The VMC Research Group at Northumbria provides a dynamic hub for researchers and students engaged with the historical and theoretical analysis of art, culture, design, museums and architecture. The group acts as a forum to bring together researchers across the university and offers an annual programme of events relating to current issues in visual and material culture research
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PhD Researchers

James Bell. Queering Archives, Archiving Queers: Cultural activism, Contemporary Art and the Archive. 2017-2021.

Principal supervisor: Victoria Horne

So Ching Wong
. Buddhist material culture in the Nanzhao and Dali Kingdoms- A study of bronzewares from 7th to 13th centuries

I studied archaeology in Jilin University, China and completed my masters in Archaeology and Heritage of Asia in UCL, UK. My research builds upon my previous studies in Buddhist Art and Archaeology, I am specialised in Chinese Archaeology with a particularly interested in cultural exchange routes with Southeast Asia.

My research is aiming to achieve an understanding on Buddhist bronze statues and their casting techniques in the Nanzhao (AD 738 to 902) and Dali Kingdoms (AD 937 to 1253), which are mainly located in present Southwest China and parts of Northern Southeast Asia. With fruitful discoveries relating to bronzewares in the area and bronze statues were made for worship during the Nanzhao and Dali period, my project will use a holistic approach to explore the histories and iconographies of Buddhist statues and get an understanding on their bronze industry and religious impact. My projects involves fieldtrip to Yunnan, categorisation and scientific analysis on artefacts I am examining in my project.

Supervisor: Louise Tythacott, Department of Arts
Secondary Supervisor: Chiara Bellini, Department of Arts

Funding: Tan See Bock PhD Studentship

Kathleen Boodhai. ​“Indian Heritage in Diaspora: Trinidad, Canada and the UK”. 2017-2021.

Supervisor: Susan Ashley

Elle Docx. “To what extent can Enlightenment discourse inform improvements in audience development theory and practice for British Orchestras in the immediate years after the coronavirus outbreak.”

In 2018, I completed my MA in Creative and Cultural Industries Management at Northumbria University, with a specific focus on orchestral programming and audiences. My doctoral research is a continuation of my previous studies into orchestral audiences; assuming an ethnographic approach through my role as the Communications Director for a British Orchestra.
The aim of my study is to explore the extent to which both pro-Enlightenment and anti-enlightenment arguments can inform improvements in the relationship between audiences and orchestras, particularly in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Supervisor: Martyn Hudson
Secondary Supervisor: David Smith

Francis Guy. AHRC Heritage Consortium studentship 2016-2021.

Supervisor: Susan Ashley

Hayley Mardon. ‘Tangled stories, hidden dimensions: a critical analysis of southern African jewellery/artefacts through collections at the British Museum and V&A, the postcolonial concept of hybridity and debates on decolonisation’

Principal supervisor: Ysanne Holt

Degna Stone.“Examining the role of Black arts and cultural expressions in challenging the representation ofheritage in the North of England”. 2021-2024.

Supervisor: Susan Ashley