Dr Nicky Bird PhD

Job Title:

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


School of Fine Art



Nicky Bird: Travelling the Archive, 2015
Tana (Catriona) Finlayson holding tartan rug inside shop, Kyleakin. October 1964 (The Joan Wilcock Collection, Courtesy of Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre, SL/D110/8/12)

Nicky Bird: Travelling the Archive, 2015


Dr Nicky Bird

Nicky Bird is an artist whose work investigates the contemporary relevance of found photographs, the hidden 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? Since her practice-led PhD at Leeds University (1994-99) she has explored this through photography, bookworks, the Internet and New Media. In varying ways, she is 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.

In 2008 Nicky received a major Stills photographic commission for the project Beneath the surface / Hidden Place, which toured across Scotland over two years before culminating in a book publication (2010). Residencies, such as the Glasgow Women's Library (2009-10), and solo shows - from Question for Seller (2006) to Archaeology of the Ordinary (2011) - have all played their part in shaping Nicky's current thinking about the digital trace of the artefact. This shifts from eBay and ‘found’ family photographs, which were central to Question for Seller to more recent use of oral reminiscence and archaeological methods within site specific installations. Alongside working at the GSA, Nicky is involved with residencies, exhibitions, and contributions to arts journalism.

Research & supervisory interests include: authorship and agency in photography practices; artistic claims for 'participation' and 'collaboration' as part of a methodology; the commonplace, vernacular (or ‘found’ photograph) as part of a wider artistic practice; practical approaches to photographic portraiture and critical debates particularly relating to art photography; feminist interventions, notions of the archive and themes of hidden histories.

View Nicky Bird's outputs on the GSA Research Repository


Nicky |

Visit the artist's own website

Nicky Bird on RADAR

Shadowing Rogovin: Retracing 'Family of Miners,' Scotland 1982

Shadowing Rogovin: Retracing 'Family of Miners,' Scotland...

07/10/20 8:45

Practicing Landscape: Land, Histories & Transformation

Practicing Landscape: Land, Histories & Transformation B...

05/06/20 8:17