Approved: 14.01.2009

Juliet Chenery-Robson PhD

Artist, Arts development worker, Editor, Lecturer / academic, Researcher

Approved: 14.01.2009

Juliet Chenery-Robson is a visual artist and academic researcher with a strong interest in exploring the terrain that juxtaposes the visual arts and medical science. In 2015 she completed an AHRC funded, practice-led Photography PhD that focused on the visual representation of the invisible illness ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis). Adopting a participatory action research methodology, Juliet worked with ME sufferers to create visual and textual portrayals of sufferers’ illness experience. Since completing her PhD she has secured research and development funding, via EngageFMS (Patient & Public Engagement & Involvement), to explore the visualisation of chronic illness as part of an arts and medical science collaboration with Newcastle University’s Medical and Creative Arts departments. She is also honorary treasurer for the Royal Photographic Society’s Medical Imaging Group and a trustee for the charity ME North East.

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  • Location: County Durham, North East
  • Contexts: Participatory, Research
  • Artforms: Photography
  • Tags: 2d, closed, face, illness, invisible, m.e., me, hands, cube, participation, sufferer
 
 

Biography

Juliet Chenery-Robson is a visual artist and academic researcher with a strong interest in exploring the terrain that juxtaposes the visual arts and medical science. In 2015 she completed an AHRC funded, practice-led Photography PhD that focused on the visual representation of the invisible illness ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis). Adopting a participatory action research methodology, Juliet worked with ME sufferers to create visual and textual portrayals of sufferers’ illness experience. Since completing her PhD she has secured research and development funding, via EngageFMS (Patient & Public Engagement & Involvement), to explore the visualisation of chronic illness as part of an arts and medical science collaboration with Newcastle University’s Medical and Creative Arts departments. She is also honorary treasurer for the Royal Photographic Society’s Medical Imaging Group and a trustee for the charity ME North East.

Background to ME research: The chronically ill ME sufferer experiences invisibility on four interlinked fronts: physical, social, medical, and political invisibility. The main aim of the project was therefore to create work, in participation with ME sufferers, that could be used as a tool to raise awareness of ME’s invisibility and communicate an understanding of ME to public, art, and medical audiences. By exploring the many layers that constitute ME and by incorporating the personal view of ME sufferers—through a combination of photography, text, audio, SenseCam, family album photographs, and Google Earth images—the research tested different methods of using metaphor to visually represent ME’s invisibility. It has also helped provide ME sufferers with a ‘voice’ by which to communicate the many problems they face as they try to cope with a life that is disabled by ME.

CV & Education

Qualifications:

AHRC PhD Photography (Practice-based): Portrait of an Invisible Illness: The Visualisation of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis through Photography and Text with Participation from ME Sufferers, University of Sunderland 

MA Photography (Distinction), University of Sunderland

National Council for the Training of Journalists Press Photography Proficiency Certificate – Pass with Distinction (Richmond College, Sheffield)

Certificate in Art & Design Foundation Studies (University of Sunderland)

Funding and Academic Awards

Engage FMS research grant, Newcastle University

Futures Award, University of Sunderland (to deliver presentation at Royal College of Art Research Conference, London

Arts & Humanities Research Council grant: Photography PhD

Arts Council England grant (development of work & exhibition at Durham Art Gallery)

Solo Exhibitions: 

Nov. 2016: Portrait of an Invisible Illness, Royal Photographic Society HQ, Bath.

2012 - 2014: UK empty office touring exhibitions: Unpredictable Patterns, A Diagnosis of Exclusion, and Portrait of an Invisible Illness. Funded by Life with Art.

