GRAIN Bursary Award 2019: The bursary offers an award of £2,000 to support the making of new work in the rural West Midlands.

The GRAIN Bursary is an award to a photographer or artist working in photography.

The bursary offers an award of £2,000 to support the making of new work in the rural West Midlands.  For this bursary opportunity we are seeking proposals from those who are interested in making new work in and with rural communities. The work must be made within a 12-month period of receiving the bursary award.

The bursary supports artistic development, experimentation and the production of new work, rather than an exhibition, touring or display of finished work. It offers time to explore processes and try out new ideas. The applicant must have a photographic practice.

The bursary is not a commission or production grant but a package of support focusing on research and process that can be used flexibly according to the successful recipient.

The West Midlands region is made up of the following areas; Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire. Further information about the region can be found here.

This opportunity is part of a broader series of continued professional development opportunities conceived and developed by GRAIN, supported by Arts Council England and Birmingham City University.

The applicant must be based in England and must submit their application by 5pm, 31 January 2019.

For more information about the bursary and how to apply please click here.

Selection Process:
A panel of photography experts will shortlist candidates for interview from the applications received.  Interviews will take place in Birmingham during February and can be arranged as Skype conversations. At interview, interviewees will be expected to speak in more detail about their work and working processes and the approach that they envisage.

Selection Panel:
GRAIN Projects
Camilla Brown, Curator, Writer and Lecturer
Jennie Anderson. Directory of Argentea Gallery
John Hillman. Professor of Photography, Educator, Researcher and Image Maker


For queries and further information about this opportunity, please contact: Stephen.burke@grainphotographyhub.co.uk

    

In association with The Face of Suffrage you are invited to attend a short series of free public talks.

Wed 21 November at 6pm,  The Face of Suffrage artist Helen Marshall
Lloyds Room at Birmingham Hippodrome.  Lead artist of The Face of Suffrage Helen Marshall speaks about the project in Birmingham and her other collaborative projects nationally and internationally.

Wed 12 December at 6pm, Historian Dr Nicola Gauld
Lloyds Room, Birmingham Hippodrome.  Historian, writer and academic expert on the Suffragette movement Dr Nicola Gauld provides an overview of the Suffragist Campaign and a specific look at Birmingham and women’s stories.

Thurs 10 January at 6pm, Artists and Community Archivists Anand Chhabra and Geoff Broadway
Gowling Room, Birmingham Hippodrome.  Artists, Photographers and Archivists Anand Chhabra and Geoff Broadway talk about the community archives Apna Heritage and Living Memory and the role of women in archive histories and community photography archives.

The Face of Suffrage is a new large scale art installation created to celebrate 100 years of Votes for Women by Helen Marshall

The ‘Face of Suffrage’ artwork isa floor-based, 200 metre square photo mosaic consisting of more than 3,500 images of females from across the West Midlands.   It will be located on the concourse of Birmingham New Street Station.  The artwork will be made up of a combination of historical images, women involved in the Suffrage movement from the early 1900s, and from photographs made today by people that have photographed the women in their lives and wish to join in to commemorate and celebrate their stories.

A Symposium on Incarceration, Absence, Photography and Fiction.

At The Shell, Parkside, Birmingham City University
5th December 2018, 2pm – 6pm
Tickets must be purchased in advance; £8.00/£4.00 (plus booking fee).

What Photography has in Common with an Empty Vase is a multifaceted body of work by Edgar Martins developed from a collaboration with GRAIN Projects and HMP Birmingham (the largest, category B prison in the Midlands).  The collaboration was based on engagement with the prison’s inmates and their families as well as a myriad of other local organisations and individuals.

Using the social context of incarceration as a starting point, artist Edgar Martins explores the philosophical concept of absence, and addresses a broader consideration of the status of the photograph when questions of visibility, ethics, aesthetics and documentation intersect.

By giving a voice to inmates and their families and addressing prison as a set of social relations  rather than a mere geographical entity, Martins’ work proposes to rethink and counter the sort of imagery normally associated with incarceration.

The project thus wilfully circumvents images whose sole purpose, Martins argues, is to confirm the already held opinions within dominant ideology about crime and punishment: violence, drugs, criminality, race – an approach that only serves to reinforce the act of photographing and photography itself as apotropaic devices.

By focusing on ideas of absence, separation, hope and boundaries the project sends out a clear message: that the usual power relations and discourse associated to this kind of environment should not be perpetuated.

Composed of three distinct chapters, encompassing film, archive and new photography, installation, sculpture, text and sound, Martins’ work shifts between image and information, between fiction and evidence, strategically deploying visual and textual details in tandem so that the viewer becomes aware of what exists outside the confines of the frame. This work marks a significant transition in Martins’ creative trajectory, signalling a growing inclination towards a broader, more hybrid and interdisciplinary perspective of images.

Artist Edgar Martins will be joined by Dr Mark Durden, Dr Maryse Tennant, Paul Tebbs and Dr Anna Kotova.

Book your tickets here.

In partnership with a range of organisations, led by Open Eye, we are delighted to be collaborating on Sixteen, a project that opens up conversations with young people about their hopes and fears. Award winning, internationally acclaimed British photographer Kate Peters* has been working with sixteen year olds in the Midlands.

Photographer Craig Easton  conceived this work following his engagement with sixteen years old at the time of the Scottish Referendum. It was the first, and as yet only, time that sixteen year olds were given the vote. He went on to invite some of the UK’s foremost documentary portrait photographers, Linda Brownlee, Lottie Davies, Jillian Edelstein, Stuart Freedman, Sophie Gerrard, Kate Kirkwood, Kalpesh Lathigra, Ronan McKenzie, Roy Mehta, Christopher Nunn, Antonio Olmos, Kate Peters, Michelle Sank, Abbie Trayler-Smith, Simon Roberts and Simon Wheatley, to collaborate with young people across the country to make a visual vox pop. Sixteen is an age of transition, of developmental, and of social change. At this time of increasing national and international anxiety, these young people are shifting from adolescence to become the adults who will live in a politically reshaped country, divorced from the Europe Union.

Working with photography, film, social media, audio recordings and writing, Craig and his colleagues bring together the faces and voices of more than one hundred young people from diverse communities across the United Kingdom. Locations span large conurbations such as London, Birmingham and Manchester, isolated areas in the South West, Northern Ireland, the Scottish Islands and post- industrial towns of
the North.

The photographers open up conversations with these young people about their hopes and fears, and who or what sustains them, giving prominence to voices rarely heard. The project explores how social background, gender, ethnicity or location might influence aspiration.

This integration of stunning portraits and candid reflections, will tour regionally, to institutions and organisations, arts festivals, and smaller venues beyond the boundaries of the museum. Each partner venue will co-curate a version of Sixteen inspired by their own location, and relevant topics and themes. Dedicated engagement programmes will initiate and encourage further conversations with young people across the country.

www.katepeters.co.uk
www.craigeaston.com

Image credit: Abdullatif, Coventry 2018, (c) Kate Peters

A new large scale art installation to celebrate 100 years of Votes for Women by Helen Marshall

The ‘Face of Suffrage’ artwork, a floor-based, 200 metre-square photo mosaic, is made up of more than 3,700 images of females from across the West Midlands and beyond. When viewed from above, it shows Hilda Burkitt, a leading face from the suffrage movement in the West Midlands. Evaline Hilda Burkitt was born in Wolverhampton in 1876 and died in 1955. She was the first suffragette to be forcibly fed a total of 292 times and had a job at the Birmingham WSPU (Women’s Social and Political Union) headquarters, in Ethel Street, near New Street station. Hilda threw a stone at Prime Minister Herbert Asquith’s train as it pulled out of Birmingham New Street after he attended a male-only budget meeting and she was imprisoned at Winson Green prison.

