Staff profile

Liza Dracup

Dr Liza Dracup

Senior Lecturer

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Education/Academic qualification

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Sunderland

    Photographic Strategies for visualising the landscapes and natural histories of Northern England

    - 2017

Research interests

Dr Liza Dracup: 


Senior Lecturer in Photography in the School of Arts and Communication. I originally trained as a social documentary photographer, before attending art school in the late Eighties and undertaking a degree in Photographic Studies (1992) and a master’s in Photography (2001). In my early professional life, I worked for the Press, various publications, museums and galleries, photography festivals and on solo and group exhibitions. 


I started work in academia in the late nineties, as a Lecturer in Photography on a new Photography degree programme. During this time my professional practice and independent research interests were established, and connections were orientated and formed. These multifaceted strands aligned and questioned historical and contemporary ideas around aesthetics, experimental photographic practice, collections-based research and the representation of the northern landscape. These long-standing interests have resulted in major solo exhibitions, group and touring exhibitions in traditional and non-traditional public spaces, collaborative practice, solo and group publications, peer review in specialist and non-specialist media, Arts Council Awards, private and public funding, commissions, international photography festivals, nominations for two international photography awards the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2012) and the Prix Pictet (2009) and numerous academic outputs. 


My wider research loop continues to intersect professional and academic contexts and extends to re-positioning a wide range of historical collections-based research material across photographic, artistic and science disciplines. My experimental photographic practice continues to underpin my academic research, in the successful completion of my practice-based doctorate, exploring: Photographic strategies for visualising the landscape and natural history of Northern England: the ordinary and the extraordinary (2017).


My work continues to question how photography, made in response to specific landscapes and natural histories, can operate within the field of landscape aesthetics and align with the wider cultural debates about the value of the ‘local’ from an environmental and personal perspective. My current research and practice investigate strategies that capitalise on the transformational qualities of photography, which in turn present us with paradoxes that extend beyond human vision. 


My current enquiry focuses on and places emphasis on the extraordinary properties of the ordinary and reveal hidden or unseen aspects, leading to a more informed, comprehensive and enriched idea of the northern landscape and its natural history. This research trajectory continues to be enriched by on-going photographic examination and research associated and relating to of the broader cultural value of the ordinary and the local.