Staff Profile


Dr Sam Vale

Senior Lecturer

School: Media, Art and Design

Campus: Canterbury

Tel: 01227 925172

Profile summary

Dr. Sam Vale holds a BA(hons) in Photography from Portsmouth University, an MA in Sequential Design from Brighton University and a PhD from the University of the Arts London (L.C.C.).

While focusing on photography, Sam’s research engages a diverse range of subjects that include narrative, graphic design, illustration, moving image, sound and material culture. Examining the intersections of these different media, Sam’s PhD by practice investigates the private space of collectors. In particular, Sam creates spatial portraits using a range of places to tell intimate narratives. Concentrating on the nuances that make people individuals, these artworks employ oral histories gained in relation to objects, memory, experience and nostalgia, revealing insight into individual circumstances and personal situations. Working in close collaboration with participants, Sam collects the personal accounts of each subject and re-presents them, producing artworks that aim to disclose their motivations, satisfactions and frustrations associated with space. These re-presentations create a meta-narrative of each spatial investigation, which is further examines the temporality through the combined use of photography, film and sound.

Sam’s post-doctoral research continues to look at collecting, but as a form of methodology for examining and investigating different aspects of space and time. His recent publication ‘Loop: The stupid things that adults do’ and his project on Kent cherries ‘Picked,’ use techniques associated with collecting to reveal subtle narratives about change, community and location.

A selection of his work is available on his website

Research and knowledge exchange

Sam co-convened the international peer-reviewed conference ‘Nostalgias: Visualising Longing (2013) ’, which examined the multiple concepts of nostalgia and how longing manifests itself within contemporary culture. In addition to the conference Sam Co-curated the Nostalgias Exhibition (Margate 2013).

Teaching and subject expertise

Sam currently module leads:

  • Introduction to Creative Photographic Practice
  • Visual Research
  • Documenting the Real
  • Advanced Digital Photography
  • Sequential Design
  • Mixed Media Research Methods
  • Mixed Media Project

Sam is currenently the External Examiner for the Theory Modules on the BA (Hons) Interior Design Decoration at Southampton Solent University

External activities

  • ‘Re-presenting Biographical Objects’: seminar presentation with Dr Sara Davidmann, London College of Communication (January 2012)
  • ‘The Photographer as Collector’: Public talk, Sydney Cooper Gallery (June 2013)
  • 'Rumination on Space and Time': Public talk as part of Moose on the Loose Bienale, The Old Look Out Gallery (May 2015)

Publications and research outputs

  • Making a Killing (2011) photographic and text based exhibition: Citing Reverie, The Minories, Colchester
  • Unobtainable Dreams (2011) 29 mins film: Citing Reverie,  The Minories, Colchester and Canterbury Exchange, University Galleries of Illinois State University, US
  • Hook, Line and Sinker (2012) 15 mins film: Research in Progress: Pushing Boundaries and Practices, Well Space, London
  • It’s Not all Roses (2013) 31 mins film: The Collected, Sydney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury
  • Loop: The Stupid Things That Adults Do (2015) Burton Press, Broadstairs

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Last edited: 09/09/2019 10:29:00