Professor Arabella Plouviez

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Dean of Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries

The Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries consists of two teams, Art and Design and Media and Communications, and covers subjects across media and journalism, performance, arts and design. As Academic Dean, I lead the faculty, supporting the academic staff to engender an exciting, dynamic and relevant scholarly environment for our students that encourages curiosity and creativity. I teach photography and supervise research students in this area.

Teaching and supervision

I am one of the photography team that were awarded the HEA Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (2017) for work with students and the North East Photography Network (NEPN).

Research interests for potential research students

I supervise research students working with photography, including practice-led research.

Past PhD Students

Juliet Chenery-Robson
The Visualisation of the Invisible Illness ME through the Production of Contemporary Photographic Practice in Collaboration with Sufferers, Carers and Medical Researchers.

Paris Petridis
Landscape as 'Manscape'.

Dr John Darwell
'A black dog came calling:' A Visualization of Depression through contemporary photography. 


My research interests include how photographic representation impacts on society and can be used to challenge assumptions around under-represented groups. I have worked with people in different communities, creating image text works that challenge the viewer both in terms of photography and the subject. Recent works consider the ways in which Alzheimer's Disease links with photography through memory, and considers a visual exploration of experiencing Alzheimer’s. In collaboration with Dr Carol McKay I have written about photography both in terms of as a teaching and learning tool and exploring photography and its role in the networked world.

I lead the University of Sunderland element of the cross-university AHRC funded Creative Fuse North East project.

Photographic work can be viewed at

Areas of expertise

  • Contemporary photographic practice
  • Representation of 'invisible' illness
  • Photography in the era of web 2.0

Further information

As an academic in photography, I have worked with colleagues to develop the International Photography Research Network (IPRN) which was developed in 2004. Its mission is to stimulate the production and presentation of high-quality photographic practice, academic and artistic research and photographic-theory.

IPRN seeks to achieve this by providing a platform for international exchange leading to collaborative projects, exhibition, publications, research, symposia, networking and shared archives. In 2009, the North East Photography Network (NEPN) was launched, which offers a range of activities and opportunities for people based in the North East and involved with critically engaged photography.

Last updated 18 October 2018