I am an architect and social anthropologist based in the School of Architecture Planning and Landscape at Newcastle University. My academic work engages with social, material and spatial practices in development contexts –particularly in Africa and LatinAmerica, where I have being carrying out long-term ethnographic field research into housing and living conditions for over 30 years. I am now working part-time and aim to spend more time on art related projects.
For many years I have been creating visual art pieces on a modest scale –largely 3D assemblages combined with photographic images. More recently much of my practice is a direct extension of my academic research–where I am seeking more innovative and creative ways to communicate and engage with audiences beyond academia. For example I have been drawing directly on my ongoing field research in Ethiopia, to create a series of public exhibitions (in Newcastle, Bath and Bristol)funded by awards from NICAP (Newcastle Institute of Creative Practice) and NISR (Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal). These exhibitions(three so far) focus on changing material cultures at a time of rapid social and economic change in Africa –and are piloting the potential of contemporary arts in challenging perceptions of international development.
I am currently planning a series of pieces which critique attitudes to health and environmental issues using found objects and recycled waste materials. I have plans for other projects and I am also interested in exploring new techniques.