CRCC News and Highlights

Student Research Award 2018

We are pleased to announce the call for the Centre for Research on Communities and Cultures SMAD Student Research Award 2018, which aims to recognise outstanding research by students in the School of Media Art and Design.

Winners of the award will receive:

  • £300 cash prize
  • Associate Centre membership for a year
  • Opportunity to contribute to the Centre’s activities and research
  • Recognition at the Centre’s Annual Conference and in its publications

Deadline for application is 17 May.

The piece of research may be empirically or conceptually based or involve the creation of a practice-based research outcome (e.g. artefact, film, news report, design work, photograph). The work may be part of a module/degree assessment or result of extra-curriculum activities.

The topic of the research must address one of the following research areas of the Centre:

  • Coastal communities
  • Communities, cultures and memory
  • Film archives, communities and cultures
  • News and journalism in the digital age
  • Social media and communities

Further information about the call, including how to apply can be found here. If you have any questions, please contact Karen Shepherdson or Agnes Gulyas

Coastal Communities - Between the Tides

Centre member Rob Ball and CRCC Co-Director Dr Karen Shepherdson have been undertaking practice-based research with coastal communities since 2012. In late June 2017 the sea bathing community of Cliftonville, Margate gathered at the Grade II listed Walpole Bay tidal pool in celebration of its 80th anniversary. Rob and Karen were commissioned to respond to this event and their ongoing research confirms this place as a vital free space in which diverse communities come together to play, swim, fish and socialise. At the anniversary event Rob and Karen photographed a number of the swimmers and were assisted by recent CCCU graduates Jason Pay and Shaun Vincent. In October 2017 there was an associated exhibition in the Burton Gallery, Broadstairs and an evening of related presentations and film screenings.

You can view some of the photographs here in this gallery. 

Journal of Photography & Culture Editor Appointment


CRCC Co-Director Dr Karen Shepherdson has been appointed as an editor for the Journal of Photography & Culture.

Centre Co-Director Dr Karen Shepherdson has recently been appointed as UK editor for the Journal of Photography & Culture. This important journal began a decade ago under the leadership of Val Williams who recognised that with the demise of Creative Camera magazine in the early 2000s a vacuum had been left. Photography & Culture, although very different, aimed to fill that gap. Now in its tenth year, Photography & Culture has become an integral part of the continuing emergence of photography as a vital part of our world culture. Val with Kathy Kubicki remain as founding editors of the Journal and are now joined by Karen along with Sarah Pearson (Americas) They are assisted by recent CCCU graduate Shaun Vincent.

Forestry Commission Invite CRCC Co-Director to Exhibit

A Welcome Rest (On Tour). CRCC Co-Director Dr Karen Shepherdson has been commissioned by the Forestry Commission and funded through Arts Council England to take her long-term project The Welcome Rest to the beautiful forest environment of Grizedale in Cumbria.

Working with the Forestry Commission, Forest Art Works and members of the dog walking community, CRCC Co-Director Dr Karen Shepherdson provided a three-day free photographic portrait shoot of dogs and their walkers. This project, funded by Arts Council England became a solo exhibition and publication at the Grizedale Forest Centre Gallery in Cumbria - offering an articulation of how not only place and space enriches existence, but how the seemingly mundane - yet complex relationships - between dogs and their walkers enhance the everyday. Outputs from the Project included: a solo exhibition / a publication / an bespoke box of prints for the Forestry Commission's archive.

Cultures of Surface Published in Theory, Culture & Society


Centre Director Dr Karen Shepherdson practice-based research features in the Journal of Theory, Culture & Society. Academics Rebecca Coleman (Goldsmiths) and Liz Oakley-Brown (Lancaster) edited the Special Section ‘Visualizing Surfaces, Surfacing Vision’ for TCS and wrote of Shepherdson’s work:

Karen Shepherdson’s practice-based research is underpinned by a concern for visioning surfaces ‘created by our perceptual apparatus’. Shepherdson’s artwork Band Apart is a multimedia installation comprising two pieces – the three-dimensional ‘Landscape with Unified Forms’ and the two-dimensional ‘Landscape with Fragmented Forms’.

As she walked around her local landscape of the Isle of Thanet, Kent, Shepherdson used mobile phone technology to photograph in situ one thousand rubber bands discarded by postal workers during their rounds. Each photograph fashioned ‘its own space around each band, framed by different surfaces, textures and juxtaposed objects’. These images were then ‘randomly located by a computer program, to a contained space within a 3810mm by 1120mm frame’. In so doing, Shepherdson explored how this arbitrary ‘reappropriation’ altered the prosaic and mundane nature of the materials and how ‘surface, form and colour coalesce as viewing distance from the work increases’ (Shepherdson, 2013). As Shepherdson explains, these ‘two interconnected works…[open] up new research, making explicit connections between photographic images, surface, texture and three-dimensional installations’. Invested in capturing the simultaneous forming/performance of surface, Shepherdson’s Band Apart presses Hookway’s (2014: 14) view that ‘a surface presents form, while an interface performs a shaping.'


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Last edited: 13/12/2018 17:31:00