Carolyn Lefley is a visual artist, writer and educator. Her work uses photography and moving image to explore belonging, belief and the natural world. She makes work in the rural landscape and in the studio using playful dioramas. Carolyn works with digital photography to create manipulated realities as well as using traditional techniques such as cyanotypes and liquid emulsion. Her meditative short films explore elemental themes.

Carolyn writes about photography and expanded media, and is co-author of the photography textbook ‘Rethinking Photography’ (Routledge, 2015). She has taught as a Lecturer in Photography at the University of Hertfordshire, Coventry University, Anglia Ruskin University, University of the Arts London and the University of West London (profile portrait on this page by Carrie Kitching).



2008 - PG Cert. in Learning and Teaching for Higher Education, University of West London

2008 - Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)            

2006 - MA Photography (Distinction), University of West London            

2000 - BA (Hons) Fine Art (Photography), Coventry University

Solo exhibitions

2014 - Odyssey, Old Lookout Gallery, Obsolete Studios, Kent

2013 - Realm, Timespan Museum and Art Centre, Scotland

2009 - Fictional Space, Shed and a half Gallery, London. Part of London Photomonth

2008 - Belonging, House Gallery, London

2008 - Belonging, Drukarnia, Krakow, Poland. Program Off, Photomonth in Krakow 2008

Selected group exhibitions

2016-2017 - Imagined Worlds, touring: Taunton, Bath and Nether Stowey (Coleridge Cottage)

2016 - Luminous Nature, Bruton School for Girls

2014 - Five Contemporary Photography Collectives, Brighton Photo Biennial 2014

2013 - Interior / Exterior: Archisle #2 Open 2013, The Berni Gallery, Jersey Arts Centre

2012 - Detours: AA2A Residency, Wimbledon Space, University of the Arts London

2012 - Salon Art Prize, Matt Roberts Arts, London

2012 - AA2A Residency Interim Show, Camberwell College of Arts Library

2011 - Home, Core Gallery, London

2011 - In the current climate, Core Gallery, London

2010 - The Floor to Ceiling Show, The Front Room Gallery, Trioka Editions London

2009 - Salon 2009, Viewfinder Photography Gallery, London

2009 - Mobile, Norwich Arts Centre

2007 - Dorm, Viewfinder Photography Gallery, London

2006 - Chapter One, Dray Walk Gallery, London.  Curated by Erin Kornfeld

2006 - Ealing Open 2006, PM Gallery and House, London         

2006 - ICI and Sunday Independent Photography Awards Exhibition, ICI HQ, London           

2005 - Teachers, Watermans Arts Centre, London.  Curated by Esther Winsor      

Awards and bursaries

2014 - a-n Artists Information Co. ‘New Collaborations Bursary’ (Art and Archaeology)

2008 - National Media Museum Photography Bursary

2008 - University of West London Faculty of the Arts Teaching Award

2007 - Magenta Foundation 2007 Emerging Photographers - Selected winner, UK

2006 - ICI and Sunday Independent Student Photography Awards - Highly commended

2006 - University of West London bursary award for excellence in teaching support


2015 - Peter Smith and Carolyn Lefley (2015), Rethinking Photography, London: Routledge

2014 - Carolyn Lefley (2014), ‘Seeing is Believing: The Capacity of the Manipulated Photograph to Represent Scenes of Mythology and the Supernatural’ (chapter). In Emma Williams and Iman Sheeha (eds.), Deception: An Interdisciplinary Exploration. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press.

2012 - Detours, exhibition catalogue, London: Camberwell Press.

2011 - ‘Uncertain States’. Issue 6: Home. Photographs and text from ‘Belonging’

2008 - 'Belonging' with essay by Peter Smith, London Independent Photography magazine, Winter 2008, p.12-13           

2007 - Flash Forward, 2007.  Forward by Susan Bright. The Magenta Foundation, Canada, 2007

2006 - ‘The Right Place’, Stimulus Respond, Issue 15 - Home, January 2006, p.47-52


2017 - Artist in Residence, Lower Hewood Farm, Dorset

2016 - Artist in Residence, Yeovil Country Park (in collaboration with Somerset Art Works), Somerset

2014 - Artist in Residence, Old Lookout Gallery, Obsolete Studios, Kent

2013 - Artist in Residence, Timespan Museum and Art Centre, Scotland

2012 - Two-week photography residency, Artist Flat, Timespan Museum and Art Centre, Scotland            

2011 - Artist in Residence, Camberwell College of Art, University of the Arts London. AA2A scheme

2010 - Studio Residency, Holton Lee, Dorset

Talks and papers

2016 - Paper: ‘From stilled time to time-based: reflections on photographers’ use of moving image as an extension of their craft', Moving Stills: Photographers' Films Symposium, University of West England.

2014 - Paper: ‘Seeing is believing: the capacity of the manipulated photograph to represent scenes of mythology and the supernatural’, Deception conference, Oxford University.

2014 - Paper: ‘Excavating images: a photographic response to an archaeological excavation’, Photography and Anthropology conference, British Museum.

2013 - Paper: ‘Picturing Myth: Double exposed realities’. Translating Myth conference, University of Essex.

2013 - Residency lecture: ‘Art and archaeology: A photographic response to the longhouse excavation’. Timespan Museum and Art Centre, Scotland

2012 - Artist talk, Uncertain States photography forum.

2012 - Artist talk, MA students at Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Collages, University of the Arts London.

2010 - Participation in the Photographic Practices research seminar at the V&A museum

2010 - Artist talk, MA Photography students at University of West London.

2007 - Paper: ‘Imaging the home: A photographic poetics of space'. Crosscurrents in Media Theory Research Symposium, University of West London

2007 - Artist’s talk at ‘Dorm’, Viewfinder Photography Gallery, London                                                                                                            


2016 - Luminous Nature, Bruton School for Girls

2014 - ‘Unearthed’, Heartwood Forest, St. Albans

2011 - ‘In the Current Climate’, Core Gallery, London

2010 - ‘Caught by the Thames’, PM House and Gallery, London

2009 - ‘Boundaries’, PM House and Gallery, London

2008 - ‘Stills’, Dominion Arts and Education Centre, London


2011-2015               Lecturer in Photography, University of Hertfordshire.

2012-2013               Visiting Lecturer in Photography, Coventry University.

2008-2011               Visiting Lecturer in Photography, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.

2007-2012               Visiting Lecturer in Photography, Central St. Martins, University of the Arts London.

2005-2012               Visiting Lecturer in Photography, University of West London.

2005                          Visiting Lecturer in Photography and Artist in Residence, Bhaktapur School of Art, Kathmandu University, Nepal.


Timespan Museum and Art Centre, Scotland. National Media Museum. Obsolete Studios. Private collections