Lecturer & Module Leader

Clare Bottomley is an artist, educator, and early career researcher, originally from Gloucester UK, now based in Helsinki, Finland. Bottomley completed her BA in Documentary Photography before continuing to study a Photography Master’s at the Royal College of Art, where she stepped away from documentary approaches and turned the camera on herself to explore methods of self-representation.

Bottomley self-portraits explores possibilities for re-enactment to destabilise ways in which narratives of the past are narrowly constructed to privilege hegemonic conformity. Combining performativity with her own feminine, queer, nonconforming body, she re-imagines historical imagery, to critically engage with cultural mythologies and origin stories and develop re-enactment as a method of deconstructing histories of normative oppression.

Bottomley’s experience in creative educations and research into critical pedagogy has led to collaboration playing an important role within her practice, which utilises collective approaches encompassing photography, video, and participatory workshops, when working closely with community and individual artists.

Bottomley’s work has been exhibited and screened across the across UK and Internationally including, Barbican London, Science Museum London, Mission Gallery, Swansea and Photographic Centre Nykyaika, Finland.

Bottomley is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Photography at Aalto University, Helsinki.

External Links

Clare Bottomley staff profile picture

Contact details



Year Qualification Awarding body
2020 Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Falmouth University
2013 MA Photography The Royal College of Art
2009 BA(hons) Documentary Photography University of Wales, Newport

Honors and awards

Year Description

The Deutsche Bank Award for Creative Enterprise


Areas of teaching

  • Photography

Courses taught

  • Photography BA(Hons) (online)
  • Photography MA/PGDip (online)
  • Photography BA(Hons) Top Up (online)

Professional Engagement

Independent professional practice

Upcoming Solo Shows

Date Practice
2024 July How to Communicate and Other Experiments @ Oksasenkatu 11, Helsinki, Finland. (upcoming)
2024 December Playing with the Gods @ Photographic Centre Nykyaika, Tampere, Finland (upcoming)
2024 December Unbecoming @ Fotocentrum Raseborg, Finland (upcoming)


Selected Group Exhibitions

Date Practice
2024 March On Art and Motherhood, Haywood Touring Exhibition, opening Arnolfini, Bristol UK (upcoming)
2023 August variously different - Headway East London, Barbican Curve Gallery
2023 June Naissance/ Re-Naissance, Unit London’s Voice Platform
2022 Landing, Falmouth University and Online
2021 The Ruth Borchard Collection, Self-Portrait Prize 2021, Coventry Cathedral
2019 Barbican, Modern Couples, Headway East London Film and Video Club Installation
2018 Lates, Science Museum, London Headway East London Film and Video Club Installation
2018 The Collective Pilgrimage, Mission Gallery, Swansea
2017 Together! 2017 Disability Film Festival, HEL Film and Video Club
2017 November –Nasty Women exhibition, Creative Debut London
2016 Everybody Says it’s all in Your Head, Horse Hospital Gallery London

Recent Conferences

Date Practice
2023 March Photography and Memory Symposium, Napier University Edinburgh, Paper Present – (Re)Enacting Memories Possibilities for Radical Re-enactment within Photography

Engagement with professional associations and societies

  • Member of the APHE (Association of Photographer in Higher Education)
  • Fellow of HEA (Higher Education Academy)