CURRENT PROJECTS: Submission Deadline: Midnight September 22nd 2019

FORMAT, QUAD (Derby) and GRAIN Projects (Birmingham) are delighted to announce a new collaborative project that will provide fifteen emerging artists and photographers with a professional development opportunity. This is the third East Meets West collaboration and follows two very successful previous editions.

During the Masterclass sessions industry and art form leaders will share their knowledge and practical advice on developing a successful career, self-initiated marketing, self-publishing, methods and applying for and obtaining funding.  The sessions will also include guidance on portfolio development, production techniques, editing and sequencing for publications, expanding ideas and research, writing exhibition interpretation and project statements, exhibition layout and curation. The programme will also offer group portfolio review sessions where reviewers will provide feedback regarding work and current projects.

The Masterclass programme aims to offer guidance in a supportive collaborative learning environment in order to allow photographers to build confidence in their practice and network with fellow practitioners. The programme will offer a platform for participants to receive personal guidance and participate in career focussed discussions that will make a difference to their work and contribute to their professional development.

Masterclass participants will be given a chance to share their work at a dedicated FORMAT PhotoForum event. There will also be a production budget provided for participants to work as a collective to create a self-directed joint outcome of their choosing, such as a newspaper, publication, event or exhibition.

This opportunity is aimed at emerging photographers wishing to broaden their perspectives and push the boundaries of their personal development. We welcome diverse and innovative submissions.

Masterclass events, speakers, portfolio reviewers and workshop leaders include: Peta Murphy (Arts Council England), Mahtab Hussain (Artist), Abbas Zahedi (Artist), Natasha Caruana (Artist), The Photocopy Club, Nicola Shipley (GRAIN), and Louise Fedotov-Clements (FORMAT & QUAD).

The cost for the Masterclass programme is £200 and will be payable once accepted onto the programme. We have two bursary places available at £150, for participants who live in either the West or East Midlands.

Due to expected high numbers of applications for this programme we are asking people to apply with your CV, a letter of interest explaining why you would like to apply for the programme and how you think it would benefit you, as well as a link to your website or a PDF of a selection of images. If you are based in the West or East Midlands please note on your application if you would like to be considered for both the bursary price and standard price.

Deadline for applications: Midnight 22nd September 
Please send your applications to Stephen.burke@grainphotographyhub.co.uk

Dates For Masterclass Programme:

Friday 11th October 2019, 9.30am – 5pm, Birmingham City University
State of Photography Symposium

Saturday 30th November 2019, 9.30am – 5pm, New Art Gallery Walsall
Theme: Funding, Development, Survival Skills and Portfolios

Saturday 24th January 2020, 9.30am – 5pm, Birmingham City University
Theme: Writing & Photography, Picture Editing & Sequencing

Saturday 15th February 2020, 9:00 – 17:30, QUAD, Derby
Theme: Exhibitions, Audiences, Interpretation, Portfolios and Participation

Saturday 11th April 2020, 9:00 – 18:00, QUAD, Derby
The Photocopy Club Photo-Zine Making Full-day Workshop

Thursday 30th April 2020, 18:30 – 20:00, QUAD, Derby
East Meets West Masterclass FORMAT PhotoForum

Image Credit: (c) Tristan Poyser

01 08 2019

Marco Kesseler

We are excited to be working with photographer Marco Kesseler on a new commission which will see him create new work about the hidden landscape where our food is produced and the seasonal staff that work tirelessly to harvest it.

The photographer is interested in the fact that these spaces often seem so far removed from the sterile environment of the supermarkets where the produce is on sale.  He is interested in exploring how we are becoming increasingly disconnected from the process of growing crops and the hidden landscapes they inhabit – a microcosm full of life both above and below the surface.

As we approach the 31st October deadline for Brexit and with 99% of seasonal farm workers coming from the EU (just 0.6% from the UK) there has been a significant shortfall in workers.  Recent statistics show farms are understaffed by approximately 20% which asks the questions:  How will agriculture be affected and who will pick our food after Brexit?

