Course Leader, Photography BA(Hons) (Online)

Catarina Fontoura is an artist, educator and writer. She has submitted her PhD thesis in History of Photography from Birkbeck, University of London, specialising in visual histories of science. Catarina was the recipient of a Collaborative Doctoral Award between Birkbeck and the Royal Society in London, where she studied expeditionary photographic archives. The results of her doctoral investigation have been presented in the third Photographies Journal International Conference in 2022.

Catarina’s artistic practice explores the relation between art, science, spirituality, story-telling and ecology. She is particularly interested in reconfiguring the land into entangled systems and stories, embedding human beings into non-human narratives and entities. Her work has been exhibited in Germany, USA, Mexico, UK and Portugal.

Catarina was a nominee for the Magnum Graduate award in 2015. Her work has been published in several independent art publications and online platforms, such as AP, Der Grief, Paper Journal, The Lost Prairie and Phases Magazine. Recent exhibitions include the collective show ‘The colour of there seen from here, the colour of where you are not’, in Vital Spaces, New Mexico US and 'In Progress' at the Centre for Contemporary Art and Gallery in Augsburg, Germany. 

Her latest research focuses on the relationship between autobiography, creative practice and ecology and her book chapter ‘Urgent Autobiographies: Lived Experiences of Ecology in Photographic Practice’ will be published in early 2023 by IGI Publishers, USA.

Originally from Portugal, she lives and works in West Cornwall, UK.

External Links

Dr Catarina Fontoura

Contact details



Year Qualification Awarding body
2021 PhD in History of Photography and Visual Cultures of Science Birkbeck University
2018 Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Falmouth University
2013 MA - Documentary Photography University of South Wales Newport
2009 BA Fine Arts Universidade do Porto

Honors and awards

Year Description

Magnum Graduate Award - Nominee


AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award Studentship - Royal Society

Research Interests

Research interests and expertise

  • Art and Ecology
  • Environmental Humanities
  • Land
  • Animal Studies
  • Trees and Treescapes
  • Photography
  • Visual Culture
  • History of Science
  • Climate / Ecological Change and Crisis
  • Decolonization
  • Hospicing Modernity

Areas of teaching

  • Research Skills 
  • Conscious Creative Practice
  • Radical Learning and Education
  • Photographic Projects Supervision
  • Critical Thinking
  • Dissertation
  • Whole Systems Thinking
  • Eco-philosophy and Art
  • Post-colonialism 
  • Ethical and Environmental Implications of Art and Photography
  • Creating for Good. 
  • Response-ability of Creative People
  • Land,  Art and Photography

Research Outputs

Publications and research outputs

Externally funded research grants information

Collaborators Currency Funder HESA Category Project title Value Year ending Year starting
University of South Wales Newport Invocations - Learning Innovation Grant 2014 2013
Exeter University, Arts and Culture and Falmouth University Creative Exchange - Mapping Emergence 2023 2023


CPD delivered

  • Global Photographies Network - Online Short Course on Ecological Crisis and Contemporary Photography entitled: 'Urgent Stories: Lived Experience of Ecological Crisis in Photography'.

Professional Engagement

Independent professional practice

Selected exhibitions   

  • 2022 ‘The colour of there seen from here, the colour of where you are not’, Vital Spaces, Santa Fe, New Mexico February 2022.
  • 2017 Galleri Box, Summer Art Fair, Göteborg, Sweden.
  • 2015 Carlisle Photo Festival, Photobook Dummy Exhibition, UK
  • 2015 Photoplace Gallery, Middlebury, Vermont, ‘Things with Wings’, US
  • 2014 Encontros da Imagem, Photobook dummy exhibition, Braga, Portugal
  • 2014 The Independent AIR exhibition, Silkeborg, Denmark
  • 2014 Wish You Were Here, Exhibition Featuring work of emergent photographers Ffotogallery, Penarth, Cardiff UK
  • 2014, Exhibition ‘A Process’, Neue Galerie im Höhmannhaus in Augsburg, Germany
  • 2013 Edges, MA Graduate Show, Ffotogallery, Penarth, Cardiff UK
  • 2012 Invocations, Solo Show, Ffloc Gallery curated by Helen Sear, Newport, UK
  • 2012 Unseen Bristol, Parlour Showroom, Bristol UK 
  • 2012 100 Years of Photography at Newport, University of Wales, Newport, UK
  • 2011 Invocations Work in Progress, Fauna & Flora Gallery, Newport, UK 2010
  • 2011 BA Graduate Show, “I am late”, Museu da Vila Velha, Vila Real, Portugal 2009
  • 2010 Revelaciones, Biblioteca del Cabañal, Valencia, España
  • 2008 FotoGuadalajara, UDG Gallery, Guadajara, Mexico


  • European Prospects: Visual Explorations in an Undiscovered Continent, May 2014
  • Source, Graduate selection, October 2014
  • Der Grief Book ‘A Progress’ July 2014
  • Antennae, The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture
  • The Latent Image, USA March 2014
  • Phases Magazine, June 2014
  • Paper Journal Magazine, June 2014
  • Ap Magazine, Selected Photograph from ‘Invocations’, May 2013
  • Invocations featured in Gimnasio Magazine, Mexico September 2012

Recent Publications:

  • ‘Urgent Autobiographies: Lived Experiences of Ecology in Photographic Practice’ in 'Handbook of Research on the Relationship Between Autobiographical Memory and Photography', Ed. Mark Ingham, Nela Millic, Vasileios Kantas, Sara Andersdotter and Paul Lowe. Hershey, Pennsylvania: IGI Global. January 2023.
  • ‘Wild Home: Boundaries and borders between domestic and wild in expeditionary photography in the twentieth century’ in Photographies Journal International Conference, San Antonio Texas, US. September 2022. Submitted for Publication.
  • ‘Ecological Reparations: Medicinal Trees, Colonization and the Archive’ in ‘Decolonizing Decarbonization Zine’, Council for Higher Education in Art and Design (CHEAD), December 2022. Submitted for Publication.
  • ‘Filha de Carvão e Ouro Negro’ (Daughter of Coal and Black Gold: Stories of Extractivism and Love) in Vento e Agua Journal, Portugal, Issue 35 May 2022

Social, community and cultural engagement

HESOW - Graduate Mentorship Programme 2023 - on-going

Engagement with professional associations and societies


  • Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures Network. Member
  • Global Photographies Network, Collaborator
  • Experimental Pedagogies Research Group UAL. Member
  • FOTOCINEMA Journal, Peer Reviewer
  • Women in Academia Support Network. Member

Membership of external committees

  • Terra Research group, Falmouth University member.
  • Decolonial Futures Network, member
  • Experimental Pedagogies Research Group UAL, member
  • Global Photographies Network, collaborator
  • FOTOCINEMA journal, peer reviewer