I have a BA in Fine Art from the Glasgow School of Art and a Master of Fine Art from Newcastle University. I am currently undertaking a PhD in Human Geography at Durham University which aims to translate knowledge across borders, mobilising methods of participatory housing and planning from Albania to the UK to examine whether participation in housing offers a progressive stance on the shaping of homes and the urban environment. Through a critical examination of self-build housing and upgrading processes in one informal community in Albania, knowledge will be translated from this settlement into a self-build housing model in Newcastle.
My writing and research has taken me to many locations. I have twice received the Bartlett Travel Bursary awarded by Newcastle University for research into Communist and post-Communist architecture in Albania, Belarus and Russia. In 2014 I organised the conference Sustainability in the City of Flux at Newcastle University and in 2015 I presented research at the Association of American Geographers in Chicago and organised an exhibition and programme of events – Urban Organisms – at The NewBridge Project, Newcastle, which examined urban food sustainability. I have been involved in many panel/discussion events including the Northern Conversation, Durham Moot and Urbanistas.
My art practice crosses the boundary between art and architecture. Previous artwork has included large scale architectural installations and cross artform performances. In 2010, along with a musician and a writer I was commissioned by Chester Performs to create a sound and visual installation for Up the Wall festival of live arts at Chester Castle. This piece then travelled to the Playhouse Theatre, Liverpool for the Everyword Festival and to The NewBridge Project, Newcastle. In 2011 I presented my work at the Hatton Gallery, Newcastle, and, working alongside an architect and an archaeologist, at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale as part of REcall – an international, EU Culture funded project which sought to formulate a new role for the architectural environment through the re-appropriation of European sites with a difficult history. This project led to a proposal for a site in Rome – The 100 Gram Cycle which won second prize in the final REcall competition, presented in Berlin in 2014. I also completed a commission for the Maison de la Culture in Amiens, France: a large scale architectural installation for Amiens’ floating gardens. This formed part of the Art, Cities and Landscape festival that takes place each summer. I have recently presented a video, The Spider Web City, at Art Kontakt festival at Porto Palermo Castle in Albania which looked at the psychological distance between an ‘informal’ settlement in Tirana and the ‘formal’ city.