Ms Anna Lucas

Research project: Alongsiding; looking, looking through, looking away, looking again, looking with: a new term for an act of shared looking, mediated through the photographic still as an object on film.


The work is situated between participatory and relational practices in contemporary art and the relationship to film and photography, through process and learning.The research addresses theories relating to creative social exchange – dialogue, collaboration and learning, and how filming and photographing brings new insights and affects these exchanges within contemporary art contexts. It also looks at related theories around the photographic and moving image and as material objects embedded in histories and affects that transmit information and knowledge, as discussed in anthropology and social science contexts.This practice-based research proposes a new term ‘alongsiding' for the act of re-looking at photographs, with others. ‘Alongsiding' is the process of looking for moments of connection: looking and listening with a camera present; Looking through another's looking[1]. I am interested in these acts as affects and intensities in themselves, and what is generated in the moment, and in what might come forth from them. The significance of these small acts, carved out of hectic, media saturated bureaucratic lives, is in the local, intimate, physical presence in which two or more people are simply looking together, and in doing so seeing differently.The research proposes that knowledge is both brought to, and produced by the act of shared looking and making, through moving image. It is understood or assumed that embodied knowledge of looking, and handling photographic material, and cameras is brought to the shared moment by all participants, regardless of experience and expertise. Collectively enacting a moment of shared looking and making reveals and extends the knowledge in the space. Using the double ‘look' at a photographic image through another lens is analogous to dialogue. It draws attention other modes of working; from above, below – hierarchically, or face to face, combatively, and implicitly asks for partnership and solidarity in the act of re-looking.The camera is used as a primary research tool drawing on the charisma of the photographic as objects in which layers of imagery unfold, overlay and intersect. Attending equally to the physical characteristics of photographs, their 'volume, opacity, tactility, and physical presence in the world' at a moment of image saturation, digital transformation and screen-based image sharing. The research reflexively employs and deviates from filmic conventions, frequently revealing the manner of making, including apparatus, location and dialogue. This tendency to acknowledge context, peer influence and decision-making is also manifest through layered imagery and multiple registers within publications and texts generated through the research process.This research provides a recognition of difference, and of the impossibility of seeing, and knowing the same as ‘others'. Whether or not a final work is completed and shared, the intention for this to happen intensifies the process and re-frames it as a significant, heightened exchange. Some of these moments of ‘alongsiding' are disseminated as final film or print-based artworks, and are thus re-contextualised into contemporary artists moving image context through screenings and galleries, or through dissemination as prompts for teaching and learning.

  • Research degree: Practice-based PhD
  • Title of project: Alongsiding; looking, looking through, looking away, looking again, looking with: a new term for an act of shared looking, mediated through the photographic still as an object on film.
  • Research supervisor: Ms Andrea Stokes
  • Other research supervisors:


I am an artist filmmaker whose films are distributed by LUX, UK. Screenings and exhibitions include: 'In Defence of Delicate Things', Auction House Cornwall (2021) ‘Together With Them She Went', Tintype London (2020), ‘One Second Feature', The Gallery, Leicester (2019) Anthology Film Archives, New York; Oberhausen Film Festival, Tate Gallery, London; Essex Road Commission, Tintype London; Chisenhale Gallery, London; Fact, Liverpool. I have been Henry Moore Fellow at Spike Island, Bristol and Wellcome Trust Fellow at Oxford University. My exhibition ‘Alongsiding - Anna Lucas with the Arts Council Collection' ran from Jun–Oct 2021 at University of Leicester.

From Jan 2022 I am Part Time Course Leader in Fine Art at Bath Spa University.

Areas of research interest

  • Artists Moving Image
  • The photographic object
  • Artists dialogue
  • Thinking through making
  • Companionship and collaboration


  • BA Hons Fine Art, Sheffield Hallam University

Funding or awards received

  • Grants for Arts, Arts Council, England
  • Henry Moore Fellowship
  • Wellcome Trust Fellowship
  • Film London FLAMIN award
  • Commissions East
  • Essex Road Commission Tintype Gallery


Chapter in In Site of Conversation – on learning with art and audiences, Tate Publishing. Edited by L Turvey, A Walton

Looking as research as part of How to research series, Commissioned by Emma McGarry and Linda Stupart, Tate Learning

Slow Reveal, L Turvey, F Scott, A Lucas, ALF 2017