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Dr Mike Collier

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Professor of Visual Art

I am an artist, writer and curator. My research focuses on art, walking and a phenomenological examination of the environment. My contribution to knowledge around art, walking and the environment creates a bridge between culture and the sciences. For more information, see www.mikecollier.eu and walk.uk.net.

Teaching and supervision

I teach on the following courses:

Research interests for potential research students

  • Walking
  • Drawing
  • Natural History
  • Fine Art/Concrete Poetry
  • Curating
  • Embodied Practice (Phenomenology/eco phenomenology)
  • Landscape and Culture
  • Environmental Aesthetics
  • Editing (Director of Art Editions North)
  • Conflict Resolution and the Arts

I have supervised a number of PhDs including recently:

  • Amanda Williamson: 'Practice-led and interdisciplinary examinations of post-patriarchal telluric spirituality in the field of somatic/movement dance education and therapy'.
  • Zoe Anderson: 'Impact: Endurance - the translation of experience into gallery contexts exploring frames silence.'
  • Rosalinda Ruiz-Scarfuto: ‘Investigations into a tactile perspective of the transfer of poetic metaphors on the 3D poetic canvas inspired by walking a landscape inside the framework of phenomenological theory and expressed in re-play poetry.’
  • John Johnston: ‘Critical Visual Arts Education: A Pedagogy of Conflict Transformation - In Search of the Moral Imagination’

I have examined a number of PhDs in the following areas:

  • Photography
  • Glass and Ceramics
  • Design History


My research, often ‘conducted’ through art walks (usually slow meanders) is inclusive, involving creative practitioners and writers as well as students and the public. These walks encourage participants to experience the world with the heart and through all their senses. On my walks, participants gather and share the knowledge that comes directly from experience (from the wildness of the world) – a process called biognosis – meaning knowledge from life; research and knowledge which I hope encourages people to care more about their environment and therefore to effect positive change.

My research considers the proposition that we need to re-sensitize ourselves and regain contact with the living, embodied, presence of a place. We usually think of place as a background to our lives, but place is a living, animated presence in its own right: it is part of us and the context of every experience – the ground that implaces everything we do.


Number of items: 39.

Book Section

Collier, Mike (2016) Meanders as Mobile Practices. In: Tourism and Leisure Mobilities: Politics, Work and Play. ContemporaryGeographies of Leisure, Tourism and Mobilities (62). Routledge, London and New York, pp. 15-26. ISBN 978-1-138-92105-4

Collier, Mike (2012) Street Flowers: Urban Survivors of the Privileged Land: Conference Paper and Published Essay. In: Tourism, Roads and Cultural Itineraries: Meaning, Memory and Development. Laval University, Quebec. ISBN 978-2-7637-1789-0 (Unpublished)

Collier, Mike (2010) NOTES on a return. In: NOTES on a return. AEN (Art Editions North, Sunderland, pp. 53-68. ISBN 978-0-9557478-6-1

Conference or Workshop Item

Collier, Mike (2017) Singing the World. In: Making Beyond Words – Intersections Between Text, Image, Display: Celebrating 50 Years of Concrete Poetry, 16-17 Jun 2017, Corsham Court: bath Spa University. (Unpublished)

Collier, Mike (2013) Walk ON Conference. In: On Walking, 28 - 29 Jun 2013, National Glass Centre.

Collier, Mike and Hannam, Kevin (2013) In Temperley's Tread Conference Paper. In: Active Countryside Tourism, 23 - 25 Jan 2013, International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality, Leeds Metropolitan University. (In Press)

Collier, Mike (2012) Street Flowers: Urban Survivors of the Privileged Land Conference Paper. In: Duration, 29 Mar - 31 Mar 2012, Culture Lab, Newcastle University. (Unpublished)

Collier, Mike (2012) Street Flowers: Urban Survivors. In: Tourism, Roads and Cultural Itineraries: Meaning, Memory and Development, June 13 - 15, 2012, Québec, Canada. (Unpublished)

Collier, Mike (2012) Words on the Page, and the Meanings Beyond: The Innovative Interpretation of Manuscripts. In: Words on the Page, and the Meanings Beyond: The Innovative Interpretation of Manuscripts, 26-27 April 2012, The Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere. (Unpublished)

Collier, Mike (2010) Art Walking and Cosmopoetics. In: International Conference of Cosmopetics, Sept 2010, Durham University.


Collier, Mike and Ling, Manny (2014) Wordsworth & Basho—Walking Poets. Art Editions North, England, UK. ISBN 978-1-906832-20-9

Collier, Mike (2014) Wordsworth and Basho: Walking Poets. Art Editions North/ The Wordsworth Trust. ISBN 978-1-906832-20-9

Collier, Mike (2013) On Walking -Conference Proceedings. Art Editions North, North east England. ISBN 978–1–906832–18–6


Collier, Mike (2012) Street Flowers: Urban Survivors of the Privileged Land Large scale Art Work. [Artefact]


