S I M O N S T A N D I N G
Associate Professor of Photography
University of Plymouth
Deputy Head of School (Art)
School of Art, Design and Architecture
Member of PRG
(Photography Research Group)
Architecture and the built environment
Urban expansion and regeneration
Over the last 20 years I have developed a particular interest in the way in which photography can be used within practice-based research. For example a core element of my PhD was an exploration into how photography could be developed as a primary research medium rather than a documentary tool within the context of Christian (Anglican) architecture. (PhD entitled The Architectural Expression of Anglican Ritual as Disseminated Through a Photographic Enquiry of Six Devon Churches, Plymouth University, 2000).
Ongoing and Recent Work
Contemporary British Housing, 2019
This is a new body of work that returns to my interests in urban development - in this case, the ideas of the New Urbanism movement.
Transitions I-IV: Artist Residency, 2017
In November 2017 I was based in Nicosia, from which I explored the city and the island looking at the impact of the 1974 division and subsequent urban development projects in both northern and southern Cyprus. Transitions I-IV are interrelated series that are the outcomes of this residency.
Sacred Architectural Space
Recent work looks to develop a photographic enquiry into the human experience of the cathedral as a spiritual and architectural space of contemplation, sanctuary and revelation, utilising a photographic method of representation that will attempt to position this reading of the spaces for a contemporary audience. An initial test of this project can be seen in the Ongoing section of this site.
In an adjunct to this upcoming series, I have likewise been exploring some of the details that are significant elements of cathedral architecture - that of the iconographic programmes of sculptures and stained glass windows. This new work can be seen in the 'Sacred Portraits' section of this website.
The Arrow of Time
My photographic practice has, for some years, been concerned with issues of rurality, urbanism and human experience. In a recent series of landscape images I visited a specific location where I live in Devon, exploring the ‘intersection between ordinary life and extraordinary encounter’.
Emblems of Civilisation was a project that began in 2001. The Devon village in which
I then lived, like so many others, faced issues with expansion: issues such as retaining local distinctiveness and living the rural idyll. These became a fascination for me through watching the development of such sites and emerged
as a series of photographic interpretations of new build housing.
Towards the Third Year After 1000 was a body of work produced across Europe, photographing a number of churches and cathedrals. The fascination was with the symbolism of sculpture and the affects of light and stained glass within these sacred spaces.
Journeys of Enlightenment was the touring exhibition of work from the PhD study on the relationship between design and ritual in the Anglican Church.
The Roland Levinsky Building Project documented the construction of Plymouth University's flagship Arts building, between 2004 and 2007.