movement, change, SichuanFine Art Institute and Gallery 501, Chongqing, November 29 – December 26 (tour,Jia Jialing Gallery, Nanchong City, January 2015)
Curator , Light Touch, Baltimore Washington InternationalAirport, facilitated by Maryland Arts Place. February – June.
2012 GuestCurator, Sense of Place, contemporarylandscape photography. Brussels, Centre des Beaux Arts, June – September 2012;
Curator , Landscapesof Exploration, recent British art from Antarctica, Peninsula Arts Gallery, Plymouth, February/March, and on tour (Scott Polar Research Institute, and Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge, October - November 2013; University of the Arts, Bournemouth, January- February 2015).
Curator,John Kippin and Chris Wainwright, FUTURELAND NOW, Laing Gallery, Newcastle, Autumn
2011 Curator,Chrystel Lebas and SofijaSilvia,Conversations on Nature, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka, Croatia, June/July
2006 Curator, Uneasy Spaces, 80Washington Square East Galleries, New York, USA 13 th September – 1 st November 2006. (galleries at New York University)
2004-7 Curator, Facing East,contemporary landscape photography from Baltic areas, Bournemout Arts Institute; Impressions Gallery, York; Plymouth Arts Centre; The Lighthouse, Wolverhampton; DickInstitute, Kilmarnock; Tullie House Museum and Gallery, Carlisle; Yard Gallery, Nottingham.
2000-1 Co-Curator , ShiftingHorizons (for IRIS Women’sPhotography Project, Staffordshire
University),Birmingham Museum; Derby Museum & Gallery; Stoke on Trent Museum
1994-5 Curator, Viewfindings, Newlyn Gallery, Penzance; Watershed,Bristol; National
Museumof Photography, Film and Theatre, Bradford; Zone Gallery, Newcastle
- Centre for Media, Art & Design Research (MADr)
- Land/Water and the Visual Arts
Co-editor Photography andCyprus, London: I B Tauris, 2014
Editor Futureland Now, work by John Kippin and Chris Wainwright. Plymouth: UPP, 2012
Editor Landscapes of Exploration, British Art from Antarctica. Plymouth: UPP, 2012
Author, LandMatters: Landscape Photography, Culture and Identity. London: I B Tauris,2011
Editor and co-author, Photography: A Critical Introduction, Routledge, 5th edition 2015. Chineseversion, 2012; Greek version, 2008; 4th ed 2009; 3rd ed2004, 2nd ed 2000 (shortlisted,The Reind M de Vries European Photography Prize 2001); 1st ed 1997;
Editor, The Photography Reader. Routeldge, 2003; 2nd edition, in 2 volumes, forthcoming 2017.
Co-editor, Land Water symposia series,University of Plymouth Press, (with Simon Standing) Beauty, 2011, Relic, 2009; Fictions, 2008; Change, 2007, Surface, 2005
Co-editor, ShiftingHorizons, Women’s Landscape Photography Now, I B Tauris,, 2000
Editor, Viewfindings, Women Photographers,‘Landscape’ and Environment, AvailableLight, 1994
Co-editor, photographies,Routledge/Taylor and Francis Journals. Vol. 1, 2008 onwards.
Advisory group, Exposure,Society for Photographic Education, USA. (from Spring 2011)
Editor, Camerawork 31, &32, 1985
‘Modes of Investigation:On Photography and Environment’ in HansHedberg, Gunilla Knape, Tyronne Martinsson and Louise Wolthers (eds) (2014) Broken:Environmental Photography. Gothenburg: University of Gothenburg, HasselbladFoundation & Art and Theory Publishing.
“A Man of the North’, inEsko Männikkö, Time Flies, Helsinki Taidehalli,Spring 2014,
‘Silent Witness’ inOscar Palaccio, American Places, SanFrancisco: Chroma (CIIS), 2013
‘We were there’ inTheopisti Stylianou-Lambert, Tourists Who Shoot. (catalogue) Nicosia: 2013
‘Under the Shadow ofChange’ exhibition text, Isabelle Pateer, Unsettled,Photofusion, London, 2013
‘Meditations on Form and Flow’in Per Bak Jensen, Lost. Copenhagen: Galleri Bo Bjerggaard,2012‘Beyond theExhibition, from Catalogue to Photobook’ in Di Bello, Wilson and Zamir eds.,The Photobook. London: I B Tauris. 2012
‘Questions of Distance’ in Yiannia Toumazis ed. TemporaryTaxonomy. Nicosia: Republic of Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture forCyprus Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 2011,
‘Potent Portraits’ in Michelle Sank, The Submerged. Schilt Publishing, 2011
‘Iceblink - In Search of aContemporary Sublime’ in Anne Noble, Spoolhenge,Antarctica. UPP, 2011
‘Space in between:on Women and Landscape Photography in Britain’ in Johan Swinnen & Luc
Deneulin The Weight of Photography. Brussels: Academic and Scientific Publishers,2010
‘Figures in a Landscape’ in Trine Søndergaard and Nicolai Howalt, How to Hunt.