Kesseler will collaborate with communities across the agricultural industry in the Midlands, in Worcestershire and Herefordshire, which include a major supermarket supplier.    His research will include the wider diverse Midlands landscape which provides opportunities for a wide range of production – from hops to wine, potatoes to asparagus and many varieties of fruit.

Marco Kesseler is a photographer based in the UK, with an interest in the role of narrative, studying both fact and fiction, as a reference point in representing contemporary social stories.  Working with communities over an extended period of time, previous works have documented the socio-political effects of the Ukrainian revolution; living in hiding with Albanian families persecuted in the age old traditions of blood feuds, as well as celebratory traditions in Greece.

Past exhibited works have been included in The Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize, Paris Photo, PhotoIreland Festival, The Renaissance Photography Prize and The Sony World Photography Awards and clients include The FT Weekend Magazine, The New York Times, TIME and The British Journal of Photography.

www.marcokesseler.com

We are delighted to announce that the book WHAT PHOTOGRAPHY & INCARCERATION HAVE IN COMMON WITH AN EMPTY VASE by Edgar Martins is now available to pre-order.

Commissioned by GRAIN, this multifaceted body of work was developed, over a period of 2 years, with HMP Birmingham (the largest, category B prison in the Midlands, UK), and in particular its inmates, their families as well as a myriad of other individuals and organisations (such as charities, colleges, universities and youth centres.)

Martins’ work uses the social context of incarceration to explore the philosophical concept of absence and address 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 address prison as a set of social relations, rather than a mere physical space, Martins proposes to rethink and counter the sort of imagery normally associated with incarceration.

His project, thus, wilfully circumvents images whose sole purpose, he argues, is to confirm the already help 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.

Composed of three distinct segments, encompassing archive/new photography, 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 ambitious and thought-provoking project is now published as a beautiful, two-book publication, that includes a facsimile copy of an inmate’s journal, produced especially for this context, and carefully edited and appropriated by the artist.

In an excerpt from the journal, observed details accumulate to form a powerful way of figuring the dehumanising and life-denying force of the prison: ‘Sometimes all there is to do when you’re stuck on the wing is to lean on the thin high rails and watch what’s going on around you. That’s when I noticed thick grey fluff on a step. And more on another step. Then I noticed it at the edges of the floor and above me on the piping. It was on the top of the nuts and bolts and on top of the wires that made up the netting. It was everywhere and I had never noticed it before. The grey fluff had blended in with the grey clothing of the grey people that cast grey shadows on the grey walls. I suppose the ideal prisoner should be grey, dull and dismal in nature. THEY’VE CREATED THE PERFECT GREY SPACE HERE.’

WHAT PHOTOGRAPHY & INCARCERATION HAVE IN COMMON WITH AN EMPTY VASE contains over 500 pages, 130 photographs and documents and is supplied in a genuine prison bag, along with a surprise element.

This publication will support exhibitions of the work at Galeria Filomena Soares (Lisbon), Catharine Clark Gallery (San Francisco), the Macau Museum of Art (Macau, China), the Museum of National and Contemporary Art (Lisbon), the Geneva Photography Centre (Geneva), amongst others.

Pre order the book here.

01 07 2019

Arpita Shah

GRAIN are delighted to be working with photographer Arpita Shah on a new
commission which will see the photographer work with South Asian women
across Birmingham and the West Midlands.

Shah’s project ‘Modern Muse’ will explore, represent and celebrate South Asian
female identity across the city and region. The series will visually and
conceptually explore the ever-shifting identities of South Asian women in
contemporary Britain and give an insight into the perspectives of what it means
to be a young British and Asian woman.

Shah would like to invite young South Asian women aged between 16-30 based
in Birmingham and the Midlands to be involved in the project, so if you’re
interested in getting more info please contact Arpita at: arpita@arpitashah.com

Arpita Shah is a photographic artist and educator based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
She works between photography and film, exploring the fields where culture and
identity meet. As an India-born artist, Shah spent an earlier part of her life living
between India, Ireland and the Middle East before settling in the UK. This
migratory experience is reflected in her practice, which often focuses on the notion
of home, belonging and shifting cultural identities. Shah’s work tends to draw from
Asian and Eastern mythology, using it both visually and conceptually to explore the
issues of cultural displacement in the Asian Diaspora.

