My respect and thank you to the women who share their stories with me.
PhD candidate in visual research funded through the North of England Consortium for Arts and Humanities (NECAH) at the University of Hull. Working alongside women resettled to Hull and East Yorkshire to explore the role of photography in visual representations of refugee women.
Began in journalism in 1989 as a freelance features writer for UK national newspapers, magazines and books. Commissions and self-initiated projects in 60-plus countries focusing on the view from the ground. Out in the field I became a self-taught, documentary photographer interested in women’s lives and issues.
In 2007 I visited Freetown in Sierra Leone – twin city to my birth city of Hull in the UK – to collaborate visually with women rebuilding lives and communities after 11 years of civil war. I returned several times to document what they shared, and to facilitate photography skills’ training for women eager to learn photography for self-representation, self-expression and to earn incomes (Wilberforce Women). From 2007 I devoted my photographic practice to recording the personal narratives of women’s experiences of war and conflict, after the aftermath.
Since 2012 working alongside women resettled as refugees to Hull. We co-create exhibitions and installations using photography and visual art to share insights into personal experiences of forced displacement and resettlement.
My approach is highly collaborative and immersive, with a commitment to socially-responsive, negotiated image-making for positive impact on women, society and the photographer herself.
Born in Hull, England in 1966. Grew up on the Greatfield council estate. Currently living in East Yorkshire.
During the Second World War, Hull was the most bombed city outside of London. My mother, Maureen, and grandmother, Olive May Jordan (née Bertholini) survived. Yet they never fully shared their story, or how they coped after the aftermath. No one asked them. Their herstories remain untold and lost forever.
Olive and Maureen often make a cameo appearance in my projects. The absence of their voices inspires me to find ways to appreciate and create shared spaces and platforms for hidden, unheard, ignored and devalued female voices of war and forced displacement.
Work exhibited at: UN Headquarters New York; Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, USA; Hargrett Library University of Georgia, USA; The British Council Freetown, Sierra Leone; International Slavery Museum, Liverpool; University of Cambridge; Royal Commonwealth Club, London; Horniman Museum, London; The Senedd: Welsh National Assembly; Museum of Liverpool; York Army Museum; The Ferens Hull; Hull UK City of Culture 2017; Brynmor Jones Library University of Hull and more. Two images are held in the New Hall Art Collection, University of Cambridge.
Received several Arts Council England Grants for Arts, and St Hugh’s Foundation for the Arts award.
Awarded Honorary Doctorate by the University of Hull (2012).
Honorary Research Fellow, The Wilberforce Institute, University of Hull (2012-2015).
MA Journalism by Research, School of Journalism, University of Lincoln (2018).
Mam and me looking at negatives.
My mother and grandmother, Olive May Jordan (née Bertholini) taken in Hull during the Second World War