The image is made up of a combination of historical pictures of women involved in the suffragette movement from the West Midlands in the early 1900s and of females today using photographs submitted by the public be part of the commemoration. The artwork will be on display until Friday 14 December – the day which marks the 100th anniversary of women voting for the first time.

The mosaic was created by artist Helen Marshall of The People’s Picture, who has installed similar projects across Britain marking other historic and significant occasions.

 The artwork will be on display between Thursday 15 November to Friday 14 December – the day which marks the 100th anniversary of women voting for the first time.

A unique exhibition accompanies the artwork and can be seen at Birmingham Hippodrome from 16 October 2018 – 31 January 2019.

This project is supported by Network Rail, Cross Country Trains, GRAIN Photography Hub, Arts Council England, LSE Women’s Library, Birmingham City University and Birmingham Hippodrome.

Emmeline Pankhurst, Emmeline Pethick Lawrence and others, c.1911.
Photograph, printed, paper, monochrome, a group of seven women on a
station platform, among them Emmeline Pankhurst and Emmeline Pethick
Lawrence.

About Artist Helen Marshall and The People’s Picture
The People’s Picture is a project by award winning artist Helen Marshall.  Marshall’s practice is rooted in photography and socially engaged practice. The People’s Picture combines thousands of photographs to tell a story, commemorate an important occasion or bring attention to important social issues. You can find out more about her previous body of work, education and exhibitions at helenmarshall.co.uk.

Each photo mosaic is assembled from thousands of photos yet every single one tells a story. In 2006 The Big Picture broke the world record for the largest photo mosaic in the world. Clients include BBC TelevisionTate BritainCanary Wharf Group and The Photographers’ Gallery. The People’s Picture projects have been featured in the national news and are held in private and public collections in a diverse range of locations including cathedrals, museums, airports and on the street.

Marshall is an image maker and a storyteller. She has a track record in photography, design and collaborative practice. Her work is made for an audience at large, often outside the gallery or institutional art space. Realised in the public realm, the work has a performative relationship with photography. By engaging people as the primary producers and contributors of the work the art takes on a new identity.  Popular icons and faces are featured as the emblems of our time. Commissions include queens, footballers, soldiers, and the average person on the street.

Submission Deadline: 7th October 2018

East Meets West is a collaborative project devised by FORMAT International Photography Festival/QUAD and GRAIN Projects.   This year we will be offering a series of Masterclasses leading to an opportunity to showcase your work at FORMAT19.

At the Masterclasses you will learn from industry leaders such about portfolio development and receive advice regarding topics such as, competitions, commissions, exhibitions, funding, making approaches, distribution and editing.  Subjects will also include socially engaged, editorial and fine art photography, the photobook and responding to and working to commission. The Masterclasses will offer immersion in the subject matter and a unique opportunity for emerging photographers to develop their practice and showcase their work.

Masterclass speakers and portfolio reviewers include Natasha Caruana, Andrew Jackson, Anthony Luvera, Matthew Murray, Kate Peters and Michael Sargeant.

This opportunity is aimed at photographers wishing to broaden their perspectives and push the boundaries of their personal development. We welcome diverse and innovative submissions from photographers that are based in the East and West Midlands (that is those living in Birmingham, the Black Country, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland).


To Apply: Please email the following to info@formatfestival.com by 7th October 2018.

– Artists C.V (no more than two A4 pages)
– Statement (no more than one A4 page)
– Ten images of recent work in a singular PDF format, including title, medium, date and relevant links
– Up to 250 words outlining why you feel the masterclasses will support you at this stage in your professional development.

Each practitioner successfully selected to take part will be required to pay a fee of £100.

Please note that you will be required to attend four Masterclasses; two will be held at QUAD, Derby on 27th October and 17th November and two will be held at The Shell, Parkside, Birmingham City University, on 5th January and 9th February.

If you have any questions please contact info@formatfestival.com

Photo (c) Charlotte Jopling

24 08 2018

Anthony Luvera

Anthony Luvera is a socially engaged artist, writer and educator who has collaborated with people who have experienced homelessness in cities and towns across the United Kingdom for over fifteen years. The long-term collaborative projects he creates with homeless people and other community groups have been exhibited widely in galleries, museums and public spaces. Anthony is Principal Lecturer and Course Director of MA Photography and Collaboration at Coventry University. He also designs and facilitates public education programmes for galleries and community photography projects across the UK. 

Collaborating with people who have experienced homelessness living in Birmingham builds upon the work he has undertaken in cities and towns across the United Kingdom for over fifteen years to create an archive of photographs, sound recordings and other materials that represents the lives and experiences of the most marginalised people in society. Creating this new body of work with the clients of SIFA Fireside, the main access point to support and services for vulnerably housed and homeless adults in Birmingham, will enable participants to use photography to express the things they are interested in and present their points of view.

Luvera’s interdisciplinary approach is committed to the process of collaboration and its associated methodologies in order to investigate the problems with photographic representation and visibility. His concern and advocacy for confronting the politics of representation has been part of an increased practice of and dialogue with socially engaged and community art – to emphasise the importance of self-representation among marginalised individuals.

 

Image credit: Documentation of the making of Assisted Self-Portrait Fred Clarke, from Assembly by Anthony Luvera, 2013-2014

Commission by GRAIN Projects, in collaboration with SIFA Fireside and supported by Arts Council England and Birmingham City University.

In 2016 GRAIN Projects commissioned artist Edgar Martins to respond to Winson Green in Birmingham and the site and community of HMP Birmingham. Martins is creating a significant, multifaceted body of work developed from a collaboration with HMP Birmingham (the largest, until recently privately run, category B prison in the Midlands, now government run), its inmates, their families as well as a myriad of other local organisations and individuals. Using the social context of incarceration as a starting point, Martins explores the philosophical concept of absence and addresses a broader consideration of the status of the photograph when questions of visibility, ethics, aesthetics and documentation intersect.

From a humanist perspective the work seeks to reflect on how one deals with the absence of a loved one, brought on by enforced separation.

From an ontological perspective it seeks answers to the following questions: how does one represent a subject that eludes visualization, that is absent or hidden from view? And what does it mean for photography, in an epistemological, ontological, aesthetic and ethical sense, if it does not identify with the photographic subject but the absence of it’s subject?

The work shifts between image and information, between fiction and evidence, strategically deploying visual and textual details in tandem so that the viewer becomes aware of what exists outside the confines of the frame.

Three distinct chapters are employed in the work, each encompassing speculative, documentary and historical archive imagery (ranging from portratiture, landscape, still-life, abstraction, etc), text, projection, audio and photo-installation, signalling the artist’s growing inclination towards a more interdisciplinary perspective of the practice of photography and the experience of images.

Across this complex and radical body of work, Martins has worked with archives from renowned European institutions, leading Portuguese physicist João Seixas, inmates and their families connected to HMP Birmingham as well as a variety of other individual and organisations such as colleges, community centres, charities, fire departments, etc.

 

 

 

Commission by GRAIN Projects, in collaboration with HMP Birmingham and supported by Arts Council England and Birmingham City University.

03 08 2018

Settling

Settling is a collaborative, community photography project and archive exploring migration to the city of six towns, Stoke-on-Trent. Socially engaged photographer Sam Ivin extends and develops this work that originated during a residency with GRAIN Projects & Appetite, and will now launch a series of progressive workshops in summer 2018 with individuals and community groups across the city to create a publicly accessible vernacular archive, as well as a series of participatory artworks.

Participants of the project are linked by their narrative of movement and status as residents of the city, but have moved at different times and from different places following World War II to the present day. They have travelled for a wide range of reasons: professional opportunities, education, family and refuge from difficult circumstances.

