“Jonathan is steadily accumulating a distinctive and ground breaking body of work. Its technical accomplishment and its beauty are the product of a disciplined fascination with the relationship between photomechanical reproduction and time. The central issues of his work have remained constant yet he continues to find new and fruitful ways of exploiting them. He is a genuine original.”
Jonathan Shaw is an award winning photographer, internationally regarded researcher, educator and academic leader.
He is Professor of Photography and Media and Director of Coventry University’s £4.5 million Disruptive Media Learning Lab, a semi-autonomous experimental unit with remit to specifically drive innovation of teaching, learning and practice forward across the University.
Jonathan has been described as being part of an early generation of artists responsible for the emergence of a new school of photography which blurs the boundaries between the still and moving image. Like that of his predecessors, his work can be seen as part of a long tradition of experimentation whereby the camera apparatus becomes both an instrument of scientific record and a tool for aesthetic exploration.
His fascination with the representation of time and movement in, and through, photography culminated in Time|Motion published by Dewi Lewis in 2003, which placed Jonathan’s work alongside the photographic pioneers Eadweard Muybridge and Harold Edgerton. In 2004 he was nominated for prestigious Paul Hamlyn Award. (re)collect a monograph on his work, was published by Pavilion in 2006. Crash published in 2009 by New Art Gallery Walsall, employed Japanese folding techniques binding a single image as the entirety of the book.
His last publication, NEWFOTOSCAPES (2014) looked to the futures of photography and photography education, produced in collaboration with GRAIN Photography Hub and the Library of Birmingham, evokes a more radical approach to the photo-book. It explores principles of open and hybrid publishing, releasing the book from a static container of knowledge to a more fluid and dynamic state. NEWFOTOSCAPES was released under a creative commons license, simultaneously available for free online, as an agile eBook and as an exquisite hard back.
Jonathan is the outgoing Chair of the Association for Photography in Higher Education, the UK’s official network for photography educators. As an Adobe Education Leader, he forms part of their worldwide community championing creativity in education. He was awarded a direct fellowship of Royal Photographic Society (RPS) for his achievements in the field of photography, and a fellowship of the RSA, in recognition for his work in photography education practices. In 2014 he became a visiting fellow at the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice at Bournemouth University.
Working in an advisory capacity Jonathan is the Chair of the Board of Directors for Birmingham Open Media (BOM) UK, which focusses on creative innovation and radical research with art, technology and science. He is an international academic board member for Photography Studies College, Melbourne, Australia, successive winner for excellence in photography education since 2011 and rated as the number one photography college in Australia. Most recently, Jonathan was invited to become a trustee for The Photographers’ Gallery, London, supporting innovation with the digital and education strategies.
Previously, he was Acting Head and Associate Head of Department for Media (Innovation, Profile & Research) at School of Art & Design, Coventry University. During this time Jonathan and his colleagues were responsible for pioneering free and open photography educational resources at Coventry University; the classes picbod.org (Picturing the Body) & phonar.org (Photography and Narrative) have been accessed by thousands of people worldwide; the apps developed have been called ground-breaking; the Photographic Mediations collection he curated on iTunesU had in excess of a million listens.
Jonathan’s commissioned work includes pieces for Volkswagen UK, the Manhattan Loft Corporation, and Nigel Coates’ book Guide to Ecstacity published by Laurence King Publishing.
His work can be found in the collections of Arts Council of England, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Birmingham Central Library Photographic Archive, as well as various private collections.
He studied photography, graphic design and computer graphics at the University of the West of England between 1990 and 1996 and then completed a Masters degree at the Birmingham City University in 1997.