Dr Pippa Oldfield is a curator, photo-historian and former Head of Programme at Impressions Gallery, a public-funded centre for contemporary photography in Bradford. She is particularly interested in the ways in which photography intersects with gender, conflict, politics and history, and with issues of access and inclusion in the public arts sector. Pippa is Senior Lecturer in Photography, teaching on BA Photography and MA Curating at MIMA School of Arts and Creative Industries.
She holds a BA in Fine Art (Falmouth School of Art); an MA in the Photographic Image (Durham University) and a PhD in photography, war and gender (Durham University). Her academic research has been supported by Arts and Humanities Research Council, Durham University, and Peter E. Palmquist Memorial Fund for Historical Photographic Research.
Pippa has curated nationally touring exhibitions that are accompanied by public engagement programmes and publications. These include No Man’s Land: Women’s Photography and the First World War, the first dedicated exhibition on the subject, which received national acclaim and was seen by over 100,000 people. She was co-project lead on an accompanying young people’s project, funded by Heritage Lottery, which received a National Creative Learning Guild award.
In her role at Impressions Gallery, she has worked with numerous contemporary photographers and artists, including Chloe Dewe Mathews, Broomberg & Chanarin, Edmund Clark, Oscar Muñoz, Farhad Ahrarnia, Melanie Friend, Zed Nelson, Lisa Barnard, Fiona Crisp, Juan-Pablo Echeverri, Stefan Ruiz, and Tessa Bunney. Her curatorial practice has been supported by Arts Council England, Visiting Arts, and Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.
Pippa has delivered talks and contributed to debates at The Photographers’ Gallery (London), the National Science and Media Museum (Bradford) and Open Eye Gallery (Liverpool), and via broadcast media including Women’s Hour BBC Radio 4, Radio 5 Live, and BBC Breakfast News. She has participated in international academic conferences featuring key theorists and critics, including Ariella Azoulay, Nicholas Mirzoeff, and Elizabeth Edwards.
She has delivered lectures, tutorials, workshops and seminars for photography practitioners at Impressions Gallery, as well as numerous UK universities and the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City. She has been a portfolio reviewer at international festivals including PhotoEspaña (Madrid), Format (Derby) and Fotofest (Houston, Texas), and at institutions including Blank Paper Escuela (Madrid) and Hydra (Mexico City).
As well as being a peer reviewer for Photography and Culture, Photographies, Humanities, and Routledge’s history series, Pippa is on the editorial board of Journal of War and Culture Studies. Her writing features in numerous books and catalogues published by Impressions Gallery, Dewi Lewis, Rose Issa Projects, and MuseumsEtc, among others. Her monograph Photography and War, published by Reaktion, is described as ‘essential reading’ by Sophie Wright, Global Cultural Director at Magnum Photos.
PhD Thesis: Calling the Shots: Women's Photographic Engagement with War in the American Hemisphere, 1910-1990