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

The participants will engage with the project through a series of workshops facilitated by Sam Ivin with a focus to make visible their fascinating, brave and poignant stories and journeys of migration to Stoke-on-Trent. Participants of the project are encouraged to contribute photographs to be part of the new community archive, and will also contribute to both visual and oral histories with contemporary works. The participatory works have a playful engagement with the photographs and stories, and record both past and present chapters of an important, but under-represented, recognition of the cities social history.  Sam will then proceed to make a new body of work in response to his experiences and the city.

Settling will become an accessible community photography archive, located in one of the city’s public institutions, telling the story of Stoke today through the eyes of those who have moved there and becoming part of the visual memory of this period of Stoke’s history.   The archive will contribute to the important story of Stoke-on-Trent’s important social history of migration and movement.

 

This project is generously supported by Arts Council England, GRAIN Projects, Appetite, Creative People & Places and Stoke on Trent City Council.

 

 

GRAIN hosts evening talks given by artists and photographers, throughout the year, and in collaboration with its partners.

The talks are frequently programmed to coincide with the regional exhibitions, events and commissions.

We are delighted to host a talk by critically acclaimed artist and photographer Mahtab Hussain, at The New Art Gallery Walsall and in collaboration with Redeye Photography Network.

In Conversation, Mahtab Hussain with Tim Clark, Editor in Chief and Director of contemporary photography magazine 1000 Words.  

On Tuesday 14 August, 6.30 – 8.00pm, at The New Art Gallery Walsall.    Tickets £3.

In September 2016, Mahtab Hussain travelled to Kashmir; to the place that his parents had once called home.  He was able to meet members of his family for the first time and to witness the kind of life he may have lived had history taken a different turn.

Born and raised in Glasgow in the 1980s, Hussain like many others, experienced racism and discrimination.  He was frequently made to feel like he did not belong in Britain yet he knew no other home.   Hussain has developed an artistic practice which explores ideas of homeland, race, identity and cultural difference.  The exhibition at The New Art Gallery Walsall presents a powerful and poetic reflection on ideas of home, belonging and displacement.

For more information see  The New Art Gallery Walsall website and to book at place for the Talk call the gallery on 01922 654400.

 

To date we have been delighted to host talks by the following;

  • Mat Collishaw
  • Faye Claridge
  • Nathaniel Pitt and Donall Curtin
  • Tom Hunter
  • Sophy Rickett and Bettina von Zwehl
  • Bruce Gilden
  • David Birkett
  • Daniel Meadows
  • Simon Roberts
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Matthew Murray
  • David Hurn
  • Trish Morrissey
  • Guy Martin
  • Lua Ribeira
  • Liz Hingley

Image: Mahtab Hussain

Camera Obscura by David Bethell

Ilam Park, Ilam Holy Cross, near Ashbourne, Staffordshire Moorlands

The work will be in-situ 14 – 22 April 2018

Artist David Bethell is inspired by the rural landscape and natural environment.   He frequently uses performance, film and photography in his work to animate his installations and sculptures within the location and to explore a narrative. GRAIN Projects has commissioned David to create a unique camera obscura for Ilam Park in the Peak District, inspired by the landscape and heritage there and in collaboration with the National Trust.

Ilam Park is a 158-acre country park situated in Ilam, on both banks of the River Manifold five miles north west of Ashbourne, and is owned and managed by the National Trust. The estate includes the remains of Ilam Hall, built in the 1820s.  Nearby, within the village, a Saxon church stands which houses the shrine of a Mercian king.  Most significant is the beautiful landscape, an area of outstanding natural beauty, including Bunster hill just beyond the church and the magnificent example of a picturesque landscape in the foreground.

It is the church that forms the basis and design for David Bethell’s site specific largescale work which functions as a camera obscura. Visitors will be able to engage and experience the surroundings as an inverted landscape from within the installation.   The commission will capture the immense beauty of the surrounding landscape from its position.

For more information on Ilam Park, how to get there and parking arrangements visit; https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ilam-park-dovedale-and-the-white-peak

For more information on David Bethell http://davidbethell.com/

David Bethell Inverted Landscapes writing by Selina Oakes

GRAIN is proud to continue to host a series of talks by artists and photographers.

The talks are programmed in collaboration with our project partners and are often planned to coincide with the regional exhibitions, events and commissions.

In collaboration with Coventry University Photography Department, GRAIN is pleased to announce three new Photographers’ Talks dates.

Trish Morrissey  

Thursday 22nd February 2018, 6pm – 7.30pm

Square One, The Hub, Coventry University, Priory St, Coventry CV1 5QP

£4.00 tickets – click here for tickets and more information


Guy Martin

Wednesday 7th March 2018, 6pm – 7.30pm

Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry

£4.00 tickets – click here for tickets and more information


Lua Ribeira

Wednesday 28th March 2018, 6pm – 7.30pm

mac, Birmingham

£4.00 tickets – click here for tickets and more information


To date we have been delighted to host talks by the following;

  • Mat Collishaw
  • Faye Claridge
  • Nathaniel Pitt and Donall Curtin
  • Tom Hunter
  • Sophy Rickett and Bettina von Zwehl
  • Bruce Gilden
  • David Birkett
  • Daniel Meadows
  • Simon Roberts
  • Andrew Jackson
  • David Hurn
  • Matthew Murray
  • Liz Hingley

Image Credit: Guy Martin, The Parallel State

We are pleased to produce Noises in the Blood, an exhibition of works by photographer Lúa Ribeira from the series of the same name, in conjunction with Argentea Gallery, Birmingham.

Argentea Gallery, 30th March-12th May 2018

Noises in the Blood is inspired by contemporary Jamaican dancehall ritual.  Made in collaboration with a group of British Jamaican women in Birmingham, Ribeira recreated scenes from dancehall culture at the participants’ homes. By embracing the impossibility of fully understanding this cultural expression so very different from her own, Ribeira playfully dissects the ideas of femininity and sexuality within the performances.   Ribeira does not intend the images to comment on the Dancehall, but to become the ritual itself. The power of the transformations of the women and the innovation and provocation that they engage, often clash with Western ideas of femininity. ‘Mythological powers, the concept of female divinity and sacredness in Afro-Caribbean culture, were very present in my visual search. Fed by their folklore and my imagination, universal subjects such as birth, love, death and sex are central to the encounters.’ – Lúa Riberia

The title is borrowed from author Dr Carolyn Cooper’s book ‘Noises in the Blood: Orality, Gender, and the”Vulgar” Body of Jamaican Popular Culture’. Through Noises in the Blood Ribeira did not attempt to produce a series that reinforced the mass media’s view of dancehall and the female body as a denigration of women.  She did not wish to ignore the display of the participants’ bodies nor their perception of femininity to create westernised versions of the dancehall ritual. Both strategies, she felt, would ultimately fail to acknowledge the complexity of cultural expression.

Recipient of the Jerwood Award and the Firecracker Grant, ‘Noises in the Blood’ will be exhibited at Argentea Gallery in early 2018, alongside a limited edition leporello book of the work published by Fishbar Books.

Lúa Ribeira Cendán (born 1986) is a Spanish documentary photographer based in Bristol. S he graduated in Graphic Design Degree BAU, Barcelona 2011, and with a BA in Documentary Photography from the University of South Wales, Newport in 2016. She was awarded the Jerwood Photoworks Grant 2018, the Reginald Salisbury Fund 2016, Firecracker Grant 2015 and Ditto Press Scholarship in 2015. She has participated in The Independent Air Residency, Denmark 2015, Photo España 2014, Emcontros da Imagem Discovery Awards 2015, Gazebook Photobook Festival 2015,  and ‘A Fine Beginning’, Contemporary Welsh Photography exhibition London 2014 . Her work was selected by Susan Meiselas for inclusion in Raw View magazine’s “Women looking at Women” issue and has featured in the British Journal of Photography.

