Helen McGhie

Photographic Artist | Researcher 


Helen McGhie is a lens-based artist and researcher based in Salford (UK). She explores the still, moving and sonic image to create new encounters with photography, often in non-art contexts, to engage diverse audiences in new, unexpected ways.

She is Senior Lecturer in Photography at the University of Sunderland and is currently working on an practice-based PhD exploring encounters with dark skies at Kielder Observatory (Northumberland), funded by Northern Bridge Consortium (NPIF/AHRC).


2017-23: Practice-based photography PhD, University of Sunderland
2012-14: MA Photography, Royal College of Art (Distinction)
2006-09: BA(Hons) Photography, Video & Digital Imaging, University of Sunderland (1st class) 


2022: Another Dimension, Kielder Forest Skyspace Trail (Northumberland, UK)
2022: Dark Skies & Society conference, University of Oxford Cohen Quad (UK)
2021/2: Another Dimension, Kielder Observatory (online) visit exhibition
2021: SelfScapes, Dalby Forest (North Yorkshire, UK)
2020: Exploring Skyscapes, Nottingham Contemporary (Nottingham, UK)
2019/20: Observe, Experiment, Archive, Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens / North East Photography Network (Sunderland, UK)
2019: Writing Skyscapes, Backlit Gallery (Nottingham, UK)
2018: 209 Women, Portculis House, UK Parliament (London, UK)
2018: Field/s ONE, Sluice_ Gallery (London, UK)
2018: Traces, Artrooms (Seoul, South Korea)
2018: Because we can, Festival Pil'ours (Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, France)
2018: <The Scrap>, Culture Station Seoul 284 (Seoul, South Korea)
2018: Cosmic Perspectives, Ugly Duck / Lumen Studios (London, UK)
2017: Lumen, Bankley Gallery (Manchester, UK) 2017:
2017: GM Arts Prize, Elliot House (Manchester, UK)
2016: And Again, Brooklyn Fire Proof / Sluice Exchange Rates (New York, USA)
2016: Hard Focus, ArtWork Atelier (Salford, UK)
2015: Sluice_ 2015, with Vacuous, Bargehouse (London, UK)
2015: Hello Future! Talent's Archive, Onassis Cultural Centre (Athens, Greece)
2014: Body, PH21 Gallery (Budapest, Hungary)
2014: Noise Festival: Best New Creatives, Southbank (London, UK)
2014: Show RCA, Royal College of Art (London, UK)
2014: Penumbra, APT Gallery (London, UK)
2013: Splinter, Michael Hoppen Gallery (London, UK)
2013: WIP Show, Royal College of Art (London, UK)
2012: Helen McGhie: Identity Crisis, Harris Museum & Art Gallery (Preston, UK)
2011: Freedom From Selection, BLANKSPACE (Manchester, UK)
2010: Flesh & Blood, Nexus Art Café (Manchester, UK)
2010: At Home, Chapel Gallery (Ormskirk, UK)
2010: Autres pour elles-mêmes, 8th Congress New Lacan School of Psychoanalysis (Geneva, Switzerland)        
2010: The Big M / Abandon Normal Devices, Flag Market Square (Preston, UK)
2009: Helios VII, The Biscuit Factory (Newcastle, UK)


selected ONLINE + PRINT

2020: Stargazing from the forest, interview with Photomonitor
2020: Monthly Photography, South Korea
2019: Observe, Experiment, Archive, Photomonitor (exhibition review)
2019: 209 Women, Hilary Wood, Helen Pankhurst (Bluecoat Press)
2018: Madam and Eve: Women Portraying Woman, Liz Rideal & Kathleen Soriano (Laurence King Publishing)
2018: Ideas on Talent: Communities within Photography with Thom Bridge, Photoworks
2017: Graphic Design School, Abbie Vickress, David Dabner, Sandra Stewart, Eric Zemple (Thames & Hudson)
2015: Helen McGhie, artist at Format Festival 2015, Shutter Hub
2014: Image Conscious, Spectrum, The Sunday Times Magazine, 23.11.14
2014: Penumbra, VERB Bureau (self-published)
2014: Science & Fiction (Black Dog Publishing)
2014: Uncertain States 17 newspaper
2013: Meet: Helen McGhie, Hunger TV (online article)
2012: Identity Crisis exhibition review, Culture 24
2010: The Last Picture Show, photography research archive
2009: JAM Contemporary Photographic Practice, exhibition catalogue



2021: The Moth House Artist Mentoring Award
2020: Covid-19 Emergency Fund, Arts Council England
2018: Hundred Heroines (nominated), The Royal Photographic Society
2018: International Portfolio Reviewers Choice Award, Format Festival
2017/23: AHRC National Productivity Investment Fund PhD Studentship, Northern Bridge Consortium
2017: The Graduate Photographer's Award (nominated), Magnum Photos
2017: GM Arts Prize (shortlisted)
2016: British Women Artists competition
2015: The Graduate Photographers Award (nominated), Magnum Photos
2014: Noise Fesitval Curator's Choice
2014: The Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers prize (photography)
2014: Deutsche Bank Fine Art Award (shortlisted)
2013: European Photography Prize (shortlisted)
2012/3: RCA Bursary



2021: Exploring the Arts-Science Interface, EGU General Assembly 2021
2021: Dark Sky Unconference, Dark Sky Tourism Network
2020: Open Dome Special: Exploring Skyscapes, Nottingham Contemporary
2020: Northern Bridge Research Residential, British School at Rome
2019: Art and Astronomy, Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens
2019: Writing Skyspaces, Nottingham Trent University / Backlit Gallery
2019: Living Research: The Urgency of the Arts, NAFAE / Royal College of Art
2019: Creative Lives, University of Sunderland
2018: NEPN Develop Graduate, University of Sunderland
2016: Hard Focus: The Physicality of Photography, ArtWork Atelier
2012: The Museum Social, Harris Museum and Art Gallery



<The Scrap>, Seoul, South Korea
Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens, Greece