Senior Lecturer in Fashion Photography and Year 2 Lead

  • Academic
  • Research
Dr Sally Waterman

Sally Waterman creates autobiographical photographic and moving image works that explore memory, place and familial relationships through literary adaptation. Her research interests include self-representation, identity, gender, narrative, memory studies and the archive. She received an MA Image & Communication from Goldsmiths, University of London in 1996 and was awarded her practice-based PhD in Media & Photography from the University of Plymouth in 2011.

Dr Sally Waterman


Sally joined UCA Rochester as an associate lecturer in 2017 and became a senior lecturer and Year 2 Leader for BA Photography & BA Fashion Photography in February 2021 until August 2023. She moved to UCA Epsom in September 2023 to lead year 2 of the BA Fashion Photography course. She has worked in academia since 2005, teaching across photography, fashion photography, film, media arts and contextual studies at BA and MA level at Arts University Plymouth, University of Plymouth and Ravensbourne University, London. 

She has acquired substantial industry experience working as a part time archive manager for the German fashion and fine art photographer, Juergen Teller since 2009 and has previously worked as an archivist for Pentagram Design and the National Portrait gallery, London. Commercially, Sally’s photographs have been published by clients such as Virago, Random House, Harper Collins and Faber & Faber for a variety of book covers through Millennium Images Ltd, who have represented her since 1996.

Her work has been exhibited extensively, including Derby Museum & Art Gallery, Midland Arts Centre, Birmingham; Nottingham Castle Museum, Wolverhampton Gallery, York Art Gallery, Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown, Wales; Pitzhanger Manor House and Gallery, London; Royal West of England Academy, Bristol; MK Gallery, Milton Keynes and Turner Contemporary, Margate. Her films have been screened at numerous international festivals, such as Aesthetica Short Film Festival, York; Berlin Experimental Film Festival; The Family Film Project International Film Festival, Porto, Portugal; International Kansk Video Festival, Russia and the Istanbul Experimental Film Festival. She has co-curated artist film programmes at Birkbeck cinema, London; ViSiONA festival, Huesca, Spain; Close-Up cinema, London and CCA, Glasgow. Her work is held in public collections including The National Art Library at the V&A, London; Tate Library, London and the Yale Center for British Art, New York, as well as universities such as Goldsmiths, Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Denver and The School of Art Institute of Chicago.

Published academic writing includes ‘Performing Familial Memory in Against’ in Picturing the Family: Media, Narrative, Memory (Bloomsbury, 2018), ‘Re-imagining the Family Album through Literary Adaptation’ in Global Photographies: Memory–History–Archives (Transcript, 2018) and 'Staging Sermon: Performing Autobiographical Memory Through The Waste Land' in The Handbook of Research on the Relationship Between Autobiographical Memory and Photography (IGI Global, 2023).

She was a visiting fellow at the IGRS, University of London (2011-2012), where she organised the 'Family Ties: Recollection and Representation' conference. As a founder member of the subsequent research group, Family Ties Network, she has organised and hosted a number of research seminar events and curated exhibitions and screenings across the UK.

Further information:

Research statement

Sally’s interdisciplinary arts practice and research is concerned with the adaptation of literature into a form of self-representation, drawing upon writers such as Henry James, Derek Jarman, Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf. She re-invents the source material through a fragmentary re-scripting exercise, seeking associations with certain images, themes, characters or concepts. By staging the self in this way, difficult, yet universal experiences of illness, conflict, loss and separation are illuminated through adaptation. Indeed, the chosen literary text functions as a mechanism for the re-imagining of memory. Interventions with the family album and recalled narratives are firmly embedded within her practice, which interweaves textual elements to represent identity, home, place and familial relationships.

Her doctoral research in Media & Photography at the University of Plymouth, supervised by Professor Liz Wells (‘Visualising The Waste Land: Discovering a Praxis of Adaptation’, University of Plymouth, 2004-2010), used T.S Eliot’s 1922 poem as an explorative text to examine her interpretative methods, culminating in a collection of photographic and video installations. Through the employment of constructed narratives, metaphorical landscapes and performative re-enactments, the Waste Land project became an attempt to work through the marital breakdown and divorce of her parents. Since then, Sally’s practice-based research has continued to develop within the fields of self-portraiture, memory studies, photographic narratives and experimental film.

  • Family Ties Network, Research Group (since 2012)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (since 2008)
  • Represented by Millennium Images Ltd, London (since 1996)
  • Iris: The International Centre for Women in Photography, Loughborough University (Represented 1996-2007)

External Examiner, Manchester Metropolitan University, December 2022

  • Layla Leonie Jade Regan, Masters by Research, Constructed Nostalgia: Collaboration and Identity in cross-cultural fashion photography practice, supervised by Dr Philip Sykas, Reader in Textile History, Manchester Metropolitan University 


  • 2018 – Small Research Grant, Ravensbourne University London, 'Ideas of Intimacy’ Family Ties Network seminar
  • 2017 – Small Research Grant, Ravensbourne University London, Participation in ‘Visualising the Home’ conference, University of Cumbria
  • 2012 – John Coffin Lecture Fund, University of London, ‘Family Ties: Recollection and Representation’ conference
  • 2004-2010 – PhD research fee remission scholarship, University of Plymouth


  • 2017-2018 – Talking Transformations: Home on the Move, Curated by Dr. Ricarda Vidal and Dr. Manuela Perteghella. Created artist video based on English translation of a Romanian version of a Polish poem: Shown at Whitstable Biennale, Poetry Library, Royal Festival Hall, London, Ledbury Poetry Festival, Malvern Hills and Tate Modern
  • 2012-2013 – Rethink Your Mind, UK
    Judge for mental health arts competition, organised by AdvanceUK, SISO and HowRU?
  • 2006-2007 – Art & Adventure, London
    Created experimental video for multimedia adaptation of Dante’s ‘Inferno’. 
    Producer: Roger Elsgood, Director William Richards
  • 2003 – Trace is not a Place
    Journey Home: Limited edition artist book (35 in edition)