Speaker Bios

Othello De’Souza-Hartley is a London based visual artist working in photography and film. He studied photography at Central Saint Martins and an MA in Visual Art from Camberwell College of Art.
De’Souza-Hartley’s work is inspired by the local, narratives of the body in relation to the history of place and coded space, and the complexities of identity formation. His work challenges notions of social and cultural normativity. He presents his subjects as components of an enigma, or indeed as enigmas themselves, suspended in a moment of timelessness, where the confines of age, race and gender have the potential to dissipate and be redefined. His work has anthropological sensibility, by revealing the psychological and social conditions of his subjects; he seeks to strip away the veneer between a person and their world. De’Souza-Hartley’s works illuminate the forgotten narratives of the ordinary stranger; from the working class man to the community protagonist.   Influenced by moody, classical painting aesthetics; the subtleties of tonal colours and composition, ‘De’Souza-Hartley’s imagery is often an intoxicating paradox within a silent world; dark, but resolutely beautiful’.

De’Souza-Hartley is the recipient of numerous commissions including the National Portrait Gallery, The Photographers’ Gallery, Camden Arts Centre and Platform for Art. He has had solo exhibitions at The Museum of Liverpool, Camden Arts Centre and The Underground Gallery, and has been included in group shows at the Gasworks Gallery and APT gallery in London. http://www.othellodesouzahartley.com/


Liza Dracup is based in the north of England. Her photographic
research and collections-based investigations have underpinned her
PhD at the University of Sunderland: Photographic strategies for
visualising the landscape and natural history of Northern England:
the ordinary and the extraordinary (2017). Her work questions how
photography made in response to specific (northern) landscapes and
natural histories can operate within the field of landscape aesthetics
and align with the wider cultural debates about the value of the ‘local’
from an environmental and personal perspective.
Her research tests out strategies that capitalise on the
transformational qualities of photography. She engages with
experimental photographic strategies, which present us with
paradoxes that extend beyond human vision. Her photographs place
emphasis on the extraordinary properties of the ordinary and reveal
hidden or unseen aspects, leading to a more informed,
comprehensive and enriched idea of the northern landscape and its
natural history.
Her wider research loop extends to re-positioning a wide range of
historical collections based research material across photographic,
artistic and science disciplines. This research trajectory continues an
on-going photographic examination of the broader cultural value of
the ordinary and the local. Her work has been nationally and
internationally recognised through nominations for the Deutsche
Börse Photography Prize (2012) and the Prix Pictet (2009).  https://www.lizadracup.co.uk/


Charlie Gregory has been Director of The NewBridge Project since 2013. The NewBridge Project is a vibrant artist-led community supporting the development of artists and curators through the provision of space for creative practice, curatorial opportunities and an ambitious artist-led programme of exhibitions, commissions, artist development and events.

Charlie has previously worked with AV Festival, ISIS Arts, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, Wunderbar and delivered international projects with Asia Europe Foundation in Malaysia and the British Council in Johannesburg.
More info about The NewBridge Project: http://thenewbridgeproject.com


John Kippin’s career began in the early 1970s when he was a key figure in the co-operative of young artists who ran 2B Butler’s Wharf at Tower Bridge. In this decade he was instrumental in presenting artists’ film, performance, and installation projects in public and gaining recognition for new media in the visual arts. In the 1980s Kippin began to receive widespread recognition for his own photographic artwork, exhibiting in public venues from the Serpentine Gallery in 1981 to the Laing Art Gallery in 1989. In the 1990s he was awarded major one-person exhibitions at venues including The Photographers’ Gallery, London and his work was acquired for the permanent collections of national institutions. He also exhibited across Europe, North America and Asia. In the 2000s he undertook research residencies at places such as the military base Greenham Common and the stately home Compton Verney, and published a sequence of ground-breaking artist’s books. Since then he also exhibited bodies of work at venues from BALTIC to the Imperial War Museum. Kippin’s artwork is represented in three of the UK’s national collections of contemporary art, having recently been acquired for the Arts Council Collection in 2018, and having works in the Victoria & Albert Museum and British Council Collection.  He is Emeritus Professor in Photography at the University of Sunderland and is chair of the visual arts organisation Locus+.  http://johnkippin.com


Helen McGhie is based in Manchester, UK and graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2014 where she explored the relationship between the performance of femininity, liminal spaces and photography. She is currently working on her practice-based PhD ‘Stargazing at the ‘Invisible’: Photography and the Power of Obscured Light’ at the University of Sunderland (in partnership with Kielder Observatory, Northumberland) which is investigating photography and astronomy’s shared fascination with darkness, gender disparities in science and the transformative potential of darkness.   Her awards include: Winner, British Women Artists Competition (2016), Winner, The Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers Prize for Photography (2014), Nominated, Magnum Graduate Award (2015, 2017). Past exhibitions include: And Again/Sluice_at New York, Brooklyn Fire Proof (New York, 2016), Hello Future! Talent’s Archive, Onassis Cultural Centre (Athens, 2015) and Penumbra, APT Gallery (London, 2014). Her work has been published in: Graphic Design School, Thames and Hudson (2017), The Sunday Times Magazine (November, 2014) and Science and Fiction, Black Dog Publishing (2014). McGhie is included in Madam and Eve: Women Portraying Women, a new publication of international artists who explore the female gaze by Liz Rideal and Kathleen Soriano, Laurence King Publishing (2018).   www.helenmcghie.com


