This event is part of the DEVELOP strand in our new autumn/winter programme;

How can research benefit your photography? Shirley Read presents an afternoon exploring the possibilities of research - the lifeblood of photographic practice.



Research is a central component of photographic projects. It can make a project more compelling and stronger, and it's essential if you want your work to be considered by galleries, museums and publishers. But there are many ways to do it. It's not something to be afraid of, and it doesn't need to be academic.

In her forthcoming book, Photographers and Research: The Idea, the Process and the Project Shirley Read explores the different ways research can work and emphasises it as the lifeblood of photographic practice. By illuminating the nature and scope of research and its application to practical photography, her guide explores the ways in which research provides a critical framework to help develop awareness, extend subject knowledge, shape ideas, and inform the development of photographic work that has relevance. Through a range of richly illustrated case studies, the authors consider research as integral to the creative process, and explore ways that photographers have embedded research strategies into their creative practice. 

For this workshop, Shirley will explore the possibilities of research with two of the book's contributors - expedition photographer Martin Hartley and photographic artist Sian Bonnell.

Shirley Read
Shirley Read is an independent curator based in London.  She currently curates exhibitions for the Idea Store Canary Wharf during the Photomonth International Photography Festival. She has been interviewing photographers about their lives and work for the Oral History of British Photography (part of the National Sound Archive at the British Library) for over twenty years. She teaches at every level of photographic practice and her book Exhibiting Photography (Focal Press 2008 & 2014) has been published in Chinese and English. Her current book (with Dr Mike Simmons) Photographers and Research: the idea, the process and the project is due to be published by Focal Press in December 2016.

Martin Hartley
Martin Hartley is an expedition and adventure photographer who has worked extensively in polar regions. He works on, and documents, scientific expeditions as well as some of the world's most inaccessible places. He has over a decade of travel on journeys to the north and south poles and is one of the only photographers in the world with the skills to cross the frozen Arctic Ocean on foot and with dogs. He was nominated by Time magazine as one of their Heroes of the Environment in 2009 for his work with the Catlin Arctic Survey in documenting sea ice cover and ocean acidification.

His work has been published internationally by: the National Geographic, The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph and the New York Times; Hotshoe, the British Journal of Photography, Practical Photography and Digital Photography. 

He is Director of Photography for Sidetracked magazine. His first book was Face to Face: Polar Portraits, published by the Scott Polar Research Institute. He has exhibited at venues including the Royal Geographical Society in London, the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge and Iniziative Culturali in Trieste, Italy.

Sian Bonnell
Sian Bonnell is a UK-based artist living in West Yorkshire and teaching at Manchester Metropolitan University. In 2010 she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship at the Royal Photographic Society for her contribution to Fine Art Photography and in 2011 she was awarded the Photoworks Senior Research Fellowship at the British School at Rome. Her images have been exhibited and published widely, most recently at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London throughout 2015. 

This event starts at 13:30 until 16.00 on 1 December 2016. Doors open at 13:00.

This event takes place at Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley St, Manchester M2 3JL. The venue is fully accessible. 

Please book your ticket using the links below. You need to be signed in to do so. Tickets are £20. Redeye members £10, concession tickets £15.

Who is it for?

This event is for any photographers and artists working on projects; for students and graduates, and for anyone keen to exhibit or publish their work.

Image: Ruth, Powis Gardens, London 1992' from Nigel Shafran's workbooks c. Nigel Shafran

Related DEVELOP events:
Rethinking Your Business Model 
Dodge the Shredder with Emilia Telese

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