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Research Seminar Series - Windows or Mirrors? Of or About? Searching for ‘The Bell’ in contemporary photographic practice

Event information

START DATE 22 January 2020

Middlesex University Dubai, Oasis Theatre, Block 16

END DATE 22 January 2020

We are pleased to invite you to our Wednesday Research Seminar. It will be held on 22 January from 4pm, at Middlesex University Dubai in the Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Knowledge Park.

Wednesday Research Seminar Series was launched in 2008, and has featured more than 260 presentations to date. The seminars provide a forum for researchers to share their work. Presenters include faculty from Middlesex University Dubai and other universities in the United Arab Emirates, as well as researchers from other global institutions. Eddie Ryan will deliver seminar on:

“Windows or Mirrors? Of or About? Searching for ‘The Bell’ in contemporary photographic practice”

Eddie Ryan  


“But as a photographer, I’m strictly a listener –

I listen to stories told to me not by people,

but by landscapes and places, houses and streets.”

Wim Wenders, Interview, 2015

Research in Art and Design subjects is frequently practice-based, yet is still underpinned by the traditional research question. Working photographically in the UAE throws up many interesting conundrums that require careful consideration when making bodies of work that are legally compliant and respectful of the cultural codes of the country in which they are being made. My work involves making conceptual imagery that interprets non visual cultural material, meditative walking, and an engagement with exploring ideas around place and landscape, and our place in both.

To begin with, the research question was how to make photographs that document the liminal space between geographic location and respectful cultural enquiry, and the presentation is a reflective look at two concurrent photographic projects - one with its roots in Irish traditional music, the other in the subjectively interpreted understanding of a grace note.


Eddie Ryan is a visual communicator, design educator and photographer. A graduate of Central St Martins School of Art and Design, London, he began his creative career as a graphic designer. His primary means of expression is through photography, a subject he has utilised both figuratively and conceptually in analogue and digital forms. His work has been exhibited physically, online and in print on Featureshoot, Open Skies Magazine, Air Magazine, ‘Spotlight Sunday’ with Gulf Photo Plus, Vantage Point Sharjah 6, GPP’s ‘Behind The Portrait’ and ‘The Arab Street II’ community exhibitions, and is currently showing in ‘Observations in the Ordinary’ hosted online by The Image Guide.

At present, he makes photographs of the incidental visual phrases or ‘grace notes’ he encounters on walks through various Dubai neighbourhoods that give a sense of how the city speaks as itself in images, photographing the showing forth of the personality of a landscape he’s spending the time interpreting in order to understand.

We look forward to welcoming you at the seminar.

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