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Louise Purbrick

Dr

20012018
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Personal profile

Research interests

Louise Purbrick is an art and design historian. Her research is devoted to understanding materiality and visuality. She focuses upon: sites of conflict and imprisonment, the spaces of industrial exploitation and exhibition, the art of political struggle and the attachments to domestic possessions in everyday life.

Louise works in collaboration with activists, archaeologists, artists, community groups and photographers. She is part of Traces of Nitrate collaboration: www.tracesofnitrate.org.

Her current research examines how the past remains present in its material forms. She has a longstanding interest in the Long Kesh/Maze prison site, the now empty ‘icon’ of ‘The Troubles’ located ten miles south of Belfast, and has spent many years documenting the transformations of its cell units, the H Blocks. Her work on the AHRC funded Traces of Nitrate projects documents and interprets the abandoned architecture of mining in Atacama Desert in northern Chile and the legacies of the nitrate trade in Britain. It is published in a number of academic journals. She also exhibits alongside photographers Xavier Ribas and Ignacio Acosta.

Louise completed her D.Phil in Art History at the University of Sussex in 1993 and has since published much of her study of the industrial and material culture of the Great Exhibition of 1851 in articles and edited collections. Her exploration of the power of objects began with the fascination for the Crystal Palace but has since extended to museum practices and the material culture of everyday life. In The Wedding Present (2007, 2014), a contemporary analysis of the gift, she detailed the acts of preservation that constitute domestic domains and argued that consumption was not an adequate framework through which to view everyday life. Broadly, then, Louise is concerned with the entanglements between people and things, with human and material relationships.

Alongside research and writing, Louise works as a curator and artist. She is a member of the Re-making Picasso’s Guernica Collective and has worked with Healing Through Remembering on exhibition projects. In 2010, Brighton Museum and Art Galleries accessioned the collection from which she curated Rattling the Cage (2009), a community archive of documents, textiles, photography and film used in a campaign to free a Guantánamo detainee. Most recently, she worked with the Community University Partnership Programme (CUPP) on Art, Refuge and Resistance, an exhibition of documents and designs about the current conditions of refugees.

Louise Purbrick is interested in developing postgraduate research in the following areas: the materiality of conflict or that of everyday life, photography as material form art and political activism, exhibition and museum practices.

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wedding Social Sciences
correctional institution Social Sciences
participation Social Sciences
gentrification Social Sciences
capital investment Social Sciences
artist Social Sciences
marriage Social Sciences
conflict resolution Social Sciences

Research Output 2001 2018

Long Kesh/Maze: A Case for Participation in Post-Conflict Heritage

Purbrick, L. 20 Jul 2018 Heritage After Conflict: Northern Ireland. Crooke, E. & Maguire, T. (eds.). Abingdon, (Routledge Studies in Heritage)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

participation
conflict resolution
correctional institution
fine arts
hunger

Trafficking the Earth

Ribas, X., Acosta, I. & Purbrick, L. 16 Jan 2018

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

Photography
Chile
Research Projects
Natural Resources
Copper

Maps & Lives

Purbrick, L. 11 Nov 2017

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

File
gentrification
capital investment
artist
participation
market

Mining Photography: The Oficina Alianza and Port of Iquique 1889

Purbrick, L. 1 May 2017 XXXIX, 110, p. 247-274 28 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
Photography
Nitrate
Albums
Chile
Photographic Album

Nitrate ruins: the photography of mining in the Atacama Desert, Chile

Purbrick, L. 2 May 2017 26, 2, p. 253-278 26 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
Ruin
Photography
Nitrate
Chile
Atacama Desert

Activities 2009 2019

Dress and Dissent

Pollen, A. (Organiser), Purbrick, L. (Organiser)
2019

Activity: Conference

Association for Art History

Pollen, A. (Member of programme committee), Perry, L. (Member of programme committee), Purbrick, L. (Member of programme committee), Wintle, C. (Member of programme committee), Salaman, N. (Member of programme committee), Cornford, M. (Member of programme committee), Aynsley, J. (Member of programme committee)
4 Apr 20196 Apr 2019

Activity: Conference

Engaging Mass Observation: New Perspectives on Contemporary Material

Pollen, A. (Organiser), Purbrick, L. (Participant), Bhatti, G. (Participant)
12 May 2009

Activity: Conference