Practicing photographer and participatory artist with experience of developing creative projects in both formal and informal learning environments. Specialism in working with children and Young People requiring additional support, social, emotional and behavioural needs and ASD.
1997: BA (Hons) Photography Film and Television, Napier University, Edinburgh.
2016: TQFE (Postgraduate level), University of Dundee
Recent commissions and projects as an educator (edited list)
September 2021- March 2022: Carving Concrete: A Brief History of Livingston Skate Park. Curator and workshop facilitator. Researched and curated large scale exhibition showing photography and artefacts from this historic park’s past.
September 2021- December 2021: Creative Scotland funded project working with Young People from the LGBTi+ community in West Lothian on a photography and tattoo design project.
April 2021- June 202: Bings! Cyanotype and digital photography workshops with Young People looking at the industrial heritage of the Five Sisters bings near West Calder. Part of a larger project through St Andrew’s University contrasting the UK’s industrial past with that of the Donbas region of Ukraine. Funded by AHRC.
June 2021 – June 2022: Stirling Council project collaborating with a musician working with various groups to develop their creativity
April 2016- present: creative learning coordinator and creative learning practitioner at Langlees Primary School, Falkirk- an Attainment Challenge funded school. Specialism in developing individual curriculums for pupils with additional support needs and working with small groups to realise visual literacy projects throughout the school.
May 2012- present: HYPE (Helping Young People Engage), West Lothian Council. Working with young people using photography as a means to increase their soft skills, develop social skills and express themselves creatively. Winner of best Arts and Creativity project at the National Youth Work Awards 2020.
November 2018- September 2019: Creative and Active Lives Programme Coordinator, West Lothian Youth Action Project. Responsible for developing individual curriculums for Care experienced Young People living in West Lothian.
August 2014 – June 2018: photography lecturer at West Lothian College.
April 2015- June 2018: photography tutor at Chartershall SEBN school, Stirling.
June 2015- January 2016: Working with service users to all Waverly Care projects (Glasgow and Edinburgh) to create a project around the theme of living with HIV and HepC.
Feb 2008- June 2010: Digital Artist’s Residency, Stirling Council. Working with the Bannockburn cluster of primary schools, the aim of this residency was to equip teachers and pupils with the skills to develop class projects which utilise a variety of software programmes, film making, animation and digital photography.
Dec 2006 – Oct 2007: Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow Museums. Blind Faith; Contemporary Art and Human Rights, a Glasgow Museums and Galleries and The National Galleries of Scotland collaboration.
August 2005- December 2006: Adam Smith College, Fife. Xpress artist’s residency funded through the Scottish Arts Council’s Partner’s project. As part of this residency, we developed outreach projects with the residents of the YMCA/YWCA Glenrothes homeless units. Awarded Scottish Adult Learning Partnership award for Good Practice – Breaking Down Barriers to Learning.
Talks and Lectures
May 2016: Artworks Scotland participatory artist workshop to teachers
October 2014- present: lecture students on the Napier University BA (Hons) Photography course
February 2011: Employing artists, Creative Learning symposium, Tolbooth, Stirling
2021: Working with children and young people with anxiety, how autism presents in girls,
2020: Working with children with ADHD, working with children with ODD, therapeutic life story work, the rupture repair cycle, supporting children and young people who internalise their distress.
Pictures of Youth: visual culture for children and young people
Sexing the Canvas: Art and gender, University of Melbourne.
Leading Innovation in Arts and Culture: Vanderbilt University, National Arts Strategies
Art and Activity: Interactive Strategies for Engaging with Art: Museum of Modern Art, New York
Seeing Through Photographs: Museum of Modern Art, New York
ITAC participant (International Teaching Artist) conference
Circle member for the First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls
Highly experienced in all elements of photography, Photoshop and other creative software programmes. Successful visual artist, exhibitions organiser and curator. Experienced in Microsoft Office across both Mac and PC platforms.
Full member of the PVG scheme – proof available on request.
My Collaborative Practice and Philosophy
My approach to my collaborative practice is based upon my own learning experiences at school and University where I struggled to motivate myself to learn and engage in lessons. I thrived in the less formal learning environment of FE college where I was left to work on my own to complete my studies. After University I began teaching photography informally as a collaborative art practice; a way of working I have built up with nearly 25 years of experience. I develop education projects across primary, secondary and community education, and occasionally the gallery sector. As a collaborative artist both the organisation and the participants are stakeholders and assist in the decision-making and, more importantly, are listened to. In this person-centred approach, everyone is an individual and free to express their creativity in a safe environment; my role as participatory artist is to facilitate this learning. However, underpinned in my practice is the idea that I am constantly learning from the participants themselves. From my very first commission I was able to witness how a person’s soft skills and creativity could be brought to the fore through photography and it is this which motivates me.
I believe that everyone has the right to access education to the better themselves and society as a whole. Learning can be both formal and informal and should increase the breadth and depth of an individual’s skills base and knowledge. As part of this process I have become interested in how people learn and through my years of experience I am able to identify various teaching techniques to engage learners on an individual level.
Full portfolio available on request.
What People Say
“I really enjoy working with Lisa and it’s obvious that the Young People feel the same.”Jane Drysdale, Community Education Officer at The Glitter Canons LGBTQi project, West Lothian Council
“Lisa brings a creative flair to every aspect of our school.”Brian McLaren, Head Teacher of Langlees Primary School
“Lisa has delivered photography courses as a part of HYPE for ten years now and the Young People who take part benefit greatly from her experience.”Heather Thomson, Senior Education Officer and organiser of the HYPE Programme, West Lothian Council