For the exhibition a new piece of writing has been commissioned by writer, curator and photographer Colin Pantall ‘Lose the Noise and you Lose the Meaning’

20 01 2018

Indre Serpytyte

Indre Serpytyte (b. 1983 in Palanga, Lithuania) is an artist living and working in London, UK. Serpytyte is concerned with the impact of conflict and war on history and perception.  She works with photography, sculpture and installation. 

Earlier this year GRAIN Projects commissioned Serpytyte to collaborate on research and make new work in response to the history of war and conflict in Birmingham.

It is estimated that throughout both World Wars, the Ministry of Munitions employed around a million female munitions workers in thousands of arms factories. These women played a crucial role in Britain’s strategy of “total war”. especially after Britain’s shell crisis in 1915 when there was a severe shortage of artillery shells on the front line. The women worked extremely long hours as production was focused on a 24-hour shift pattern with only one day off a week.

Using archive material from Birmingham collections as well as from the Imperial War Museum Serpytyte has examined the relationship between widely publicised propaganda images of the female factory workforce, as part of a political project of moral boosting, and the images, accounts and ephemera that tell the largely hidden and forgotten story of the so-called ‘munitionettes.’  In her work she will look at the history of female work and life in the context of war, violence and political strategy as well as the home as a place of waiting, loss and a repository for memory and objects. Domestic objects on shelves and mantlepieces provided keep sakes as well as reminders of lives and death. Most unsettling are the vases made from spent ammunition shells, many of which were made by women in munitions factories and then decorated by women for home ornamentation.

In her work Serpytyte will use these vases as a way to explore the complex relationship between domesticity, ornament, labour, class, gender, war and trauma. The work will explore the objects and materials of war.

Image credit: © IWM (Q 54375) – A female munitions worker operating a chronometer for registering velocity of bullets fired from cartridges at the Kynoch’s factory in Birmingham, 1917

Photographer and anthropologist Liz Hingley is collaborating with Syrian individuals who have recently arrived in Coventry on a unique UN programme, to capture the remarkable welcome that the city and refugee centre provide. Interlacing between archival collections and fundamental symbols of contemporary life, Hingley looks to future of the fastest growing city in the UK.

The work references the historic practice of presenting honoured visitors with symbolic keys to the city gates in relation to the sim card given to refugees as soon as they land in the UK. The sim card offers a direct link to scattered loved ones and an archive of photographic memories.  As an object and tool it thus offers an immediate sense of security, identity and home in a new place.

Presented within an intimate installation, items from the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum’s collections portray the cities eclectic history alongside images, which explore how stories and skills from Syria can translate and transform in new contexts.

The exhibition will be on show at the Herbert Art Gallery from the 1st December 2017 to the 11th of February 2018.

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. Enormous thanks is also owed to Coventry City Council, Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre and the participants in the project.


Artist Talk by Liz Hingley 

Herbert Art Gallery & Museum – Learning Space   
Thursday 18th January 2018
4.30 – 6.30pm

Join Hingley at Herbert Art Gallery and Museum on Thursday 18th January to explore the process and creation of this thought provoking exhibition. Tickets are free, but places are limited so please book via our eventbrite page.

Image credit;  Key from the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum Collection

Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 23.23.38

 

 

12 11 2017

Saddleworth

Arena Gallery, Mac, Birmingham

18 November 2017 – 21 January 2018

The project will premier Matthew Murray’s new work which focuses on contemporary photography and the landscape. Murray has created a photographic odyssey, an epic series of landscape works made over a period of four-and-a-half years. The exhibition will be accompanied by a new publication, symposium and newly commissioned writing.

Murray involves the viewer in a series of challenges; aesthetic, emotional, and perhaps even moral. If we look at the pictures without knowledge of the location – and the tragic historical events that took place there – our initial response to the brooding, picturesque terrain may be purely aesthetic. This location seems untouched by human intervention. Murray captures its changing moods under glowering skies, creating impressions, partly real and partly generated through the photographic process. We seem to be in a dream world as much as a real place. In this work Murray occupies a position within a lineage of landscape artists stretching back hundreds of years.

Murray is a Birmingham based photographer who has worked in a gallery context as well as commercially shooting campaigns for various advertising agencies, features for editorials and exhibiting personal photography projects.

In the context of the exhibition Saddleworth, Responding to A Landscape, the symposium will invite acclaimed and outstanding photographers, artists, writers and photography historians to talk about their work and relationship with the landscape. Those speaking alongside Matthew Murray include; Richard Billingham, Jem Southam, Chrystel Lebas, Camilla Brown, Simon Constantine, John Hillman and Mark Wright.

The practitioners will talk about how they have approached landscape and their unique relationship with it.

Image Credit:  Matthew Murray – Saddleworth Moor, Peak District

The project is supported by GRAIN Projects, Arts Council England, Gallery Vassie, mac Birmingham, Pirate Design and the University of Gloucestershire.

mac-birm-black81Pirate_Logo   gallery Vassie logo small

GRAIN is pleased to announce the next event in its programme of professional development activities. Our Portfolio Development Day will be delivered at and in partnership with The Herbert Museum and Art Gallery, Coventry on Saturday 2nd December 2017.

During the morning our guest expert reviewers will give short presentations and in the afternoon there will be opportunities for one to one portfolio advice and reviews.

We will be joined by Camilla Brown; curator, writer and lecturer on contemporary art, specialising in photography, Craig Ashley; Director of New Art West MidlandsLiz Hingley; British photographer and anthropologist and Anthony Luvera; artist and writer.

The day is devised to enable emerging photographers, students and artists who work in photography to get advice and reviews from leading photography experts.

Please note there will be a maximum of 18 attendees to enable a focussed day. Please book early.

The day is a must for emerging photographers who wish to understand how to develop their work and their portfolio in order to secure new opportunities.

The event is ticketed and places must be booked in advance.

£20 for professionals, concessions for £12
To purchase click here to go to our Eventbrite page.

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24th November 2017, 9.30am-5.30pm

Responding to a Landscape will explore, debate and review the evolving relationship between artists and photographers and the landscape.  We will hear from a number of perspectives, from acclaimed practitioners for which landscape is a recurring subject, a social and environmental concern, a research and archive practice and an essential departure.   What does landscape and our natural world look like and mean to photographers and artists today? 

The symposium has been planned in conjunction with the exhibition Matthew Murray’s Saddleworth; Responding to a Landscape, premiered at mac, Birmingham. Murray is interested in depicting the landscape based on what he feels rather than what he sees.  His landscape work is a personal story and odyssey. His Saddleworth is the result of a five year creative and sensitive journey that captures the beauty of the moorland landscape.

The symposium invites acclaimed and outstanding photographers, artists, writers and photography historians to talk about their work and relationship with the landscape. Those speaking alongside Murray include; Richard Billingham, Chrystel Lebas, Jem Southam, Camilla Brown, Simon Constantine, John Hillman, Craig Ashley and Mark Wright. 

The practitioners will talk about how they have approached landscape and their unique relationship with it. Landscape photography has a long and significant history and today approaches have perhaps never been so broad with practitioner’s motivations and aesthetic concerns been varied. Some document, others work with more abstract concerns; Some work collaboratively, others in isolation; Some are working on environmental concerns and others more personal stories.

During the Symposium we will hear from the perspective of the photographer, curator and academic. They are motivated by landscape for many different reasons. We will hear from and celebrate those that create self-initiated projects and commissioned bodies of work and see a range of photographic practices that are at the cutting edge of photography now.

The project is supported by GRAIN Projects, Arts Council England, Gallery Vassie, mac Birmingham, Pirate Design and the University of Gloucestershire.

Prices
Early Bird Concession: £15
Early Bird Standard: £22
Early Bird available until 15th October 2017.
Concession: £20
Standard: £28

To book your tickets click here.

