Ghosts of the Restless Shore

Space, Place and Memory of the Sefton Coast


Jake Campbell

Jake Campbell was born in South Shields in 1988. His debut pamphlet of poetry, Definitions of Distance, was published by Red Squirrel Press in 2012; while his second, The Coast Will Wait Behind You, will follow from Arts Editions North alongside the launch of Ghosts of the Restless Shore.

A recipient of New Writing North’s Andrew Waterhouse award, Jake has worked with a range of artists on multidisciplinary projects, from devising and curating TEDxYouth@TyneBridge, the North-East’s first youth-led TEDx event, to collaborating with theatre directors, actors, dancers and photographers on projects from South Africa to Wallsend.

His poems, short stories and reviews have appeared in a number of national and international print and online journals and periodicals, and he has taught as a visiting lecturer in the University of Chester’s English Department as well as being a workshop leader for Cuckoo Young Writers. He co-founded the poetry magazine, Butcher’s Dog, and in September 2015 will begin an AHRC-funded PhD in Creative Writing at Newcastle University.


Mike Collier

Dr. Mike Collier is a lecturer, writer, curator and artist. He studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College before being appointed Gallery Manager at the ICA in London. He subsequently became a freelance curator and arts organiser, working extensively in the UK and abroad and initiated many major exhibitions whilst working at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, including the Tyne International.

Throughout his career, Mike has maintained his artistic practice. Much of his work is based around walking – through the city, the countryside and urban Edgelands. He integrates image and text, often drawing on the poetic qualities of colloquial names for places, plants and birds. In 2010 he co-founded WALK (Walking, Art, Landskip and Knowledge), a research centre at the University of Sunderland which looks at the way we creatively engage with the world as we walk through it.

He has been responsible for a number of high-profile exhibitions under the auspices of WALK including co-curating Walk On: From Richard Long to Janet Cardiff – Forty Years of Art Walking, an exhibition which toured the UK in 2013/4; Wordsworth and Basho: Walking Poets(an exhibition of manuscripts by William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Matsuo Bashōand Yosa Buson shown alongside newly commissioned work by twenty leading contemporary artists from the UK and Japan, Dove Cottage 2014 and touring to japan in 2016). He is also a Co-Director of the publisher Art Editions North.


Tim Collier

Tim Collier studied photography at both West Surrey College of Art and Design and Harrow Institute. Initially he worked within the documentary tradition, working on projects that ranged from living with and recording rural communities to documenting the ‘tramp’ coaster trade in the British shipping industry. More recently he has turned his attention to photographing the landscape and natural history of both Scotland and Wales.

His large collection of images, primarily from Wales (where he now lives and works), explores the unique qualities of light that are continually changing both the character and formal relationships of the landscape. He has also worked on a series of images that documents the power and mystery behind pre-historic sites in and beyond Wales.

He is currently developing two major pieces of work; ‘Birds Eloquent’, which explores the relationship of bird behaviour to both habitat and place and ‘Rhiwlas 35 years on’ which involves taking his archive of images shot in 1980 back to the community for comprehensive documentation.

Collier ran a photographic tour company for a number of years taking groups to the islands of Scotland and Wales, in addition to working with the WWT providing one day photographic courses. He has published three books to date and continues to play a role in contemporary photographic practice in Wales.

He now works as a freelance photographer on various projects  all related to his respect of the land as well as writing extensively on his blog.


John Dempsey

John Dempsey works on the Sefton coast with the local authority’s coast and countryside team. He is currently seconded to the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership, which promotes the culture and natural history of the area. He has recorded and enjoyed the flora, fauna and history of the Sefton coast for more than four decades (as his long-suffering wife Sarah will attest), and regularly leads walks and events with the partnership, which are aimed at getting more people to enjoy, value and respect this remarkable landscape.

