Professor Richard Billingham
Professor in Creative Industries
Richard Billingham graduated from Sunderland University in 1994 with a degree in painting. In his third year as a BA student, curator Val Williams included some photographs he had originally made as research for his paintings in the show ‘Who’s Looking at the Family?’ at the Barbican Art Gallery, London in 1994.
In 1996, Scalo published his first photobook Rays a Laugh, a sequenced collection of photographs taken of his own family with a short quote/validation from the American photographer Robert Frank. This quote, together with a short statement in Billingham’s own words on the back cover provided the only text to the book- the idea being that the images stood by themselves.
In 1997 Billingham was the first recipient of the The Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize (now the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize) and was subsequently included in a number of significant group shows, including Sensation, Royal Academy, London; New Photography 12, Museum of Modern Art, New York and Life/Live, ARC, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
Gradually he gave up painting to make photographs and to experiment with video and film.
In 1998 BBC2 screened his film Fishtank, (47mins) produced by Adam Curtis and Art Angel. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2001 for his photography and video work. Around this time he undertook a number of artist’s residency programmes including the Sargeant Fellowship at the British School at Rome in 2002 before spending the next few years travelling and making a large body of work called Zoo.
There was a survey show of Billingham’s work at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne in 2007-8 which consisted of photography and video about his own family, the urban landscape in which he grew up and animals in zoos around the world.
He has been selector for New Contemporaries 2008, Open West 2011, Foto8 2011 and other open submission shows. He has lectured and taught in many different universities and art schools internationally such as Yale, University of North Texas, the National Art School, Sydney and was appointed Professor in the Creative Industries at Middlesex University in 2012.
He is currently working on a number of film and photography projects.
Richard Billingham is part of the Art Practice as Investigation Research Cluster.