Photography Residency; Sam Ivin, A collaboration with Appetite

Sam Ivin, Sudan from Lingering Ghosts. 2015, Fabrica.
Sam Ivin, Sudan from Lingering Ghosts. 2015, Fabrica.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awarding emerging photographer Sam Ivin to work collaboratively with individuals and community groups in Stoke on Trent, in partnership with Appetite, has enabled a new community archive and new work for exhibition.  Targeting those people that have made their home in the city has enabled a diverse and participatory project with a raft of cultures and stories represented.

Photography is part of these people’s journey; from the places and people they left to their new lives in Stoke-on-Trent.

Ivin will create an archive of photographs and a new work for exhibition.  The archive will tell the participant’s stories of arriving in the city and where their journey started from.  A positive project, Ivin will celebrate commonalities using images from local people’s own photography collections, having them work with these images to present a contemporary archive and a work for exhibition.

The residency will take place between June – September 2017.

During his previous project, Lingering Ghosts, Ivin visited Sanctus St. Mark’s, a refugee support group based in St. Mark’s church in Stoke-on-Trent.  This body of work, commissioned by Fabrica, Treviso, Italy, saw him working with refugees in all parts of the UK.  Since publishing the award winning and critically acclaimed Lingering Ghosts in February 2016 and exhibiting the work around Europe Ivin has become increasingly interested in the integration of migrants in UK cities.

Sam Ivin is a photographer whose work focuses on social issues and the people connected with them. His pictures attempt to demonstrate the impact situations have on his subjects. By documenting their stories and perspectives he hopes to provide a more personal, tangible understanding of them. He studied Documentary Photography at the University of Wales, Newport graduating in 2014.  Since then he has been awarded numerous significant photography prizes including the Magnum Photos Graduate Photographers Award, May 2017, The GMC First Prize, Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, March 2017, the Best Graduate Single Image, Runner Up,  British Journal of Photography (BJP) Breakthrough Award 2016 and the Winner of Best Single Image, Human Category at Renaissance Photography Prize 2015.

The project is a collaboration between GRAIN Projects and Appetite, supported by Arts Council England and is part of the Creative People and Places Programme.

The State of Photography Symposium II

Photographers Edgar Martin and Andrew Jackson at the symposium
Photographers Edgar Martin and Andrew Jackson at the symposium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curating and producing The State of Photography symposium, held in 2017, provided an opportunity to explore, debate and review how photographers and photography practice develops and responds in our current challenging times.

Acclaimed and outstanding photographers and artists who document the world around us were invited to showcase their recent work. Each have different approaches to making their work.  They have been artist, story teller, observer, participant, explorer and poet. Their work has been made through collaboration, participation, community engagement, research and obstinacy.

During the Symposium we heard from the perspective of the photographer, curator and academic. They shared our concerns about the present and offered a diverse range of practices, experiences and stories that document the state of humanity and the world today.  The documentary role of photography is changing, particularly as work is commissioned and made for gallery settings. Photography can impart the greatest truth of our times and sheds light on injustices, inequality and other aspects of our society. It has been and remains one of the strongest vehicles for change as photographers explore polities, gender, society, sexuality, diversity, economics and environment. It seems today – a time of political unrest, flux and crisis – more essential than ever to explore the role that photography can play.

Speakers included celebrated photographers, curators and academics, those that create self-initiated projects and commissioned bodies of work;  Andrew Jackson, Anthony Luvera, Camilla Brown, Edgar Martins, John Hillman, Kajal Nisha Patel, Michelle Sank and Simon Constantine.

Sacred Things; Liz Hingley

Liz Hingley, Dressing for mosque, Soho road, 2009 from the series Under Gods
Liz Hingley, Dressing for mosque, Soho road, 2009 from the series Under Gods

Commissioned to make new work for an installation at The Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry, photographer and anthropologist Liz Hingley is collaborating with Syrian families to produce portraits that introduce them as individuals to the city and its people.   Through workshops the participants are working with Liz to explore the Herbert Art Gallery’s collections to learn more about the people who have settled in Coventry throughout history and made it the culturally rich place it is today.