Collier, Mike (2016) Bats in the Hayloft, Cheeseburn. [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike (2016) Walking Poets. [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike, Ley, Marcia and Bowey, Keith (2016) Thomas Bewick Woodcuts. [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike (2015) 'Ghosts of the Restless Shore: Space, Place and Memory'. [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike, Ley, Marcia and Bowey, Keith (2015) String Bedes , Walk 3 August 2106. [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike (2015) drawing? [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike (2014) Wordsworth and Bashō: Walking Poets. [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike, Clayton, Ewan, Cockburn, Ken, cowton, Jeff, Flint-Sato, Christine, Kunial, Zaffar, Kono, Eiichi, Ling, Manny, Mchugh, Chris, Monta, Nobuya, Panneels, Inge, Richardson, Andrew, Sakamoto, Nao, Skelton, Richard, Richardson, Autumn, Tani, Ayako, Thompson, Brian and Mckay, Carol (2014) Wordsworth and Basho: Walking Poets. [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike (2013) What is Drawing? [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike (2013) The Resilience of the Wild. [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike, Morrison-Bell, Cynthia and Robinson, Alistair (2013) WALK ON - From Richard Long to Janet Cardiff - 40 years of Art Walking. [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike (2013) Street Flowers: Urban Survivors of the Privileged Land. [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike, Morrison-Bell, Cynthia and Ross, Janet (2013) Walk On at Highgreen. [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike and Bowey, Keith (2012) In Temperley's Tread-the Birdlife of Durham's Moor and Vale. [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike and Thompson, Brian (2012) Their Colours and Their Forms. [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike (2012) Street Flowers: Urban Survivors of the Privileged Land: Sound Walk. [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike and Shatwell, Rebecca (2012) Street Flowers: Urban Survivors of the Privileged Land AV FESTIVAL 12: WALKS. [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike Dawn Chorus: Singing the World, Mimesis and Birdsong. [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike Fields Notes. [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike Harker Herald. [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike A Northumbrian Suite. [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike Sterna - Oblique Ornithologies. [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike Virus – bad news wrapped in protein: Exhibition at St Johns College, Oxford 9 September 2010 - 9 October 2011. [Show/Exhibition]

Collier, Mike Wordsworth and Bashō: Walking Poets. [Show/Exhibition]


Panneels, Inge and Collier, Mike (2018) Mapping the Borders Exhibition. [Video]

This list was generated on Sun Jun 7 05:13:19 2020 BST.
  • Walking
  • Natural History
  • Fine Art/Concrete Poetry
  • Curating
  • Embodied Practice (Phenomenology)
  • Landscape and Culture
  • Editing (Director of Art Editions North)

In 2010, I co-founded WALK (Walking, Art, Landskip and Knowledge) a research centre that explores how we creatively engage with the world as we walk through it. Through WALK, I have developed a network of staff across the faculty who together form a loose ‘team’. I have worked with, and mentored, a number of staff and PhD students (twelve in total), including them in WALK exhibitions and projects, and encouraging them to develop their own research. 

International/National Research: WALK-ON; From Richard Long to Janet Cardiff - 40 Years of Art Walking (2013/4). Organised and curated by myself (WALK) in collaboration with Art Circuit Touring Exhibitions and seen by over 150,000 visitors, this exhibition examined a then unwritten history of a major strand of recent art practice – artists taking a journey on foot to stake out new cultural territory. Over thirty key international artists were represented in the show, (Bruce Nauman, Richard Long, Marina Abramovic, Francis Alÿs, Hamish Fulton and Janet Cardiff) as well as three artists from UoS (Dr. Tim Brennan, Prof. Brian Thompson and myself). The show previewed at the Pitzhanger Museum in London in March 2013, formally opening at the NGCA and then touring nationally. It was accompanied by a 150-page publication that critically examined the relationship of walking to art in the modern and post-modern 'landscape'. Edited by myself, with essays by Prof. Tim Ingold (about the relationship of walking to pedagogies of drawing), Hamish Fulton, Alistair Robinson and myself and published by AEN, this book has now sold out. I organised a conference at UoS, to run alongside the show in Sunderland, called On-Walking, with papers/speakers from the UK, USA, Canada, Italy, France, Spain, South America, Australia and Scandinavia.

National Research: Ghosts of the Restless Shore: Space, Place and Memory of the Sefton Coast (2015). This exhibition at The Atkinson was organised by myself on behalf of WALK with a grant from ACE of £10K. The exhibition was accompanied by a 150-page hardback book of artwork and critical essays about the natural, cultural and social history of the coast, co-published by Sefton Council. The project consisted of new contemporary art by three colleagues and myself, integrating visual, aural, oral and written experiences of the natural/social history of the Coast. The project was previewed on BBC’s Countryfile and examined the way we (as culturally and socially informed people) creatively interact with the natural environment as we walk through it and the way in which it is interpreted and imagined. (see http://ghosts-of-the-restless-shore.co.uk)

Local Research: I initiated and organised, through WALK, a series of key regional projects around art, walking and history/literature with support from HLF, including: To Bewick and Back (2014) - four guided walks and two exhibitions led by staff and students from UoS. This project retraced the steps of wood engraver and naturalist Thomas Bewick (1753 -1828) along the route from his Gateshead home and Newcastle workshops to his birthplace in Cherryburn, south Northumberland. An online publication included an essay about Bewick and walking (new research) by the Chair of the Bewick Society; and Stringing Bedes (2015) - four ‘Pilgrimage Walks’, with artist Marcia Ley (UoS) and students from UoS, along the route of Bede’s Way between St Peter’s (Sunderland) and St Paul’s, (Jarrow) in 2015. This project was previewed by students on the University’s radio station, Spark FM, and three exhibitions of art, photography and poetry were presented at venues in the region (2015/16).

Last updated 09 January 2020

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