Members of Document and Location Research Group
Members of the group work across multiple disciplines. Read their short biographies to find out about their expertise and interests.
Lee Elkins is Senior Lecturer in Photography at UWE Bristol.
Elkins is the founder and Creative Director of The Lost Light Recordings. Established in 2018, Lost Light Recordings is an independent publisher that works with photographers to realise projects through the medium of the photobook. The books he has created under the imprint since 2018, including Cian Oba-Smith’s Andover & Six Acres, Sadie Catt’s Woodstock and the forthcoming Harrowdown Hill by John Spinks, explore the political landscape and its effect on people and place.
Passionate about creating expressions of photographers’ work that reflect the integrity of their practice, Elkins collaborates creatively with both established photographic artists and new talent to create distinctive photobooks. Elkins manages the whole process of creating a book with intense detail: the editing and sequencing of photographs with the artist, the graphic design and materiality, personally overseeing the printing, and finally hand-binding the books. This attention to detail calls on Elkins’ previous experience as a master bookbinder in the printing industry and his conviction that the photobook can, in the right hands, become a complex intellectual dialogue between photographer and reader.
Elkins worked as a bookbinder for twenty years in Frome, Somerset, for one of the UK’s most significant printers before gaining a first class BA(Hons) in Photography from UWE Bristol and an MA in Photography and the Book from Plymouth University.
Sophie Hayes is currently a Senior Lecturer in Fine Arts at UWE Bristol.
Using photography and moving image, Hayes’ work explores how ideas of temporality and transience relate to location. The work often exists within the guise of the document, but things are not what they seem: solid structures unravel as facade or folly; mutually opposed forces are exposed and unfixed. Hayes is compelled to explore this confusion of definition: where a site or idea slips from being one thing to another, becoming simultaneously neither and both, pushing and pulling the viewer into new states within the seemingly familiar.
Hayes has exhibited internationally, showing work in solo and group exhibitions in public venues in the UK, Czech Republic, France, Iceland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and USA. She has also undertaken major residencies in Europe: the Centre of Contemporary Arts (Prague, Czech Republic); Staranzano (Italy); and Edsvik Konsthall (Sweden).
Simon Morrissey is currently a Senior Lecturer in Fine Arts at UWE Bristol. He is a curator whose practice responds to the idea of place as both the generator of curatorial narratives and conceptual frameworks through which exhibitions are generated and artists commissioned to create new work.
Morrissey is the Director of Foreground. Established in 2007, Foreground makes new art for new audiences. The organisation delivers an ambitious programme that spans commissioning new temporary and permanent artworks in the diverse social and physical structures of communities. Foreground bring diverse partners together to make distinctive projects happen, which often see social communities become artistic collaborators in the creation of new artworks for the place they come from.
Morrissey’s curatorial projects beyond Foreground have been produced in a diversity of contexts including public galleries and museums in the UK, a major international touring exhibition for the British Council and exhibitions for leading commercial galleries. He has written extensively on contemporary art and edited publications for numerous leading galleries and publishers in Britain and internationally including Tate. Recent significant projects beyond Foreground’s programme include Qwaypurlake, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2015, and We The People Are The Work, a major multi-site project across Plymouth in 2017.
Dr Mike Ricketts
Dr Ricketts is currently Associate Head of Department in the School of Art and Design at UWE Bristol. Concerned with specific spaces and histories, Dr Ricketts develops projects that explore the uncertainties and paradoxes of contemporary public space.
By asking questions, following unlikely leads and making propositions, Dr Ricketts often runs into bureaucratic structures such as those associated with urban regulation and planning, which he then uses as both subject and location for his work. Shaped by the day-to-day operation of such structures, both at their fringes and in everyday scenarios, the form of Dr Ricketts’ work varies but often manifests itself as talisman-like objects and small rebellions as much as explorations of regulations and rules. Projects have involved residents fly-posting across a market town, the production of a film recounting the artist’s attempts to access a prison ship, and the shutting down of a public exhibition by the CEO of an urban development quango.
Significant projects include the performance lecture The Vessel at Her Majesty’s Prison (The Verne, Portland) in 2012, and the subsequent exhibition, The Vessel, (Works|Projects, Bristol) in 2013; Notes from Nowhere (Foreground, Frome) in 2012; So it Goes (Exeter Phoenix) in 2015.
Aaron Schuman is currently Programme Leader of MA Photography at UWE Bristol. Schuman’s work explores expanding notions of documentary practice within photographic history, contemporary art photography and popular/vernacular photographic culture. He explores the complex relationships between notions of truth, place, memory, documentation and storytelling, as well as the links between longstanding histories/traditions within documentary photography and contemporary photographic approaches and practices.
Schuman has authored books and essays for leading publishers including Barbican Art Gallery, The Science Museum, Aperture, University of California Press, Prestel, and MACK. He has curated exhibitions for FotoMuseum Antwerp, Museum of Contemporary Art (Krakow), Ethnographic Museum (Krakow), Houston Center of Photography, FotoFest International, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites and Jaipur Photo 2018.
His work has been exhibited internationally, at venues including Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Christie’s (New York/London), Ethnographic Museum (Krakow), ICA (London), TATE Modern (Members Room), and more. His monograph, FOLK, was cited as one of 2016’s ‘Best Photobooks’ by The Guardian and TIME, and was longlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2017. His latest monograph, SLANT, was published by MACK in 2019.
Sophie Warren and Jonathan Mosley
Sophie Warren is an artist and Jonathan Mosley is currently Associate Professor of Architecture in the Department of Architecture and the Built Environment at UWE Bristol.
Warren and Mosley’s collaborative work uses found and generated architectural spaces as settings for physical or imaginary occupation. These settings and occupations explore the real, the symbolic and the imaginary of architecture. Within them the coded forms of architecture and its rules, roles and territories are destabilised and transgressed.
Warren and Mosley often enlist participants in their work to open up a space of plurality and contingency that allows for negotiation and improvisation by its ‘players’. Their work mobilises momentary collectives of bodies, objects and architecture, that are discursive, mediated, playful and rogue.
Their projects have been commissioned by museums, galleries and research organisations internationally, including: ‘Days of Action’ event series for Tate Modern, London (2018); ‘A Nodding Acquaintance’ for The Edge, University of Bath (2017); Institute Français 2016 artist laureates for residency at the French Communist Party Headquarters, Paris; ‘Rogue Game’ (with Can Altay) a series of hybrid games forming solo exhibitions at Firstsite, Colchester (2015), Spike Island, Bristol (2012), Casco, Utrecht (2011), Showroom, London (2010); event series ‘Utopian talk-show line-up’ for SantralIstanbul/Bilgi University, Istanbul (2014), Moderna Museet/ResArc, Malmo (2014); ‘Strategies of Indirection’ for ‘The Right to the City’ at Tins Sheds Gallery/University of Sydney (2011). Publication projects include ‘Beyond Utopia’ (Berlin: Errant Bodies Press, 2012) presenting a provocative planning application for an imaginary architectural vertical common for the City of London.