Following a series of collaborative workshops and conversations the new work will result in a unique installation that reflects on the value and meaning of ‘things’ as well as personal experiences and cultural concepts of beauty.

‘Sacred Things’ sets to challenge our consumer society in a world where the divide between those who have and those who don’t have is widening and more and more people are being uprooted, leaving possessions behind and setting up home in alien environments.

The installation is due to open at The Herbert Museum & Art Gallery in December 2017.

This project was commissioned by GRAIN Projects and is generously supported by Arts Council England, Rubery Owen Trust, Coventry University and The Herbert Art Gallery.

 

 

The Fireside and the Sanctuary: A Collaboration with Mark Wright at Format International Photography Festival

Mark Wright
Mark Wright

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working in collaboration with photographer Mark Wright to present his ongoing project at Format International Photography Festival 2017 and to commission new writing by Gemma Padley and Simon Constantine in the form of a new exhibition and publication.

The work is made with the communities affected by fracking decisions in northern England.  In his work Wright considers the experiences, lifestyles and habitats of the communities affected by policy decisions that will impact on the landscape and their way of life.  Wright has spent time with these communities working on interviews and photography.  Village, rural and agricultural communities are the most obviously affected by national government policies relating to the new gas drilling procedures by giant, global chemical companies.

Mark Wright

Wright’s practice is based upon in-depth research, written material and absorbing himself in a landscape or community.  In the new work fracking is clearly seen, not as a ‘local’ problem but one that gravitates around a central place and a collection of people.  The environmental and social concerns are universal and relevant to all of us.  In his work Wright makes the issues identifiable rather than literal or geographically specific.

 

 

Evolution Explored; A Magnum Photos Exhibition

Stuart Franklin, The Natural History Galleries of the Horniman Museum in London. 1993.  Magnum Photos
Stuart Franklin, The Natural History Galleries of the Horniman Museum in London. 1993. Magnum Photos 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evolution Explored is an exhibition of works curated from the Magnum Photos archive and presented in the public realm in Shrewsbury, from February – April 2017.   The project is a Grain Projects collaboration with Shrewsbury Business Improvement District and The Hive Arts Centre.Acclaimed photography agency Magnum Photos have worked in collaboration to curate an exhibition of stunning photographs made internationally by the world’s leading photographers.

The exhibition will be on show at two locations. The event coincides with International Darwin Day and Darwin’s birthday on 12th February.

The exhibition also links to Magnum Photos’ 70th anniversary which is to be marked by a series of international events, projects and partnerships.

Magnum Photos is a photographic co-operative owned by its photographer members. Noted for its diverse and distinctive work, Magnum chronicles the world and interprets its people, events, issues and personalities. It was founded in 1947 by four pioneers, Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger and David Seymour.

East Meets West; Exhibition at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Armonia by Marta Soul
Armonia by Marta Soul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EAST MEETS WEST is an exhibition of contemporary photography and moving image by 16 emerging artists.  This remarkable exhibition includes works that represent the talent and ambition of artists in the Midlands today.

The artists responded to an open call to practitioners based within the Midlands, or those who have graduated from a Midlands-based University in the past three years.  The opportunity was devised in response to and was required to relate to the theme of ‘Leisure’ – a core theme explored in Doug Fishbone’s Leisure Land Golf exhibition at Quad, an installation exhibited during summer 2016.

The exhibition includes an ambitious, fascinating and diverse collection of interpretations, from projects delving into a broad range of ‘leisure’ activities and events including walking, swimming, collecting, drinking and travelling.  The exhibition is a remarkable commentary on what people do today in their leisure time.

The exhibiting artists are;  Jim Brouwer & Simon Raven, Jakki Carey, Theo Ellison, Attilio Fiumarella, Emma Georgiou, Anne Giddings, Daniel Hayes, Geoff Hodgson, Amy Huggett, Holger Martin, Tracey McMaster, George Miles, Marta Soul, Clive Wheeler and Dan Wheeler.