Ostfildern, Germany: Hatje Cantz, 2010
'Enigmatic Landscapes' in (2010) Silent Landscapes. Exit 38. Madrid: Olivares &Associates S. L.
'The Extraordinary Everyday' in (2010) Marthe Aas , film and photography. Oslo: National Museum for Art, Architecture and Design. Exhibition catalogue.
'Poetics and Silence’, in Jorma Puranen (2009) Icy Prospects. Ostfildern, Germany: Hatje Cantz
'Revisiting photography as art; in Anna Auer and Ute Schogl eds. (2008) Jubilee, 30 years ESHPh. Vienna: Fotohof edition
‘Curatorial strategy as critical intervention - The Genesis of Facing East’ in Judith Rugg, ed. (2007) Issues in Curating, Contemporary Art and Peformance, Bristol: Intellect.
‘Darkening Days: a Critical Scenario in Three Acts’ in John Darwell, Dark Days, Stockport: Dewi Lewis, 2007
‘Jorma Puranen’, in Breaking the Ice, Contemporary Art from Finland. Bonn: Kunstmuseum, 2006
Entry writer, R Lenman, ed., The Oxford Companion to the Photograph, OUP, 2005
'Martin Pover, “Carceri”’, Portfolio 41, 2005
''Land Matters', Simone Kadi ed. (2003) Loisirs et Société britannique au xxeme siecle, Recherche Valenciennes No. 13, Presses Universitaires de Valenciennes.
'Icy Prospects', Malcolm Miles and Nicola Kirkham eds. (2003) Cultures and Settlements, Bristol: Intellect Books
'Then and Now, some notes on photography and theory' Source 33, Winter 2002, Belfast: Source
'Paradoxes of the Pastoral', John Kippin (2001) Cold War Pastoral, London: Black Dog Publishing
'Monstrous Beauty', catalogue for Su Grierson, Eyeshine, Street Level Gallery, Glasgow, 2001
Reviews and review articles include:
David Campany (2003) Art and Photography, Source 36, Autumn 2003, Belfast: Source
Terry Barrett (2002) Interpreting Art, for Journal of Visual Communication, Vol 3, No 1, 2004, London: Sage
Reports & invited lectures
Invited lectures since 2001 include:
Keynote lecture, 'Topographic Narratives', Cyprus international conference on photography, Nov 2010.
Public lecture, Braga photography festival, October 2010 (theme, Landscape)
Public lecture, Oslo, Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, September 2010: 'Reality Check', public talk in response to the installation of new work by Marthe Aas.
Monash University, Melbourne, 2010, 'Sun-Baked', research work-in-progess talk
Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, 2010, public talk - Topographic Narratives'
FotoGuanajuato, Mexico, 2006, keynote lecture, 'Image and Memory'
Natinal Photography Museum, Horten, Norway, 2005, symposium, 'What is a Photomuseum?'
Chobi Mela (Bphotography festival, Dhaka, Bangladesh), December 2004 'Jorma Puranen'
Zonezero (online photography journal, tenth anniversary conference, Mexico City, September 2003: '21st Century Cave Paintings - Online as Archive?'
National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo, May 2003: 'Thinking about Photographs: some considerations'
(Subsequently delivered at the University of Industrial Arts, Helsinki, September 2003; and at New York University, March 2004.)
European Society for the History of Photography, annual conference, Maastricht, November 2002: 'In-Between: Women and Landscape' (Subsequently delivered to graduate symposium on landscape phototgraphy, University of Wales, Caerleon, May 2002:)
Bunkier Sztuki, Krakow, Poland, May 2001,: 'Some Reflections on Debates about Photography' for symposium on Why Pictures Now? - uses of photography
University of Miami, February 2001: 'Women and Landscape' for postgraduate programme, Fine Art and Photographic Studies.
Other academic activities
Peer reviewer, conference on Emergent Landscapes, University of Westminster, 2010
Academic referee or reviewer, various promotion applications, nationally and internationally.
Co-editor, photographies, London: Routledge journals. First issue, Spring 2008. firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial Advisory Group, Visual Communications, London: Sage
Editorial Advisory Group, Visual Culture in Britain, Manchester: University of Manchester Press.