Professor Edward Dimsdale

Head of the Graduate School

Head of the Graduate School / Professor of Art & Contemporary Visual Culture 

After studying Social Sciences at the University of Bristol, Ed assisted photographers and worked in darkrooms as a photographic printer. Striking out as a freelance photographer in the early 1990s, he worked in London, Paris and New York. While studying MA Printmaking at the Cambridge School of Art, he explored contemporary applications for the historical method of photogravure. 

Represented by HackelBury Fine Art (London) since 1998, he has exhibited his photography widely, and his work is held in public and private collections. Exhibitions include Agulhas at HackelBury; Picturing Eden, a five-year touring museum show curated by Deborah Klochko for the George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; and Model Love (Arnolfini, Bristol; BAC, London), an intermedial collaboration with experimental theatre company, Bodies in Flight. A photographic publication, Stilled, was published by Stanley Barker in 2017. 

As a writer on photography and culture, Ed has contributed to numerous publications, including Hotshoe, an international photography journal. He has also contributed introductory essays for a number of photographic monographs, including Ian Macdonald’s Eton (2007), and Lam Pok Yin and Chong Ng’s The Untimely Apparatus of Two Amateur Photographers (2019). An essay for Kim Thue’s second book, Lode (2022), is forthcoming. His academic writing includes the joint paper Unsettling Materialities: The Indexical Relationship of Photography and Theatre in Bodies in Flight’s Model Love (2017), for the Journal of Photography and Culture, a collaboration with Professor Simon Jones of Bristol University. 

Prior to joining CSVPA, Ed taught at the Cambridge School of Art (BA/MA Fine Art), where he was co-ordinator of Critical and Contextual Studies, and winner of the 2019 Faculty Excellent Teacher Award. Previously, he had spent ten years the London College of Communication (UAL), where he held a Senior Lecturer in Photography Theory post, teaching across BA and MA Photography. He has also lectured at the University of Coventry, the Bartlett School of Architecture and the Slade School of Art. He has worked as an External Examiner, and is a member of the CHEAD (Council for Higher Education in Art & Design) Research Strategy Alliance. 

At CSVPA, where he is now a Professor of Art & Contemporary Visual Culture, Ed oversees the Graduate School courses, bringing interdisciplinary perspectives to bear across the programmes, and seeking to implement imaginative pedagogic approaches for art & design education. He contributes to the fostering of a distinctive research culture at CSVPA, and exploring options for innovative creative enterprise. He also contributes to the nurturing of inter-institutional relationships, such as with Cambridge University, through the CSVPA Arts Lab initiative.