2010 - A Diagnosis of Exclusion, Durham Museum and Art Gallery

2010 - A Diagnosis of Exclusion, Medical School, University of Newcastle

2011 - Kingdoms of the Sick, Fatigue Symposium, Medical School, University of Newcastle

Group Exhibitions:

2014 - Portrait of a Postmodern Illness, Singapore International Photography Festival 2014, National Museum of Singapore

2014 - Frames 2014, group digital slideshow, various venues, Glasgow Art Festival

2013 -  Portrait of a Postmodern Illness, The Social Festival of Photography, façade of Old Fire Station, Sunderland

2013 -  Revealing the Invisible, mixed media group show visualising invisible illness, Templeman Gallery, University of Kent

2013 -  AHRC Block Grant group exhibition, Gallery North, University of Northumbria

2012 -  Head and Whole 2, Abbey Walk Gallery, Grimsby

2012 - Transition 2, University of Sunderland Art and Design Research staff and students, Customs House, South Shields

2009 - Unpredictable Patterns, MA Degree Show, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art

Curated Exhibitions:

2010 - Curated exhibition of Rosy Martin's Too close to Home? alongside A Diagnosis of Exclusion, Durham Art Gallery

Competitions, prizes and awards: 

2014 - Open Call selected exhibitor: Singapore International Photography Festival 2014

2013 - Open Call selected exhibitor: The Social Festival of Photography

2009 - Arts Council England Grant Awarded, ACE, North East

2008 - Axis MAStars 2008 Award 

Presentations:

Oct 2016: UK ME Research Collaborative Annual Conference, Newcastle (talk & poster).

Feb 2016: Visiting artist lecture, Edinburgh Napier University.

2014 (Oct) - ‘Portrait of a Postmodern Illness’, Singapore International Photography Festival, Artist’s Evening Presentations, National Museum of Singapore

2014 (July) - ‘PhD Research Practice’, MA Photography Seminar, University of Sunderland

2012 (Oct) - ‘Mimesis 3: Participatory Practice as Research in the Visualisation of the Invisible Illness ME’, Head and Whole 2: Under the Skin, artist and curator’s seminar, Abbey Walk Gallery, Grimsby

2012 (May) - AHRC Block Grant Research Conference, University of Sunderland

2012 (Feb) - ‘Visualising ME’, Medical and Scientific Understandings of Childhood Difference, University of Newcastle

2012 (Feb) - ‘Visualising ME: Participatory Practice’, Critical Conversations: Photography in Participatory Settings, Art Works/ Paul Hamlyn Foundation seminar, National Glass Centre, Sunderland

2012 (Feb) - ‘Visualising ME’, International PR Students Course Module, University of Newcastle

2011 (Nov) - ‘Visualising ME in Participation with ME Sufferers’, The Edge of Our Thinking Research Conference, Royal College of Art, London

2011 (May) - AHRC Block Grant Research Conference, University of Northumbria

2011 - ‘Transition from MA to PhD Research’, MA Photography Seminar, University of Sunderland

2010 - ‘Transition from MA to PhD Research’, Association of Photography in Higher Education, National Conference, Mining Institute, Newcastle

Radio Interviews:

2013 - BBC Radio Newcastle, Afternoon Show, recorded interview about exhibition of portraits in The Social Festival of Photography, alongside festival organiser Amanda Ritson.

2011 - BBC Radio Newcastle, Drive Time show, live interview about exhibition at Durham Art Gallery and on-going research, alongside Professor Julia Newton discussing her current ME medical research.

2010 - Star Radio, recorded solo interview at Durham Art Gallery.

2011 - BBC Radio Teesside, live interview alongside Ian Swales, MP for Redcar, and Jennifer Elliott, CEO ME North East

Published Papers & Books:

2013 (Oct) - Paper entitled, ‘Mimesis 3: The Visualisation of the Invisible Illness ME’, published in The Royal College of Art journal, The Edge of Our Thinking.

2010 - A Diagnosis of Exclusion, catalogue to accompany exhibition at Durham Art Gallery, Blurb.com.

2008 - Unpredictable Patterns, Blurb.com

Previous Work Experience

2003 – 2004: Freelance Editor for Homes Away From Home

1989 - 1990: Deputy Marketing Manager, Princess House (UK) Ltd. Hexham.

1988 - 1989: Senior Account Executive, Insight Communications, Newcastle.

1984 - 1986: Senior Photojournalist, Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph.

1982 - 1984: Photojournalist, Lincolnshire Standard Group