Before he escaped to the dunes, he worked as a journalist for 23 years, publishing “Wild Merseyside”, a guide to the region’s natural history, in 2009. John also wrote the Liverpool Daily Post’s “Country Matters” column, taking it on after the death of its legendary creator and natural historian extraordinaire, Eric Hardy. Publications for the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership include “Sefton’s Wild Flowers” and “Beachcombing for the Weird and Wonderful”.

John also produces a popular blog detailing encounters with wildlife locally and further afield, and is currently working on a guide to the coast for the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership, due for publication next year.


Geraldine Reid

Geraldine grew up in Lydiate and spent her childhood exploring the Sefton and North Wales coastlines and their diverse wildlife. These formative experiences with marine life led her to study Marine Biology and Botany at Bangor University. She went on to work at Sherkin Island Marine Station monitoring marine plankton. Inspired by the intricacies and importance of aquatic ’plant’ life she specialised in diatoms taking up a post at the Natural History Museum in London to work on the British Marine Diatom Flora and undertook a PhD in diatom taxonomy.

Geraldine spent 18 years at the Natural History Museum in various roles researching and curating the diatom collections. She has named and described many new species which she discovered on her field-trips collecting diatoms from around the world. She has recently returned  to Liverpool to take up the post of Head of Botany at World Museum.


Robert Strachan

Robert Strachan is a lecturer based in the School of Music. He has published numerous articles on a variety of aspects of popular music culture including DIY music cultures, electronic music and creativity, the history of British black music and music and audiovisual media. He is co-editor of The Beat Goes On: Liverpool, Popular Music and the Changing City (Liverpool University Press, 2010) and his monograph on music technology of creativity Sonic Affordance will be published by Bloomsbury in 2016.

Rob is also an active musician and sound artist. His interests currently lie at the intersection of electronica, drone and sound art. Recent collaborative work includes audiovisual installations exhibited at the Wordsworth Trust, Liverpool Biennial, the Bluecoat and FACT. He also has a track record in exploring the use of digital audio technologies in one-off hybrid performances including work at METAL, FutureEverything, AND Festival and Tate Liverpool. His two collaborative performances of ‘Blue Remix’ with the Swiss performance artist Yann Marussich (including the National Review of Live Art, Glasgow) formed part of a project which would receive the award of Distinction: Hybrid Art at the 2008 Prix Ars Electronica.

Robert’s collaborative album with the pianist Anni Hogan ‘Mountain’ was released by Coldspring records in 2011. His music and commentary have been heard on a variety of radio stations including a broadcast live set and interview for BBC Radio 3 and a central role in documentaries on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 4.


Stephen Whitle

Stephen Whittle is a museum and gallery curator who has worked in the sector for over twenty years. After studying Fine Art at Stirling University and at the Courtauld Institute, Stephen has worked at several art galleries around the north west of England, notably the Harris Museum & Art Gallery in Preston, Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, Gallery Oldham, the University of Salford and is currently Principal Manager, Museum, Galleries & Operations at The Atkinson in Southport.

Stephen has published extensively on British art and has a particular interest in regional artists, ranging from the 18th century Devis family of painters to Northern School artists such as Harry Rutherford and Theodore Major. Recent projects include ‘Elemental’, an exhibition of drawings by Antony Gormley, ‘Footprints’ – a series of artists commissions along the Sefton coast, and The Atkinson’s new Heritage Lottery funded museum development ‘Between Land and Sea’.


Sam Wiehl

Sam Wiehl is an artist predominantly working in the visualisation of sound. His work exists at the intersection of image and tone utilising a variety of media, often focusing on live performance and installation, with a view to creating immersive experiences for an audience.

Recent commissions include Tate Britain, Liverpool Biennial, Unsound Festival, FutureEverything,ÊReader Organisation, Metal and The Bluecoat. He has collaborated with a number of experimental musicians which have included Plaid, Matthew Herbert, Chris Watson, Forest Swords, Vessel and the Immix Ensemble, Hookworms and Bill Ryder Jones. Sam is one of the Directors of Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia.