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Professor 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. I am particularly interested in interdisciplinary research.

For more information, see mikecollier.co.uk and walk.uk.net.

Teaching and supervision

I teach 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
  • Editor (Director of Art Editions North) – artist's books
  • Conflict resolution and the Arts

I have supervised a number of PhDs to completion 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’
  • John Kefala-Kerr: 'Composing the Quotidian'
  • Tony Charles: 'Black Trades and Bright Ideas' 
  • David Paton: 'Bookness; framing book arts theorisation, curation, documentation and practice within a South African context'.

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

  • Photography
  • Glass and Ceramics
  • Design History
  • Art Education
  • Literature


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.

My current research, which began during a dawn chorus walk in a Northumberland woodland in May 2016, challenges the established understanding that each singing bird in a dawn chorus is only, or predominantly concerned with intra-specific communication. A close analysis of the dawn chorus undertaken by natural history sound recordist, Geoff Sample (with whom I'm collaborating), suggests, however, that intra-specific structure, as well as intra-specific relationships, give rise to the 'chorus' impression, rather than random cacophony. I have visualised this research and, working with contemporary composer and musician, Dr Bennett Hogg, developed a series of multi-media presentations, with new artwork and music.


Number of items: 58.


Collier, Mike (2014) On-Ko Chi-Chin: Wordsworth and Bashõ: Walking Poets. Earthlines magazine, 10.

Book Section

Lockwood, Alex (2021) Loops. In: Songs of Place and Time. Cornerhouse Publications, Manchester. ISBN 9780993219290

Collier, Mike (2020) Place-Walking: The Umwelt Explored through Creative Imagination. In: The Routledge Handbook of Place. Routledge. ISBN 9781138320499

Collier, Mike (2019) Ghosts of the Restless Shore: A Personal Pilgrimage. In: Walking, Landscape and Environment. Routledge, London. ISBN 9781315209753

Mike, Collier and Hannam, Kevin (2018) (Re)envisioning the Anti-Urban: artistic responses in the Walking with Wordsworth and Basho exhibition. In: Envisioning Networked Urban Mobilities: Art, Performances, Impact. Cosmobilities Network (4). Routledge, London, pp. 72-84. ISBN 9781138712362

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

Mike, Collier (2014) on-ko chi-shin. In: Wordsworth and Basho: Walking Poets. Kakimori Bunko, Itami, Japan, pp. 165-169. ISBN 9781906832209

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

Collier, Mike Meanders as Mobile Practice: Street Flowers – Urban Survivors of the Privileged Land. In: Tourism and Leisure Mobilities Politics, work, and play. Contemporary Geographies of Leisure, Tourism and Mobility . Routledge, London, pp. 15-26. ISBN 9781138921054

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.

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, Hogg, Bennett and Strachan, John (2021) Songs of place and time: Birdsong and the dawn chorus in Natural History and the Arts. Gaia Project Press, Manchester, UK. ISBN 9780993219290

Collier, Mike (2015) Ghosts of the Restless Shore: Space, place and memory of the Sefton Coast. Art Editions North. ISBN 9781906832261

Collier, Mike and Ling, Manny (2014) Wordsworth & Basho—Walking Poets. Art Editions North, England, UK. ISBN 9781906832209

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


Joelson, Jo (2020) Library of Light: An artistic framework to explore light, material culture and social experience. Doctoral thesis, University of Sunderland.


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


Collier, Mike (2019) LISTEN: Singing the World: A Dawn Chorus. Black Swan Arts, 20 Jul–1 Sep 2019, Frome, UK.

Collier, Mike (2019) Dawn Chorus: Mimesis And Birdsong. Platform A, 31 Jan-7 Mar 2019, Middlesbrough, UK.

Collier, Mike (2018) Mike Collier - A Dawn Chorus. Drawing Projects UK, 26 Oct-24 Nov 2018, Wiltshire, UK.

Inge, Panneels and Mike, Collier (2017) Being Human. Mapping the Borders, 18-25 Nov 2017, Selkirk (exhibition) and Galashiels (walk).

Collier, Mike (2017) Singing the World. 26 Aug - 3 Sep 2017, Cheeseburn.

Collier, Mike (2016) Wordsworth and Bashō: Walking Poets. 17 Sep - 3 Nov 2016, Kakimori Bunko, Itami, Japan.

Collier, Mike (2016) Bats in the Hayloft, Cheeseburn. 27 - 29 Aug 2016, Cheeseburn Grange Sculpture House and Gardens.

Collier, Mike (2016) Walking Poets. Walking poets, 8th May 2016, Itami Museum, Itami, Japan.

Collier, Mike, Ley, Marcia and Bowey, Keith (2016) Thomas Bewick Woodcuts. Design Centre, 1-12 Feb 2016, Hutton Building University of Sunderland.

Collier, Mike (2015) 'Ghosts of the Restless Shore: Space, Place and Memory'. 22 Aug - 15 Nov 2016, The Atkinson, Lord Street, Southport, PR8 1DB.

Collier, Mike, Ley, Marcia and Bowey, Keith (2015) String Bedes , Walk 3 August 2106. Stringing Bedes Exhibition, Jul 2015 - Jul 2016, Bedes World , Roker Church, St Pauls, Church Jarrow. St Peters Church Sunderland..

Collier, Mike (2015) drawing? .

Dr Mike Collier, Dr M, Marcia Ley, M.G.P and Keith Bowey, K (2015) Response to Bewick. 21 Jan - 31 Mar 2015, Bewick gallery , Gateshead Civic centre.

Collier, Mike (2014) Wordsworth and Bashō: Walking Poets. 24 May - 2 Nov 2014, Dove Cottage, The Wordsworth Trust Museum Grasmere.

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. May - Nov 2014, Dove Cottage: The Wordsworth Museum.

Collier, Mike (2013) What is Drawing? 21 Sep - 17 Nov 2013, Customs House, South Shields.

Collier, Mike (2013) The Resilience of the Wild. 7 Jun - 20 Jul 2013, The Customs House. South Shields.

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

Collier, Mike (2013) Street Flowers: Urban Survivors of the Privileged Land. Various, Sunderland.

Collier, Mike, Morrison-Bell, Cynthia and Ross, Janet (2013) Walk On at Highgreen. Summer 2013, VARC-Highgreen, Tarset, Northumberland..

Collier, Mike and Bowey, Keith (2012) In Temperley's Tread-the Birdlife of Durham's Moor and Vale. In Temperley's Tread, July 2012, Durham.

Collier, Mike and Thompson, Brian (2012) Their Colours and Their Forms. Their Colours and their Forms: Artists' Response to Wordsworth, 2 February 2013 - 10 March 2013, Dove Cottage: The Wordsworth Museum.

Collier, Mike (2012) Street Flowers: Urban Survivors of the Privileged Land: Sound Walk. .

Collier, Mike and Shatwell, Rebecca (2012) Street Flowers: Urban Survivors of the Privileged Land AV FESTIVAL 12: WALKS. AV Festival 12: WALKS, 15 Mar - 21 Mar 2012, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Newcastle, Teeside and Upper Teesdale.

Ames, Craig (2009) Research 09. Research: 09, 2009, Reg Vardy Gallery, University of Sunderland.

Collier, Mike Dawn Chorus: Singing the World, Mimesis and Birdsong. .

Collier, Mike Fields Notes. Summer Walk up the Tyne and the North Tyne: from sea to source., 20 May-17 June 2011.

Collier, Mike Harker Herald. 1-31 Aug 2008, Waygood Gallery and Studios, Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Collier, Mike A Northumbrian Suite. 23 Apr - 21 May 2010, Think Tank @ Hoults Yard; Globe Gallery.

Collier, Mike Sterna - Oblique Ornithologies. 1 August 2010 - 11 August 2010, The Banqueting Hall, Jesmond.

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


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


Collier, Mike (2020) Songs of place and time [Research Portfolio]. Four exhibitions of music, prints and drawings with accompanying talks and workshops across the UK.

Collier, Mike (2020) Ghosts of the restless shore [Research portfolio]. Book Chapters, artist, curator and editor.

Collier, Mike (2018) Wordsworth and Basho: Walking Poets [Research Portfolio]. Book Chapter, artist, curator and editor of publication.

This list was generated on Fri Apr 12 22:44:27 2024 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 several staff and PhD students, including them in WALK exhibitions and projects, and encouraging them to develop their own research.

Last updated 28 February 2024