*Please note prices include tea/coffee in breaks but do not include lunch.

Photo credit: Saddleworth  © Matthew Murray.

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10 08 2017

SETTLING

Photographer Sam Ivin has worked with individuals and community groups in Stoke on Trent to explore migration to the city. During the residency he has focused on the participant’s personal photographs and stories, working with people who moved to the city from after World War II to the present day.  These include Sikh families in the 1950’s, war veterans, and more recent individuals. They have travelled for a wide range of reasons: professional opportunities, education and refuge from difficult circumstances.

Most participants have engaged with the project through a series of workshops, others through individual meetups.   During the project those taking part have taken photographs, shared photography collections, made photo collages and told their stories, focusing on what led them to live in Stoke-on-Trent. Fascinating, brave and poignant stories have been captured and recorded alongside precious photographs that tell something of the participant’s story.

Photography is part of these people’s journey; from the places and people they left to their new lives in Stoke-on-Trent.  Photographer Sam Ivin has created a new archive of photographs from people’s contributions.  

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.

A selection of the archive, entitled ‘Settling’ will be exhibited in Stoke on Trent at The Big Feast Festival during August 2017.

Image Credit: Walerian ‘Val’ Tyminski
Photographer: Unknown/Possibly Fellow Soldier
Date: 1946
Location: Florence, Giotto’s Bell Tower in the Background.
Description: Val poses for a photograph in Florence. He spent a year in Italy after World War II had ended, occasionally the Polish Army would go on one or two day excursions to nearby places of interest.

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.

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Our collaborative bursary has been awarded to Lily Wales for the research and development activity she is undertaking into themes of nuclear warfare and its language.

This ongoing enquiry and work will be enhanced by a research trip to the Nevada Testing Site and Atomic Testing Museum near Las Vegas.

Specialising in handmade photomontage, Lily often uses found images, photography and text to explore how language anesthetises the audiences’ perception of the subject, such as atomic bombs personified by being given human names, and the absurd language used in films demonstrating how to survive a nuclear attack.

The bursary will provide an opportunity to make new work, collect, shoot and collate imagery from Nevada, and gather resources and research materials from the Atomic Testing Museum.  The opportunity will also give the artist an insight into the immense scale and geography of the site and the activities that have happened there, a sense of the past and an opportunity to expand her practice.

Image credit: Lily Wales; Operation Plumbob, 2017

Nuclearosis 2017

Lily Wales; Nuclearosis 2017

Bursary awarded in collaboration with:

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Following an Open Call photographer Sam Ivin has been awarded the new Residency commission in Stoke on Trent. The residency will see Ivin engaging with individuals and communities that moved to or migrated to Stoke-on-Trent from within the UK or internationally. Those that have made their home in the city and work in the city have made Stoke-on-Trent a diverse community and the city it is today.

Photography is part of these people’s journey; from the places and people they left to their new lives in Stoke-on-Trent. These photographs will be in people’s family albums, stored in shoe boxes, treasures and keepsakes for themselves, their families and friends.

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.

Ivin will create an archive of photographs focusing on the migrant community in Stoke on Trent by looking back through family and personal archives, having conversations and delivering workshops.   He will investigate the topic of immigration through migrants’ perspectives.

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. www.samivin.com

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.

Image Credits

Featured image above: Sam Ivin. Pakistan from Lingering Ghosts.  2015, Fabrica, Treviso, Italy.

Sudan

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

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Friday 16th June 2017
9:30 am – 17:30 pm
Birmingham City University, The Parkside Building, B4 7BE

The State of Photography II will explore, debate and review how photographers and photography practice develops and responds in our current challenging times. How do we look at our world today and what does the world look like to photographers?

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

Some document communities and people they are familiar with others offer external perspectives on social issues and situations. Does one offer a better way to tell a story? Is it important to come from a community or do you become too involved? Is it more objective to come in from the outside? How do we insure the engagement is sincere and does not exploit?

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.

During the Symposium we will hear from the perspective of the photographer, curator and academic. They share our concerns about the present and offer a diverse range of practices, experiences and stories that document the state of humanity and the world today.

The State of Photography Symposium aims to present new bodies of work, question and challenge ideas, as well as offering advice and talking about positive approaches to influence change, provoke, prompt and give a voice.

We will hear from and celebrate those that create self-initiated projects and commissioned bodies of work and see a range of photographic practices that are at the cutting edge of photography now.

Speakers include:

  • Andrew Jackson
  • Anthony Luvera
  • Camilla Brown
  • David Severn
  • Edgar Martins
  • John Hillman
  • Kajal Nisha Patel
  • Mahtab Hussain
  • Michelle Sank
  • Paul Herrmann (Redeye)
  • Peta Murphy Burke (Arts Council England)
  • Simon Constantine

Prices
Early Bird Concession: £15
Early Bird Standard: £18
Early Bird available until 31st May 2017.
Concession: £18
Standard: £25

To book your tickets click here.

*Please note prices include tea/coffee in breaks but do not include lunch. 

Photo credit: ‘The Bayou of Borba (Portugal)’, from the series Siloquies and Soliloquies on Death, Life and Other Interudes, 2016 © Edgar Martins.

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Engine and GRAIN are jointly offering a bursary of £1,000 to an artist living and working in the West Midlands region. Photography should be an integral element of the artist’s practice. The bursary should be used to make a significant impact on the artist’s professional development and can be used for travel, accommodation, research, mentoring or course fees.

Please apply by sending a proposal of no more than 500 words outlining how you would use the bursary if successful.  This should be accompanied by 3 images of recent work, your website details, budget projections and your cv. Applications should be sent to info@newartwestmidlands.co.uk  by 5pm on 15 May.

A decision will be made by 5 June and applicants will be informed during that week. The successful applicant will be expected to write a brief evaluation report.

Engine is a professional development programme for artists and curators in the West Midlands region. It is delivered by The New Art Gallery Walsall in partnership with New Art West Midlands and a range of other partners.

Image Credit: Anthony Simon Harries, GRAIN Prize, RBSA Photography Exhibition

GRAIN is delighted to have awarded the Format Portfolio Award to Jessa Fairbrother for her work  ‘Armour Studies’.  This is the second time GRAIN has awarded a special prize at Format International Photography Festival.

‘Armour Studies (regarding skin)’ uses the body as both vessel and surface.  Employing self-portraiture Jessa hovers on the edge of being object and subject to explore the connection between her form, the exterior and audience.

Describing her shape as provocation she interrupts the surface of photographs using sewing needles to puncture hand-made prints, creating textural adornments suggestive of lace and engraved metal: violent acts making delicate marks.

In perforating this exterior layer she invites the viewer to think of the skin not only as an embodiment of selfhood but as a body that touches and is touched. Her concerns originate in attempts to identify feelings beyond the shape of the person seen, confronting gestures of fallibility and the body’s relentless failures.

This ongoing work brings together pieces where she performs within the image and upon it, cladding her physical identity in armour to protect it from her own disappointments and the viewer’s scrutiny.

In her practice Jessa explores the familiar and the personal, where yearning and performance meet each other in photography.  She investigates how behavior is shaped and influenced by both memory and visual consumption, concentrating on the gesture as a physical archive of emotional life. Role-play is a key part of her studies.  She is interested in how individual’s perform, continuously assigning status (and having status bestowed upon us) through roles.

Shrewsbury, 9th February – 20th  April 2017 

Evolution Explored is an exhibition of works curated from the Magnum Photos archive and presented in the public realm, in St. Mary’s Square and The Square, Shrewsbury. The project is a collaboration with Shrewsbury Business Improvement District (BID) and The Hive Arts Centre.