The project is a partnership with Format International Photography Festival, Quad, Derby and GRAIN Projects, supported by Arts Council England and Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

Responding To A Landscape: New Work by Matthew Murray

Matthew Murray
Matthew Murray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For British photographer Murray Responding To A Landscape is a photographic odyssey, an epic series of landscape works made over four years, to be premiered in an exhibition at mac, Birmingham in 2017 and to be featured in a limited edition photo book.  Working in collaboration with Murray to produce and manage this significant project has seen ambitious new works realised that will feature in an exhibition, publication and symposium.

The project will premier works made on Saddleworth Moor, works that reference pictorial landscape photography, showing both the vastness of landscape and the microscopic detail of vegetation and geology; works that focus on light and texture and pay homage to Dutch seventeenth century landscape painting as well as in some cases appearing biblical and in others apocalyptic and other worldly.  This is a personal series of work, where there is no evidence of human intervention or presence but a relationship between photographer and landscape.   The exhibition, publication and symposium can be seen in Autumn/Winter 2017.

Seven Day Suit; Exhibition at Brighton Photo Biennial

Francesca Jones for Seven Day Suit
Francesca Jones for Seven Day Suit

Seven Day Suit is an artist-led collaborative exhibition, devised and curated by a group of emerging artists working in photography and moving image.   In 2015 I was invited to mentor the group as part of the Redeye Lightbox programme.   On meeting the group it was decided to work towards and propose an exhibition at Brighton Photo Biennial.

In response to the Biennial’s theme of fashion and identity the artists have taken the tracksuit as their area of research and subject to explore identity and representation – personal and projected images, influences, gender, and politics of style, subcultures and the subversion of social and cultural norms.   Through the tracksuit the new photographic and moving image work features identity, subcultures, politics and social and economic impact through the fashion of one garment.  The tracksuit has become part of the identity of the wearer, individual and group/tribe.  It is an example of fashion that transcends class and cultures, existing in both low and high fashion. The tracksuit has become historically significant, yet has remained relevant to this day, having been recurrent within developing fashion trends.  Seven Day Suit opens at Brighton Photo Biennial on 1st October until 30th October 2016.

 

 

 

Kern Baby, A Child for Sacrifice; Faye Claridge

Kern Baby, Compton Verney
Kern Baby, Compton Verney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The giant corn dolly Kern Baby is a five meter high sculpture, created by artist Faye Claridge as a result of a research residency where she studied the images and archives of Sir Benjamin Stone.  The sculpture has been exhibited at Compton Verney and at the Library of Birmingham, accompanied by a series of handmade prints entitled A Child for Sacrifice.  

Claridge uses folklore and reminiscence to examine our past relationships and our current sense of national and personal identity.  In making this work she also worked with young people from a Warwickshire village to re-interpret customs using artefacts from the Marton Museum of Country Bygones.

Spirit is a Bone; Broomberg & Chanarin

Broomberg & Chanarin
Frau eines Malers, Painter’s Wife     Broomberg & Chanarin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The artist duo Broomberg & Chanarin were invited to respond to a Grain commission at the Library of Birmingham.  Over two years they encountered, researched and questioned the photography collections at the library.  In the book ‘Spirit is a Bone’ they have made connections with the archive and their own work and concerns.

The book combines a new series of portraits made with a Russian camera which was made for face recognition and surveillance, ‘non collaborative portraits’, where human contact is not made, with a new critically engaged essay by Eyal Weizman and a response to images from the Sir Benjamin Stone archive.

In the book photographs open up the relationship between technology and ideology – theories of race, class and occupation.  The photographs collected by Stone in the second half of the nineteenth century, in the Library of Birmingham archive, are visual evidence of his interest in history, science, nature and cultures.  Like many, widespread in the Victorian period, Stone had a need to classify, know, collect, control and own.  His album no 50 ‘Types and Races of Mankind’ includes what might be called non-consensual images, made for the scrutiny of others and to increase understanding.

The book and essay prompt questions about engaging with archives and access to them.