Sarah Pickering is a London based, British artist interested in fakes, tests, hierarchy, sci-fi, explosions, photography and gunfire. Selected group exhibitions include How We Are: Photographing Britain, Tate Britain 2007; Theatres of the Real, Fotomuseum, Antwerp 2009; Manipulating Reality, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, 2009/10; Signs of a Struggle: Photography in the Wake of Postmodernism, Victoria and Albert Museum, 2011; Living in the Ruins of the Twentieth Century, UTS Gallery, Sydney 2013; and Staging Disorder, LCC London 2015, Revelations, Experiments in Photography, Media Space, Science Museum, London & National Media Museum 2016; Manifesta 11, Zurich 2016 curated by Francesca Gavin and Christian Jankowski.  Solo exhibitions include Incident Control at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago 2010 and Celestial Objects at Durham Art Gallery, 2013. She has been the recipient of several awards including the Photographers Gallery Graduate Award, a Jerwood Award for Photography and the mima Castlegate Prize for Photography in 2015. Her work has been featured in numerous publications, and her monograph, Explosions, Fires and Public Order is published by Aperture and MoCP. She currently holds the post of Teaching Fellow in Photography at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London.  http://www.sarahpickering.co.uk/

Hannah Starkey was born in Belfast in 1971. She has received numerous awards throughout her career including the Vogue Condé Nast Award, 1997, the 3rd International Tokyo Photo Biennale’s Award for Excellence, 1999 and the St. James Group Ltd Photography Prize, 2002. Recent solo exhibitions include Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, France, 2016 and Maureen Paley, London, UK, 2015, as well as previous solo exhibitions at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, USA, 2013, Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, UK, 2011, Church of Light, a commission by the German Protestant Church, Frankfurt, 2010, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin and Castello di Rivoli, Turin both in 2000 and Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK in 1999. Hannah Starkey was invited to curate a room in History Is Now: 7 Artists Take on Britain, Hayward Gallery, London, UK and in 2014 she selected works for Magnum: One Archive, Three Views | BPB14, Part of Brighton Photo Biennale 2014, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea, UK. Her work was included in Transparency, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK, Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915 – 2015, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK, 2015, Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography, Belfast Exposed and The MAC, Belfast, UK. Hannah Starkey’s photographs are represented in the collections of the Centraal Museum in Utrecht, Huis Marseille Museum for Photography in Amsterdam, Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Castello di Rivoli in Turin, Italy, Seattle Art Museum, Tate in London and Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Starkey lives and works in London.   https://www.maureenpaley.com/artists/hannah-starkey?image=1


George Vasey is a curator and writer born in Newcastle upon Tyne. He graduated with a BA Fine Art from Newcastle University and Curating MFA from Goldsmiths College. His writing has appeared in Art Monthly, Art Review, Frieze, Kaleidoscope and Mousse magazine. From 2014 to 2016 he was curator at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland where he worked on commissions and exhibitions with Joanna Piotrowska, Jeffrey Dennis, Beatriz Olabarrieta, Nicholas Pope, Maria Zahle and Jonathan Baldock among others. He is currently working on curatorial projects for Newcastle University and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts, Gateshead. He has worked independently on projects at commercial, artist-led and public institutions across the UK. In 2017 he was Co-Curator on Turner Prize, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull. In 2016 he worked alongside Milly Thompson as an advisor on Syllabus II, an alternative educational programme facilitated by Wysing, S1 ArtSpace, Studio Voltaire, New Contemporaries, Eastside Projects and Spike Island. Upcoming projects include, The Everyday Political (Part I & II) at Workplace, Gateshead and CGP, London.   https://georgegvasey.wordpress.com/


Julian Germain studied photography at Trent Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art in London. He has published several books, including ‘In Soccer Wonderland’(1994) and ‘The Face of the Century’ (1999).  His first book, ‘Steel Works’ (1990), utilised a combination of his own photographs alongside historical images and pictures from various sources including family albums to examine the effects of the closure of Consett steelworks as well as broader issues of post industrialisation. Julian’s continued belief in the value of amateur and ‘functional’ images is also reflected in his recent book, ‘For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness’, published by SteidlMack in 2005, and also in his project ‘The Running Line’, a sculptural installation in Saltwell Park, Gateshead in 2007, of more than 139,000 pictures made during the previous year’s ‘Great North Run’.

Since 1995 he has been working with Brazilian artists, Patricia Azevedo and Murilo Godoy on a number of collaborative photography projects with favela communities and street children who produce the imagery themselves.  The No Olho da Rua collective are planning to publish and exhibit material produced by Brazilian street children over the last 20 years.
He has also recently exhibited and published ‘Classroom Portraits’, 2004 – 2012, a global project about education.

In 2014, Germain set up the Ashington District Star, a free local newspaper for the Northumbrian ex-mining town, run with local people who wish to creatively explore their everyday surroundings. Amongst other projects, Julian is currently developing a major portrait project featuring 4 and 5 generation families with the Institute of Genetic Medicine at Newcastle University. He lives and works in Northumberland, UK and is Visiting Professor of the Northern Centre of Photography.


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