Dr Nicky Bird PhD

Job Title:

Reader in Contemporary Photographic Practice, PhD Coordinator (School of Fine Art)


School of Fine Art



Nicky Bird, The Decorators, 2019 / 2020, Art Walk Projects
Photo: @susanneramsenthaler

Nicky Bird, The Decorators, 2019 / 2020, Art Walk Projects


Dr Nicky Bird

Nicky Bird investigates the contemporary relevance of found photographs, the latent histories of archives and specific sites. She is interested in a key question: what is our relationship to the past, and what is the value we ascribe to it? Nicky explores this through photography, bookworks, the Internet and New Media. She is also interested in creating artworks that make visible the process of collaboration. These collaborations are with people who have significant connections to materials originally found in archives.

From 2007, her research has become increasingly preoccupied with themes of photography, archives, land & narratives of placemaking. These narratives often include the ‘unmaking’ of place (whether through economic decline, regeneration etc). The digital trace of the artefact is also a key concern, alongside the relationship between photography, community memory and intangible heritage.

Recent exhibitions include Legacy, Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow (2021); Media Archaeology: Excavations, NEoN Digital Arts Festival, Dundee (2017); Ghosting the Castle, Helmsdale (2017); Alt-w, Edinburgh Arts Festival (2016); Tall Tales: women artists’ playful exploration of the human experience, UK Touring Show (2016); Travelling the Archive, Isle of Skye (March 2016); Family Ties; Reframing Memory, The Peltz Gallery, London (July 2014); and Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present, National Gallery, London & CaixaForum Barcelona, Madrid (2012-13). Published works include ‘Ghosting the Castle: the case of (re)landscaping in a Northern place’ in Proximity and Distance in Northern Landscape Photography: Contemporary Criticism, Curation and Practice (Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld, 2020); ‘Wanted – New Custodians for Family Photographs: Vernacular Photographs on eBay and the Album as Artwork’ in Picturing the Family: Media, Narrative, Memory (Bloomsbury, London, 2018); and ‘Whither the Roots? Photographing the erased home,’ in Home/Land: Women, Citizenship, Photographies (Liverpool University Press, 2016).

Nicky is active in 2 research groups: Co-coordinator of The Family Ties Network, a nationwide research group of writers and artists who explore memory, space, place and the family in photography and moving image; Co-initiator & Co-coordinator of GSA Reading Landscape Research Group with Sue Brind (Reader in Contemporary Art: Practice & Events, Department of Sculpture & Environmental Art).

Her research & supervisory interests include: authorship & agency in photography practices; artistic claims for 'participation' & 'collaboration' as part of a methodology; vernacular photography and critical debates particularly relating to photography in its broadest sense; feminist interventions; notions of the archive; social class & latent histories.

Nicky Bird on RADAR

In the field with the vernacular photograph: archive, community memory and intangible heritage​

In the field with the vernacular photograph: archive, com...

08/12/22 16:57

Aerial Landscapes

Aerial Landscapes Bird, Nicky , Sleeman, Joy, Bell-Jones...

11/04/22 10:42


Nicky |

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