Biography

Ellen Thornton has been a photography lecturer since 1984. Before commencing her teaching career she spent ten years self-employed as an advertising and editorial photographer working with print and audio visual presentations. During this time she also scripted and presented a photography course for children for RTE. Her main research interests centre on the use of the image to question, document, persuade and re-present. She has researched the topic of land, home, and place and the interplay of these concepts within the geographical and political conflict area of Israel/Palestine. Her present research interest questions the role of the image in society. Is it a public art grounded in the experiences and aspirations of a democratic society, or a form of expression and communication that delivers a miasma of fragmentary information and sensory appeals leaving little distinction between fact and fiction, public affairs and private consumption? She is a graduate of DIT (Photography 1988), U.C.D. (BCL 1984) and received an M.Lit Visual Medium and Copyright N.U.I. Trinity College (1999) and is a non practicing solicitor.

Teaching and other relevant work experience
Photography Lecturer since 1989 delivering modules in Photography across BA Photography, BA Film & Broadcasting, and BA Journalism programme’s. Dissertation supervisor at undergraduate and post graduate level.

Member of the curriculum development teams which designed; Photography module BA Photography (2009. DIT) Photojournalism module for BA Journalism (2007. DIT) Photography module BA Film & Broadcasting (2009. DIT)

Visiting lecturer at Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design. Dublin. Visiting lecturer at Colaiste Dulaigh. Dublin. Visiting lecturer at Hadassah College of Technology, Jerusalem, Israel.
Scripted and presented a ten-week course in photography for R.T.E

Researched the topic of land, home, and place and the interplay of these concepts within the geographical and political conflict area of Israel/Palestine. An exhibition of the work was held in Israel 1996 and 2000. Present research interest questions the role of the image in society and asks do we need a new ‘ethics’ of the image.

Before joining the teaching staff of DIT was ten years self-employed as an advertising and editorial photographer working with print and audio visual presentations. During this time also scripted and presented a photography course for children for RTE. Main research interests centre on the use of the image to document, persuade and re-present.

Research and scholarly activities:
Conference papers
Dublin 2008
Delivered a paper titled ‘Victims of conflict: Humans with a right in their image, or a commodity in the commercial traffic in pain’ at the Photography & International Conflict conference organised by the Photography & International Conflict project at University Ccollege Dublin’s Clinton Institute for American Studies. The paper addressed the complex issue of the representation of victims of conflicts in the media’s coverage of trauma and suffering.
2006
Delivered a paper titled ‘Does Material Matter to Memory’ DIT Annual Research Day. The paper addressed the concept of memory as it attaches to place and in particular the former homeland of displaced Palestinian’s.
2005
Essay on Copyright and the Visual Artist Visual Artists’ News Sheet, Dublin, 2005.
1997-2002
International Contributor for the Photography & Digital Imaging magazine a publication of the Israeli Photographic Association.

Media production/exhibitions
1979
Gallery of Photography as part of the “Out of the Shadows” Exhibition.
1980
Group exhibition on Contemporary Irish Photography “Out of the Shadows” on tour in Ireland and Great Britain.
1981.
Solo exhibition “Woman, Myth and the Reality” Siamsa Tiara, Listowel, County Kerry as part of Listowel Writers Weeks.
1997
Signals Festival of Women’s Photography. Group exhibition on Women’s Photography on the Internet.
2000
Israel as part of a group exhibition on Land Home and Place