Much of my photography has been centred on the town of Blackburn, Lancashire, UK – the town I grew up in over 40 years ago. My archive dates back to the mid-1990s and reflects my interests in the town’s communities and industries. Today, my photography is a socially engaged practice, drawing from other philosophical paradigms such as slow.
I graduated from the Newport School of Documentary Photography in 1999 (University of South Wales) and completed a Certificate in Education in 2003 (University of Central Lancashire). I completed a practice-based PhD programme in 2022, my research centred upon the design of a socially engaged slow photography practice. My supervisors were Dr Carol McKay and Professor Arabella Plouviez at the Northern Centre of Photography, University of Sunderland.
My photography has been exhibited at several UK and international venues, including; Chapel Gallery (Lancashire, UK); Clitheroe Castle Gallery (Lancashire, UK); Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery (Lancashire, UK); Dalby Forest (North York Moors, UK); Kunstammlung-Neubrandenburg (Mecklenburg, Germany); PRISM Contemporary (Lancashire, UK); St Ethleburga’s (Bishopsgate, London, UK). I have also presented my photography and research at several UK conferences including; Centre for Doctoral Research Annual Conference (2017); British Textiles Biennial (2019); Cultural Difference and Social Solidarity Network (2018); National Festival of Making (2018); The Talbot Collection Conference (2017). My most recent exhibition emerged from the Arts Council England and Forestry England funded research cluster, SelfScapes, in 2021 (link) – to date I also remain as a member of the organising team for SelfScapes. Whilst working as an editorial photographer in Cardiff, UK – between 1999 and 2002 – my photographs were published in several UK national newspapers. Additionally, I carried out commissions for organisations such as Bell Pottinger, Cardiff Bay Arts Trust (CBAT) and S4C. Between 2015-2020, I was a Trustee for the Agnes Eccles Award for Arts (link).
Links to my Instagram and Twitter sites are located above, and my latest work – Monday Town (2021) – can also be viewed at the Social Documentary Network: https://socialdocumentary.net/photographer/johnharrison
I gained Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2015 and am a member of the Association for Photography in Higher Education and the Redeye Photography Network. Between 2017-2020 I was a reviewer for the peer-reviewed, open access journal PRISM (link) and in 2019 contributed as a book reviewer (link). Alongside my practice, I have worked in higher education for over 20 years, previously being the programme leader for BA (Hons) Photographic Media, validated by Lancaster University, and have been an External Examiner (Photography) for Manchester Metropolitan University, Sheffield Hallam University and University of Central Lancashire. I have undertaken a range of higher education roles over 20 years – e.g. module tutor, Programme Leader and Head of Department – gaining significant experience of quality assurance (e.g. QAA review) and curriculum development.