Skip navigation

Prof Ysanne Holt


Department: Arts

I am Professor in Art History in the Department of Arts. Following an undergraduate degree in the History of Modern Art, Design and Film and an MA in Art History from the University of Sussex. I was awarded a PhD at Northumbria and joined the Dept as Senior Lecturer in 2000. 

My research overall is concerned with forms and practices of visual culture in Britain from the early twentieth century to the present, with a particular focus on contemporary experiences and imaginings of northern cultural landscapes and environments. 

I teach history and theory on BA Fine Art and MRes Arts programmes.

Ysanne Holt

My research is concerned overall with 20th and 21st century art in Britain, its critical discourses and institutions, and particularly with the processes and practices of cultural landscapes and environments. I have strong interests in the social and historical relations between forms of cultural production, and in this spirit was founding editor of the Routledge journal Visual Culture in Britain.

My initial focus on early 20th century landscapes and cultures of ruralism began with my monograph British Artists and the Modernist Landscape (Routledge, 2003) and The Geographies of Englishness, Landscape and the National Past, co-edited with David Peters Corbett and Fiona Russell (Yale, 2002). More recently I have been concerned with the imagining, representation and experience of the UK rural north, especially of island locations and the English- Scottish border region as registered across diverse forms of visual and material culture from the inter-war period to the present. Across all of these areas I have contributed to a number of related networks, archival projects and exhibitions in regional and national museums and galleries. 

With emphasis on rural modernity and a border-crossing geographical and conceptual focus, I am currently developing a monograph examining visual artists' responses to, and interactions with, the material resources of cross-border locations and communities in evolving social, cultural and environmental contexts.


Recent publications include:

2021, 'Tangled up in Place' in Mike Collier, ed., ENTWINED: Rural. Land. Lives, Manchester: Cornerhous, Art Editions North

2020, ‘Place on the Border and the LYC Museum and Art Gallery’, in Ares, Kalandides, Uma Kathari and Tim Edensor, eds.,The Routledge Handbook on Place, Routledge Publishing, ISBN 9781138320499

2020, Co-editor with Maija Makikalli and Tuija Hautala-Hirvioja, The Meaning of North in Art and Design, University of Lapland Press, ISBN 978-952-310-931-5

2019, Co-editor with Rupert Ashmore, ‘Layered Landscapes: Cultural Investigations of Northern British Edgelands’, special issue, Arts, 2019, 8, (3),

2018 Co-editor with David Martin Jones and Owain Jones, Visual Culture in the Northern UK Archipelago: Imagining Islands, Series: British art: histories and interpretations since 1700. Routledge Publishing, ISBN 9780815374275

2018, ‘Borderlands: Art, Craft and Textiles in the interwar Anglo-Scottish border’ in Bluemel, K and Michael McClusky, eds., Rural Modernity in Britain: A Critical Intervention, Edinburgh University Press, ISBN 9781474420952

2017, ‘Performing the Anglo-Scottish Border: Cultural Landscape, Heritage and Borderland Identities’, Journal of Borderland Studies, ISSN 0886- 5655,

2013 Co-editor with Angela McClanahan, ‘Northern Peripheries’ special issue of Visual Studies, Vol. 28, no. 3, ISSN 1472-586X

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Introduction: Layered Landscapes, Holt, Y., Ashmore, R. 27 Feb 2020, In: Arts
  • Layered Landscapes: Cultural Investigations in Northern British Edgelands: Special issue of Arts, Ashmore, R., Holt, Y. 1 Sep 2019
  • On Watery Borders, Borderlands, and Tania Kovats’ Head to Mouth, Holt, Y. 20 Aug 2019, In: Arts
  • The View from the Periphery: Cultural Perspectives from the Northern UK, Hautala-Hirvioja, T., Makikalli, M., Holt, Y. 20 Dec 2019, North as a Meaning in Design and Art, Rovaniemi, Lapland University Press
  • Borderlands: Visual and Material Culture in the Interwar Anglo-Scottish Borders, Holt, Y. Oct 2018, Rural Modernity in Britain: A Critical Intervention, Edinburgh University Press
  • Islandness and Visual Culture between the Wars, Holt, Y. May 2018, Visual Culture in the Northern British Archipelago: Imagining Islands, Taylor & Francis
  • Performing the Anglo-Scottish Border: Cultural Landscapes, Heritage and Borderland Identities, Holt, Y. 2 Jan 2018, In: Journal of Borderland Studies
  • The Centenary Celebration of Grace Darling and the Longstone Lighthouse, Holt, Y. 2018, From the Lighthouse: Interdisciplinary Reflections on Light, Taylor & Francis
  • The centenary celebrations of Grace Darling and the Longstone Lighthouse, Holt, Y. 24 Apr 2018, From the Lighthouse, Taylor & Francis
  • Visual Culture in the Northern British Archipelago: Imagining Islands, Holt, Y., Martin-Jones, D., Jones, O. 30 May 2018

  • Laura Harrington UPSTREAM CONSCIOUSNESS: An Exploration of Artists’ Fieldwork Through Boggy Knowledge Start Date: 25/01/2022
  • Stephen Pritchard Artwashing: The Art of Regeneration, Social Capital and Anti-Gentrification Activism Start Date: 08/10/2013 End Date: 01/06/2018
  • Hayley Mardon Hidden Dimensions, broken links: New approaches to value and interpret Southern African artefacts/jewellery in collections at the V&A and British Museum through critical hybridity Start Date: 09/04/2020
  • Inge Panneels Mapping the Anthropocene: an investigation of cultural ecosystem services through artists’ engagement with environmental change in Scotland Start Date: 07/10/2014 End Date: 21/01/2021
  • Alistair Peebles "The Left Bank of the North": A Linked Scholarly and Practice-Led Study of the Work, Circumstances, Progress and Significance of the Early Career of the Poet and Artist Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925-2006) Start Date: 09/07/2015 End Date: 14/07/2017
  • Owen Logan Fractured Culture: The Sociological Poetics of the Arts, Participation and Well-Being Start Date: 01/10/2010 End Date: 31/01/2018
  • Jane Colbourne A Critical Survey of the Materials and Techniques of Charles Henry Sims RA (1873-1928) with Special Reference to Egg Tempera Media and Works of Art on Paper Start Date: 31/10/2004 End Date: 09/08/2012
  • Barbara Harrington Walking, Landscape and Visual Culture: How Walkers Engage With and Conceive of the Landscapes in Which They Walk Start Date: 04/10/2011 End Date: 26/05/2016
  • Anna Reid The Nest of Wild Stones: A Geological Way of Seeing in the British Landscape Start Date: 17/06/2015 End Date: 04/03/2020

a sign in front of a crowd

Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

Research at Northumbria

Research at Northumbria

Research is the life blood of a University and at Northumbria University we pride ourselves on research that makes a difference; research that has application and affects people's lives.

a person sitting at a table

Order your prospectus

If you would like to know more about our courses, or life in general as a student at Northumbria, then we can help you.

Latest News and Features

Help to Grow Management event at BALTIC marking the one-year anniversary of its 'Why Small Business Matters' podcast with a real time episode
a tall building
More news

Back to top