Harry Willis Fleming
Harry is a cultural historian and project maker whose work explores topographical themes and subjects.
PhD Research Studentship, Middlesex University, 2012-present.
Henry Moore Institute Research Fellow, 2012.
MRes History (Master of Research with Distinction), University of Southampton, 2011.
Harry has some twenty years' experience of heritage, arts, and broadcasting projects. His research interests include architecture, landscape, and sense of place; memory, time, and legacy; archives and collections — and how all these themes relate to visual culture and creative practice, drawing on his own original practice as a theatre designer and design consultant.
Harry's current research focus is the Victorian artist, architect, and author Richard Cockle Lucas (1800-1883), for which he has been awarded a Henry Moore Institute Research Fellowship (2012-2013) and a fully-funded PhD Research Studentship at Middlesex University (2012-2016) under the supervison of Professor Dana Arnold.
Harry teaches on the 'Advanced Research' module of MA Interiors (Architecture and Design) at Middlesex University.
In 2014, Harry wrote the biographical entry for Lucas for Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon (AKL). He was a speaker at Surface Tension: The Skin of Sculpture from 1800 to the Present, a collections discussion with the Henry Moore Institute at Leeds Art Gallery; and helped organise the 'Working Collaboratively in Cultural Heritage' seminar at Sir John Soane's Museum, London. During spring 2014, he undertook a major research trip to the USA, working in several collections and archives across the country.
In 2013, Harry presented a paper at Architectural History between Cultures: Theories and Methodologies at the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, and at Managing, Mediating, Musing: Reflections on Historical Collecting & Contemporary Practice at Kingston University, London. Harry was a working group member for From Records to Revels, a Heritage Lottery-funded exploration of Tudor Southampton. Harry's particular interest in the neglected nineteenth-century figures Richard Cockle Lucas and Thomas Hopper has developed out of his ongoing work as director of the Willis Fleming Historical Trust.
In 2011, Harry was awarded a History MRes degree (Master of Research with Distinction) from the University of Southampton. Out of his major research project, 'The Practice of Viewing the Past: Thomas Hopper (1776-1856) and the Architect's Business', Harry is continuing to develop his work on Hopper. Harry presented a paper at the Myth and Memory Humanities conference (2011) at Southampton University, gave a talk at An Ursula Moray Williams evening (2011) at Hampshire County Record Office, and was a panel member for 'The Great War and the Visual Arts' (2010) at King's College, London.
Harry wrote and presented Vapourtrain for BBC Radio 3 (broadcast 23 May 2009), exploring how steam railway travel transformed notions of time, space, and place. He was researcher/contributor for One Way to the Necropolis (2005), a feature programme on the Brookwood Necropolis Railway for BBC Radio 4.
In 2005, Harry formed the Willis Fleming Historical Trust, with which he has undertaken numerous projects, including the Heritage Lottery-funded restoration of the derelict Stoneham War Shrine, completed in 2011.
Earlier creative projects
Harry trained in Theatre Design at Wimbledon School of Art, where he gained his first degree in 1994. He designed sets for theatre shows including Ghetto and Hamlet (both Riverside Productions, Oxford) and four shows at the 1994 Edinburgh Fringe. He wrote and directed a short film, I'll Remember April (1994). He was the digital designer of Lord David Owen's Balkan Odyssey CD-ROM (1996), a political memoir backed up by multimedia references and video footage. He co-conceived and produced Strands (1997), a performance and broadcast event at a disused London Underground station for Austrian Radio (ORF) and the European Broadcasting Union. As a design consultant, he specialised increasingly in the presentation of educational information in print and multimedia formats, securing a major contract from London Underground, and winning accounts and projects from major UK companies and public bodies, including Railtrack, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, Atkins, and Volkswagen.
Harry was production assistant on the award-winning The Loneliest Road (2003) by Gregory Whitehead for BBC Radio 3 (Best Drama, Sony Radio Academy Awards, 2004). He co-designed/produced several incarnations of Gregory Whitehead's The Bone Trade, including an installation at Mass MOCA, Massachusetts, a live event in London, and bonetrade.com (2003). He was digital designer for Viewing the Instruments (2003), a touring musical theatre production. Harry designed Spirit of place (2007), a virtual memorial commissioned by Arts in Healthcare (East Sussex NHS Hospitals Trust) to commemorate the former All Saints Hospital in Eastbourne. He designed the virtual face of The Wildgoose Memorial Library (2004-6).