Land/Water and the Visual Arts
'The Lawes of the Marches' – copyright Katie Davies 2015

Land/Water consists of artists, writers and curators who embrace a diversity of creative and critical practices. As a research group it operates as a forum for interrogation of nature and culture, aesthetics and representation. Questioning imagery and practices relating to land, landscape and place is central to our ethos. As artists, writers, curators we work individually exploring space and place as a point of departure for experimenting in new modes of communication through picturing. We generate work that addresses a range of issues. These include environmental change, sustainability, journey, site and regional specificity.

In addition a forum for theoretical and methodological debate is constructed through research events, exchange exhibitions (with other HE Institutions), conferences, symposia and publications.

Professor Liz Wells awarded an honorary Doctorate

Professor Liz Wells has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, for her contributions within the fields of photography history, theory, curation and criticism internationally. This is especially significant as there is a particular interest in photography and environment at Valand Academy (Department for Film, Photography, Fine Art and Literary Composition) and also an established working relationship between photography and the Hasselblad Foundation, Gothenburg. 

The honorary doctoral conferment took place at their annual University doctoral degree ceremony on October 20 2017. 

Liz Wells will be returning to Gothenburg to participate in a Valand Academy research day on December 4 2017.

Professor Liz Wells receiving her honorary doctorate

Congratulations to Lu La Buzz who has recently completed her PhD 

The States and Status of Clay: Material, Metamorphic and Metaphorical Values

This doctoral project combines a performance-led practice with contextual research in order to demonstrate how arts practice can challenge historical perceptions of clay and enhance its material status. 

In terms of locality, the practice, which comprises eight performance-led works and related documentation, focuses on the China Clay and Ball Clay of South West England. Traditionally in the arts, these materials are associated with ceramics where through heating, clay becomes rigid and fixed. By contrast, Lu La Buzz' research investigates the textural fluidity and metamorphic potential of these clays in their original raw state.

Image title: Parent Rock 2. Photo credit: M Balmforth 

Past events

  • Land/Water and the Visual Arts Research Group and Moving Image Arts Research Group jointly presents Kaz Rahman – 28 February 2018, 15:30–17:00, SCB 102
  • Kayla Parker / Stuart Moore ‘Father-land’ Work-in-progress from NiMAC / Land/Water Cyprus residency – 22 November 2017, 15:30–17:00, SCB 102
  • Research seminar – Esther Johnsen, 1 November 2017, 15:30–17:00
  • Kayla Parker’s new film ‘On Location’ is screening in the In the Open exhibition at Sheffield Institute of Art Gallery from 6–28 September 2017. You can find more details on the 'In the Open' artist's listing for Kayla Parker:
  • To celebrate its tenth anniversary, photographies journal held a two-day international conference – 'Critical Issues in Photography Today' 18–19 May 2017, University of Westminster, London UK. Photographies is co-edited by Liz Wells
  • Annual Summer Symposium – 'Territories' 22–23 June 2017 – Speaker Emeric Lhuisset
  • Research seminar – 15 March 2017 15:00–17:00 Scott Building, Room 102 – Speakers Fedra Dekeyser and Claudia Pilsl 
  • Research seminar – 10 May 2017 14:00–16:00 Scott Building, Room 102 – Speaker Esther Johnson 
  • Safekeeping bees – 'An inter-disciplinary exploration of the future for bees in Britain’ symposium
    Speakers: Nick Bentham-Green, Mark Edwards, Dr William Kirk, Professor Andrea Liggins, Amy Shelton – 18 January 2017

  • Journeys and Transmission – 16–17 June 2016
  • Traffic: movement / place / flow / mobility – 14–16 April 2016
  • Wilderness / Wildness symposium 
    Speakers: Liz Wells, Eva Cooney, Daro Montag, Jay Griffiths, Stephen Huggett, Temujin Doran and Angus Carlisle – 25–26 June 2015
  • Flow – 30 November to 26 December 2014
  • 2014 ‘Nocturnal’ symposium
    Speakers: Nick Alfrey, Angela Kingston, Susan Derges, Jem Southam, William Arnold, Milo Newman, Liz Nicol, Louisa Fairclough, Tabatha Andrews, Fergus Heron and Chrystel Lebas 
  • 2013 ‘Mapping’ symposium
    Speakers: David Chandler, Jean Delseaux, Caitlin Desilvey, Justin Partyka, Yan Preston, Susan Trangmar, Oliver Udy, Martin Warren, Pascale Weber and David Wyatt
  • 2012 ‘Water: Image’ International Conference Key note speakers: Deborah Bright (US), Per Bak Jensen (DK) and international speakers
  • 2011 ‘No Man’s Land’ symposium
    Speakers: Alev Adil, Anthony Haughey, Anne Noble, Emma Stibbon, Liz Wells and Anthony Caleshu
  • 2010 ‘Land and the Metaphysical’ symposium
    Speakers: David Williams, Jo Love and Mike Evans, David Rayson, Jane Grant and Peter Cusack
  • 2009 ‘Land and Expedition’ symposium
    Speakers: Anne Burke, Melanie Challenger, Neville Gabie, Vicky Long, Jorma Puranen and Stephen Vaughan 

Sally Waterman: Exhibition and seminar

'So Cheerio for Now', Stephen Lawrence Gallery, University of Greenwich, London (11 November - 16 December 2017)

Private View: Friday 10 November (6-8pm)

‘So Cheerio for Now’ features video and photographic works by Sally Waterman and Jacqueline Butler. Both artists use their personal archives as a source material, reflecting on familial relationships, love and mourning. Drawing on analogue photographic albums and hand written letters, each artist reconstructs fragmented narratives from their past. Having moved away from their family homeland as young women, the exhibition traces the recurring journeys they make to their ancestral homes of the Isle of Wight and Glasgow. 

Information on the University of Greenwich Galleries website

'Journeying Home' 2 December 2017

There will be a seminar event organised by the Family Ties Network on Saturday 2 December called 'Journeying Home' and will include presentations by Sally Waterman, Jacqueline Butler, Matthew Humphreys and Celine Marchbank. 

Further information and booking


Associated members

Artist in residence

  • Wayne Barrar - Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
  • Deborah Bright 
  • Caroline Mcquarrie - Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
  • Hantu (Pascale Weber - Sorbonne University, Paris and Jean Delseux - University of Clemont-Ferrand)


  • Lu La Buzz - PhD 
  • Fedra Dekeyser - PhD 
  • Jose Emanuel Bras - MPhil/PhD 
  • Karol Kwiatek - MPhil/PhD 
  • Claudia Pilsl - PhD 
  • Yan Preston - PhD 
  • David Wyatt - PhD

  • Nicola Curtis - MRes Photography, completed 2010
  • Jason Hirons - MRes Landscape, completed 2010
  • Kate Isherwood - MRes Photography, completed 2010
  • Jess Maslen - MRes Photography, completed 2010
  • Laurie Reynolds - MRes Photography, completed 2010
  • Martin Shaw - PhD, completed 2010
  • Sally Waterman - PhD, completed 2010