The work of Magnum photographers will reach new audiences on the streets of Shrewsbury in a specially curated exhibition inspired by ‘Evolution’ and the town’s links to Charles Darwin.

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 ten-week street exhibition, Evolution Explored, 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.

Stuart Franklin
LON10446 The Natural History Galleries of the Horniman Museum in London, England. 1993. © Stuart Franklin/Magnum Photos

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.

Today its editorial offices in New York, London, Paris and Tokyo, and its network of sub-agents, provide photographs to the press, publishers, advertising, television, galleries and museums around the world.

It has approximately one million photographs in both print and transparency in a physical library, with more than 500,000 images available online. It is said that if you picture an iconic image, but can’t think who took it or where it can be found, it probably came from Magnum.

The project is supported by Arts Council England, Redrow Homes, Shrewsbury Shopping and Shrewsbury Colleges Group.

As part of this exhibition there will be a series of associated activities including education workshops with selected Primary, Secondary and Further Education organisations. There will also be a Photo Safari Event on Saturday 8th April 2017, see details below.

www.evolutionexplored.org

About Evolution Explored – A review by Jonny Bark

Top image credit: Tiananmen Square, Beijin, CHINA. 1989. © Stuart Franklin/Magnum Photos

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Evolution Explored Photo Safari

Sat 8th Apr
10am – 5pm (or join for half a day at 10am or 2pm)

As part of Evolution Explored a Photo Safari will take place in the town of Shrewsbury with The Hive acting as hub. The activity will take place over a full day and will be targeted at families. It will be devised as an adventurous journey or expedition during which people hunt for, explore, or investigate opportunities to creatively write with light and record images. The tasks will be fun, collaborative and will result in a series of images that can be displayed in an exhibition at The Hive and featured online as part of Evolution Explored.

Those participating will be asked to bring their own cameras and to dress comfortably for a day outdoors. They will be set a series of four image making tasks, and may choose from the eight points of interest on the safari map.

Working individually or as a team, complete the challenges on this adventure, linked to the Evolution Explored Magnum Photos Exhibition. The best will win prizes and then see your work displayed!

£3 per person / group £10 (Max 5), all are welcome, but under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult.

To book your place follow this link https://hiveonline.cloudvenue.co.uk/photosafari

martin Parr
Longleat Safari Park, Wiltshire, England. From the book ‘A to B tales of modern motoring’. © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

GRAIN are working in collaboration with Mark Wright and Format International Photography Festival on a new exhibition and publication.  The project will Premier work from Wright’s series The Fireside and the Sanctuary.

24 March – 23 April 2017

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.   The environment and communities are rapidly changing following the lead up to the decisions in autumn 2016.   The impact on people’s way of life, their ability to have a voice for their own concerns and wellbeing, is affected as communities are divided by tensions and the notion of changes to their way of life.

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.

The exhibition The Fireside and the Sanctuary will be exhibited at Format International Photography Festival 2017 and will be accompanied by a limited edition photo book with newly commissioned writing by Gemma Padley and Simon Constantine.

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Image Credits;  Mark Wright, The Fireside and the Sanctuary            

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The GRAIN Bursary is an award to a West Midlands based artist, curator or writer working in photography.  The 2017 Bursary recipient is Warwickshire based photographer Caitriona Dunnett.

The bursary will support her artistic development and the creation of a new body of work, including experimenting with new technical approaches.

Caitriona is an Irish photographer based in Warwick. In her work she investigates memory and narrative through nineteenth century photographic techniques.   As well as creating new work Caitriona will receive mentoring support and will attend portfolio reviews including at Format International Photography Festival and Rencontres d’Arles.

A Study of Hill Close Gardens, will include the development of 12-16 handcrafted photographs capturing the lost and found narratives of Warwick’s Victorian gardens.  The gardens date back to 1845 and were tended by tradesmen. They fell into disrepair after the 1950’s and were saved from development by local residents. The plots have been fully restored by volunteers to reference the planting of their original owners. Hill Close Gardens is one of the last groups of detached Victorian pleasure garden plots in the UK.    The gardens were invested in, lost and then recreated. Each generation of gardener brought with them a new layer of history. I want to explore time’s passage

Image Credit: Path to Bishop’s Cave, Caitriona Dunnett, (Tea toned cyanotype)

22nd February 2017

18:00 to 20:00 – Cherry Reds, Birmingham

This REDEYE event is designed to take the fear out of networking and provides photographers and artists with the opportunity to talk about their work and make new connections, all in pain-free, 10-minute slots!

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR PLACE

About

Ever had that overwhelming feeling of social anxiety when the word ‘networking’ is muttered? Ever avoided walking up to a person and introducing yourself as a photographer or artist? Then struggled to remember what your work is, never mind coherently talk about it?

If the answer to any of the above is ‘yes’, ‘maybe’ or ‘please stop talking about networking’, come along on 22 February 2017 for an anti-networking event at Cherry Reds Bar, Birmingham.

At Speed Networking, you won’t be thrown into a pit of humans and forced to navigate the room like a lost sheep. Instead, you’ll sit down with another friendly photographer or artist, tell each other a bit about your work and then move on to the next friendly photographer or artist to repeat the process. Easy, right? By the time you’ve made your way around the room, you’ll have talked about your work so many times you’ll be uttering your elevator pitch in your sleep.

This event is the perfect place to practise presenting your work, and to meet with other photographers and artists in the region.

This is a Redeye event in partnership with GRAIN.

When
This event starts at 18:00 on 22 February 2017 until 20:00. Doors open at 17:30.

Where
This event takes place at Cherry Reds Bar, 88-92 John Bright Street, Birmingham, B1 1BN. The venue is fully accessible.

Tickets
Please book your ticket using the links below. You need to be signed in to do so. Tickets are £7.50. Redeye members £3.50, concession tickets £5.00.

Who is it for?

This event is for any photographers, artists or anyone working in a connected field, looking to meet new people, practise talking about their work and gain new professional connections. It’s open to photographers and artists at every level, and is highly recommended for experienced and non-experienced networkers alike!

Please note Redeye’s terms and conditions including our refund policy.

Image: Arthur Siuksta

17 12 2016

Dimitri Haddad;

International Residency Exchange Artist

Artist Dimitri Haddad was awarded the International Residency Exchange based on a proposal he developed to consider Birmingham’s textile industry. Through research and photography he explored the innovations of the industrial revolution and the impact of globalisation.

During the residency Dimitri undertook research at the Library of Birmingham archives and within the built environment to find traces of the industrial revolution. He found that the first modern cotton spinning machine was invented by John Wyatt and Paul Lewis and was first operational in Birmingham’s Old Square. He contrasted this with the city’s retail offer, shopping centres and busy shopping and commercial spaces.

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During the residency Dimitri documenting the city, particularly the shopping areas, created a series pf photographs and hand printed this imagery onto textiles inspired by the pre-industrial age. At the end of the residency period he handmade a dummy photo book incorporating a poem by poet John Dyer. The photo book, with text, take the form of a textile pattern book.

The residency was developed in collaboration with the IED, Madrid and the exchange opportunity was awarded to Dimitri Haddad and to Anneka French. This opportunity is part of a broader series of continuing professional development conceived and developed by GRAIN.

Book

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Image credits: Dimitri Haddad, 2016

GRAIN is delighted to be working in collaboration with Redeye again, this time on HOTHOUSE Birmingham.

A daylong celebration of photographic projects that have never been seen before, followed by a closing talk from Vanley Burke, the ‘Godfather of Black British photography’.

Hothouse arrives in Birmingham in November for a celebration of photographic projects, alongside a hub of photographic activity, delivered in association with GRAIN. Photographers are welcome to drop in for an hour or two, or stay for the whole event – but please register to be sure of getting a place. Visitors are welcome to bring their portfolio or photobooks for showing on the day.

