Alyson Agar


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Personal profile

Academic Biography

My PhD is titled The Documentation of a City in Flux: What Position can the Photographic Survey Occupy in the Transition from Industrial to Digital City? I am currently in my first year of a part-time PhD at Teesside University. My PhD is practice-based and is situated between Photography, Fine Art and Urban Studies. My practical output for my PhD is centred around the creation, compilation and curation of a photographic survey of Tees Valley, north-east England, in its transition from industrial to digital city 

 My methodology is mixed-method in approach, primarily it is centred around photographic practice as research, it incorporates a longitudinal analysis of the depiction of Tees Valley through my photographic and film practice, and practice as research. Comparative studies on Steel Mill Cities and Smart Cities across Europe inform this research. 

Currently, I am investigating photographic surveys from La Mission Heliographique in Paris in the mid-nineteenth century, as well as the work of Nikolaus Pevsner, the British Transport Films in conjunction with John Betjeman, Iain Nairn, Chris Marker, Bernd and Hilla Becher, and La Mission DATAR. 

The future of Tees Valley, from industrial Steel Mill town, to Digital City is important to document photographically. From the announcement of a Tees Valley Freeport in March 2021, to the investment in Middlesbrough’s digital communities, Middlesbrough town centre regeneration, and the development of a strong and diverse regional arts scene: this research is collaborative and forges connections between art, photography and industry. It is imperative that the work is inclusive, accessible and applicable to all sectors. 

I hold a BA Hons Fine Art (First Class Honours), a PGCE in Post-Compulsory Education and an MA in Photographic Practice with Distinction. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce (FRSA).



Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor, Fine Art (First Class Honours), Northumbria University

PGCE in Post-Compulsory Education , University of Huddersfield

Master, MA Photography with Distinction , University of Sunderland

External positions

Tees Valley Screen Steering Group Member , Tees Valley Screen

Various External Examiner and Validation Panel Membership Roles

Professional Mentor for PGCE students, University of Sunderland

Professional Mentor for Undergraduate Students, University of Sunderland


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