Throughout the day there will be short presentations from photographers about their recent work and projects, plus ample opportunity for networking and portfolio review. During the lunch break there will also be the option to attend an informal workshop with the Arts Council England for Photographers currently looking for funding for projects.

Here is a full line up of the Photographers who will be presenting their latest projects.

10:30 – 11:30
Corinne Perry
Stewart Wall
Joanne Coates
Juliana Kasumu

12:00 – 13:00
Olli Hellmann
Evonne Bain
Melanie Letore
Jessa Fairbrother

14:00 – 15:00
Alison Baskerville
Mark Wright
Fabienne Viala & Jean-Francois Manicom 
Dimitri Haddad

The event culminates with a talk by Vanley Burke.

Vanley Burke:

Vanley Burke has been described as the ‘Godfather of Black British Photography.’ His iconic images have captured the evolving cultural landscape, social change, and stimulated debate in the United Kingdom over the past four decades. He draws strength from remaining closely connected to his community, and his personable character allows him to capture the intimate and private nature of people’s everyday lives. His body of work represents possibly the largest photographic record of the Caribbean Diaspora in Britain, and as an avid collector, Vanley continues to connect histories through his substantial archive housed at the Library of Birmingham. From local community organisations to the Victoria & Albert Museum and Whitechapel, Vanley has exhibited widely in the United Kingdom, and as far afield as New York, South Africa and China.

Vanley’s artistic enquiry is not simply limited to black and white documentary photography, as his eccentric rebellious nature lends itself to sculpture and painting, and crafting art that gives life a shape. His simple motivation has been the preservation of culture and history through creation, documentation, and discovery which often leaks into the private.

When

This event starts at 10:30 on 26 November until 16:30. Doors open at 10:00.

Where

This event takes place at Glenn Howells Architects, 321 Bradford Street, Birmingham, B5 6ET. The venue is fully accessible.

Tickets

This event is free but booking is essential. Please register via the link below. It is also possible to make a donation at the time of registering and this really helps us deliver more events.

Who is it for?

Whether you have a passion for new photography, want to find out about some exciting emerging photographers, or would like the opportunity to meet and network with photographers, enthusiasts and industry professionals, this event aims to have something for everyone. All participants are welcome to bring a portfolio on the day, find out more about that here.

To book tickets to this event, please sign in to your Redeye account; or become a member by joining Redeye; or simply subscribe to the Redeye website.

Image: Charlotte Jopling

To see more click here.

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20 09 2016

GRAIN Bursary

The GRAIN Bursary is an award to a West Midlands based artist, curator or writer working in photography.  The Bursary can also support a group or collaborative approach.  The bursary offers a cash award of £1,500, mentoring and advocacy for a 12-month period.   

The bursary supports artistic development and experiment and the production or exhibition of new work, rather that the touring or display of finished work.  It offers time to explore processes and try out new ideas. The applicant must have a photographic practice.

The Bursary has been designed to support excellence in photography. The award of a Bursary is intended to provide artists and creative professionals with time to think, research, reflect and/or experiment with new ideas, to enable the research and development of new work or to support the publication, presentation or dissemination of new work. The Bursary is not a commission or production grant but a package of support focusing on research and process that can be used flexibly according to each artist’s needs.

Applicants must demonstrate that they have an established practice and a track record of working at a professional level within the area of interest. They must also evidence a high level of quality, imagination and ambition in their work. The Bursary can support practitioners at different stages in their career and a collaborative approach.

Deadline: Apply by 5pm (GMT) on 14th November 2016

Bursary Outcome: Any outcomes should be delivered within 12 months of the award.

How to Apply: Please download the full brief and application below.

For any enquires please contact hello@grainphotographyhub.co.uk

GRAIN Bursary Brief

30 08 2016

EAST MEETS WEST

The Waterhall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

6 October 2016 – 6 January 2017

Monday – Thursday 10am – 5pm, Friday 10.30am – 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am – 5pm

EAST MEETS WEST presents the work of 16 emerging artists working with moving image or photography.  This remarkable exhibition includes extraordinary 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 with projects shown including drinking culture, documenting community-led action to save local swimming baths, a sensitive portrait of a young Shetland Island resident’s use of his leisure time and an obsessive collector.

The selection process was conducted by a panel of arts experts after which the works were exhibited at QUAD, Derby and Waterhall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

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.

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Image Credit;  Marta Soul  ’Armonía’

GRAIN is pleased to announce the next event in its programme of professional development activities. Our Portfolio Development Day will be delivered at and in partnership with mac, Birmingham.

During the morning our guest expert reviewers will give short presentations and in the afternoon there will be opportunities for one to one portfolio advice and reviews.

We will be joined by Camilla Brown; curator, writer and lecturer on contemporary art, specialising in photography, Paul Herrmann; Director and founder of the photography network Redeye and Chair of the British Photographic Council, Kate Peters; award winning international photographer and Michael Sargeant, Assistant Curator at QUAD, Derby’s centre for contemporary art and FORMAT International Photography Festival, the UK’s leading biennale in photography.

The day is devised to enable emerging photographers, students and artists who work in photography to get advice and reviews from leading photography experts.

Please note there will be a maximum of 20 attendees to enable a focussed day. Please book early – tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite – please click here.

The day is a must for emerging photographers who wish to understand how to develop their work and their portfolio in order to secure new opportunities.

Tickets are priced at £20 (full price – no booking fee) or £12 (Concession price + £1.33 booking fee)

banner portfolio

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our photography survey.

During Spring this year we set out to review our current Audience Development Strategy in order to inform our activities including opportunities for emerging artists and curators, new exhibitions, mentoring, professional development courses, events, symposia and commissions.

The research and review was led by independent consultants Wafer Hadley.   The results will be included in a report that will enable planning, programming, audience engagement activities and ongoing support for photographers.

Congratulations to our prize draw winner Katja Ogrin, whose name was chosen at random from all those who completed the survey.

If you would like to receive a summery of the findings, please contact hello@grainphotographyhub.co.uk.

Image credit: Tom Hunter ‘Findings’ commission, Birmingham 2013.

The new residency opportunity, in collaboration with the IED Madrid, has been awarded to curator and writer Anneka French for her exciting proposal that looks at her relationship with photographic practice.

During the residency she aims to produce original curatorial research and new writing while expanding her professional development on an international scale.

Anneka’s research investigates the body within the physical space of the city, particularly investigating photography and performance through the lenses of curating and writing.  She is a freelance curator and writer and has worked at Tate Modern, Ikon Gallery, New Art Gallery Walsall and Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

Anneka also works as editorial manager of contemporary art magazine this is tomorrow and writes reviews and essays for a range of platforms including Apollo Magazinea-n and Photomonitor.

annekafrench.wordpress.com

The residency is a special opportunity to research and devise new work that contributes to professional development, portfolio and the cultural significance of the spaces/hosts/communities.

This opportunity is part of a broader series of continued professional development opportunities conceived and developed by GRAIN in partnership with IED Madrid, supported by Arts Council England and Birmingham City University.

The Residency has been designed as an exchange. At the same time a residency will be undertaken by an artist, photographer or curator from Madrid/Barcelona in the West Midlands, UK.

‘Photograph by Mitra Saboury’

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Library of Birmingham 11 March – 7 June 2016

The giant corn dolly Kern Baby is a five meter-high (15 foot) sculpture, now exhibited at the Library of Birmingham, made as a version of a harvest figure photographed in 1902 by Sir Benjamin Stone. The sculpture was created by artist Faye Claridge, who uses archives, folklore and reminiscence to examine our past relationships and our current sense of national and personal identity.

Claridge was commissioned by GRAIN, initially through a Turning Point West Midlands residency, and has worked extensively with the Library of Birmingham’s Benjamin Stone Collection, an archive of over 22,000 prints amassed by the MP and self-taught photographer who lived from 1838 to 1914.

In addition to the sculpture, which stood in the grounds at Compton Verney, Warwickshire, throughout 2015, Claridge also made a series of photographs, A Child For Sacrifice, based on Stone’s imagery. Inspired by his photographs she worked with young people from a Warwickshire village to re-interpret customs using artefacts from the Marton Museum of Country Bygones.

Stone’s obsession was to “record history with the camera” for future generations and Claridge questions how we can approach such an ambition today. Her work asks how our sense of self, geography, community and time can be formed through the celebration of repeated and adapted customs.

Stone photographed the Kern Baby in Whalton, Northumberland, and Claridge is currently working on plans for a ‘homecoming’ film, following the giant sculpture’s journey from the Birmingham archives to the North East.

The Benjamin Stone Collection can be accessed via appointment at the Wolfson Centre for Archival Research on floor 4.

The Marton Museum of Country Bygones is open at weekends during the summer or by appointment via museummarton@gmail.com.

The exhibition is a partnership between GRAIN, Library of Birmingham and Compton Verney, supported by Arts Council England.

For more information contact hello@grainphotographyhub.co.uk

13 12 2015

Spirit is a Bone

Over the last two years Broomberg & Chanarin have encountered, explored and researched the photography collections at the Library.   They have made connections with the archive and with 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 contextual essay by Eyal Weizman and a response to images from Sir Benjamin Stone’s archive.

The essay asks two main questions; What is the potential impact of technology on portraiture and citizenship?  And what is the ideological link between Stone’s activities and the photographs he collected and the facial recognition technology?

Echoing August Sander’s seminal work, Citizens of the Twentieth Century, the series of portraits are cast according to professions.  The portraits are produced with new technology, with little if any human interaction.

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 19th 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.

The book is the result of the artist’s encounters and interactions with the photography collections at the Library of Birmingham made possible by a commission from GRAIN and the Library with support from the Arts Council of England. The book is published by Mack.   Click here to pre-order a copy.

Image Credit:  Frau eines Malers
Painter’s Wife
Femme d’un peintre
Жена художника

 

‘Responding to an Archive’ is a project in two halves offering two diverse responses to the Library of Birmingham photography collection. 

The first is ‘In Camera’, where GRAIN commissioned artist Mat Collishaw to research and respond to the Library of Birmingham photography collection.  Collishaw selected to work with a collection of orphan crime images to create a new installation.  The second is ‘Spirit is a Bone’, a GRAIN commission which invited artists duo Broomberg & Chanarin to make a new publication in response to the ‘archive’.  The work is to be published by Mack Books in late 2015. 

As part of this latest project GRAIN has initiated professional development activities to provide new opportunities for emerging practitioners.  The activity is supported by Arts Council England and Birmingham City University (BCU).

Over the last few years GRAIN has delivered professional development as part of its programme including mentoring, paid internships, curators’ bursaries, symposia, masterclasses, courses and portfolio development days.

Currently Birmingham based emerging curator and writer Oli McCall is working alongside the GRAIN team, reflecting on the project and the artists’ responses and writing and blogging about the work.  See http://www.olivermccall.com/ for more information.

Recent BCU photography graduate Nicola Onions is working with GRAIN to increase her work experience in visitor engagement and experience.  Nicola participated in GRAIN’s 5plus5 international exhibition exchange during 2014  http://grainphotographyhub.co.uk/portfolio-type/5-plus-5/ and has been selected for New Art West Midlands 2016.

Mark Wright, graduated in photography from BCU earlier this year. He is making a new series of work that takes a lyrical and poetic stance on the mundane.  Rather than this being a literal response to the ‘In Camera’ exhibition it is a development of his current practice that is influenced by the artist’s approach  http://www.markcwright.com/about/

Image credit: Photographer unknown, ‘Railway Guards, Chief Guard and Assistant, Moscow’, c. 1870

Albumen print from a collodion negative.  Sir Benjamin Stone Collection MS 3196 Library of Birmingham

 

In Camera:  a legal term that means keep private, confined or hidden.

Camera obscura (Latin: ‘dark chamber’):  an optical device that led to photography consisting of a box or room with a hole in one side through which light from an external scene passes through to make or reveal an image.

In Camera:  a term used by photographers to indicate that an image is authentic, having been made from the real, and presented without any cropping or post production.

In 2014 Mat Collishaw was commissioned by GRAIN to make work in response to the Library of Birmingham photography collection.  The Library of Birmingham and GRAIN are proud to present the exhibition of new work, supported by Arts Council England.

In Camera is an installation created around a series of 12 crime scene negatives made for Birmingham City Police Force during the 1930s and 1940s.  Collishaw discovered these uncatalogued images, made to provide evidence in alleged and actual crimes committed in the city, hidden amongst an archive of orphaned police negatives whilst exploring the Library’s photography collections.

The work prompts questions about the medium of photography, its historical role as witness and the way in which our reading of images are affected when they shift from the private to the public.   The work invites the audience to speculate about these backdrops; the circumstances of the crime, victims and suspects.

The newly commissioned work exhibited is a collaboration with The New Art Gallery Walsall and their major survey show of Collishaw’s work which also runs until the 10th of January 2016.

Both exhibitions see Collishaw continuing to explore the potential for images to be both shocking and alluring where he asks us to look beneath the surface and discover more complex questions and forces at play.

Mat Collishaw will be giving an Artist Talk as part of the exhibition on Thursday 22nd October from 6pm. The talk will start with a guided tour of the exhibition space. Tickets are priced £3 and available for purchase the Eventbrite. Click here to purchase.

Click here for details of the special limited edition print created by Collishaw as an outcome for the commission.

Image Credit: In Camera; 5 Sides of Bacon (Stolen Property), Mat Collishaw, 2015

27 05 2015

ALBUM 31

Album 31 is an exhibition featuring new work by Sophy Rickett and Bettina von Zwehl.  The artists were commissioned by GRAIN to respond to the Library’s photographic archives, specifically those of Victorian photographer and parliamentarian Sir Benjamin Stone.  Album 31 establishes a set of practical and conceptual principles that provide a model for Rickett and von Zwehl to work collaboratively.

Amongst the extensive collection of albums meticulously compiled and catalogued by Stone, is ‘album 31′, in which he placed the photographs he wanted to keep but which didn’t ‘fit’ into any of the index categories that structure the rest of the collection. The images within this album are positioned according to a different set of criteria, where subject matter, processes, time frames, co-exist in unexpected relations and where both humor and the spectre of human darkness emerge.

Rickett and von Zwehl became interested in recurrent motifs in Stone’s album 31 and how these awkward juxtapositions could become productive as well as meaningful. They explore how Stone’s otherwise structured approach, governed by intention and purpose, is corrupted by contingent and possibly unconscious relations. His archive becomes an agency through which Rickett and von Zwehl not only process Stone’s legacy, but their own quite different practices, and the changing history of photographic imperatives and behaviours.

Using Stone’s original album as a starting point, the artists have set about revisiting and retrieving material from their own outboxes. This appropriation of the margins of artistic practice – a history which includes the out-take, footnote, off-mike, artistic marginalia of many kinds – reusing material that for whatever reason did not ‘fit’, enables them to consider a different set of rationales, narratives, emphasises, and trajectories.

Album 31 tests the implications of playing with meaning through re-contextualising and re-positioning subject matter, to resist the possibility of a single interpretation and resolution. They are interested in working together as a process that offers companionship, support, conviviality and the sharing of ideas but also can bring about tension, difference, negotiation, and compromise.

Miscellaneous, page 20, Sir Benjamin Stone Collection, Library of Birmingham

Miscellaneous, page 20, Sir Benjamin Stone Collection, Library of Birmingham


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