Arpita’s work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Detroit Center of
Contemporary Photography (2013); Tramway in Glasgow (2014); Focus Festival in
Mumbai, India (2015); Chobi Mela IX in Dhaka, Bangladesh (2017); Autograph APB
in London (2018) and Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow (2019). She is also the
recipient of the 2019 Light Work + Autograph ABP Artist-in-Residence programme
which she will undertake in NY in September of 2019.

www.arpitashah.com

Image Credit – ‘Haseebah’ Modern Muse © Arpita Shah

20 05 2019

Talk Programme

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.

Indre Serpytyte
Rugby Art Gallery & Museum
13th June | 12.30pm

Join artist Indre Serpytyte at Rugby Art Gallery & Museum on the 13th June and hear her speak about her new exhibition When The Golden Sun Is Sinking. Serpytyte’s work explores 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.

The event is free & no need to book, join the artist in the gallery from 12.30pm.

 

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
  • Geoff Broadway
  • Anand Chhabra
  • Mark Neville
  • Kate Peters
  • Arpita Shah
  • Katrina Sluis

 

GRAIN Projects is seeking an Intern with an interest in contemporary photography, the visual arts, projects and events and participatory opportunities, linked to audience development and community engagement. This is a unique opportunity to work with GRAIN to develop your knowledge, skills and professional practice.

The individual should be ambitious and organised and interested in supporting the development and delivery of our programme. They should have the ability to work on their own initiative and be interested in working with people including practitioners, audiences and participants.

The applicant must have some knowledge of professional photography practice.

Responsibilities will include:
– Supporting the team in developing ideas for events and activities
– Assisting with events, commissions and artist development activities
-Admin and marketing tasks
-Research including interactive research
-Communicating with creatives, communities and audiences

The applicant will be selected based on the aforementioned skills rather than educational history or in-depth work experience.

This role will pay a fee of £1000, inclusive of all travel expenses. This is a part time role & will be roughly be 10 – 12 working days across the 6 months.

Location: Midlands. The Intern will be expected to work remotely and at a range of venues in Birmingham and the West Midlands dependent on the GRAIN programme of activities. Background and context GRAIN Projects is an arts organisation established to benefit the photography community and to reach and engage with new audiences and collaborate with participants. GRAIN works with national and international partners. We research, develop and deliver new, ambitious high-quality opportunities to strengthen photography in the region including commissions, exhibitions and a professional development programme. We develop opportunities for artists, audiences and participants and promote the sector nationally and internationally.

If you are interested in applying for this opportunity please email your cv, a letter of application outlining why you are interested in this opportunity and how you feel you would fulfil this role and a testimonial from a current project contract, employer, lecturer or similar. Please email to Nicola.shipley@grainphotographyhub.co.uk

The deadline for this opportunity is 31 May 2019.

Please note applications must be provided in full as described above and no applications will be accepted after the deadline.

The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery 17th May – 22nd September 2019

Made in collaboration with local residents, Settling is an exhibition of pictures that tell the stories of people who have moved to Stoke-on-Trent from around the world. Stories include the life journey of World War Two veteran Walerian Tyminski, Pat Phillips the wife and business partner of a local artist, and Aida Haughton’s story on finding love in post-war Bosnia & Herzegovina.

The exhibition has two parts; The first is a projection of The Settling Archive and original photographs from contributor’s personal albums, digital versions of which will be gifted to the City Archives to preserve these stories. The second is Welcome Home, a series of diptychs by photographer Sam Ivin, made with contributors to the archive. Individuals own images are shown alongside a portrait created by Ivin, reflecting on the experiences that have bought them to Stoke-on-Trent. Audiences are also invited to share their own stories to the exhibition.

The exhibition is supported by GRAIN Projects, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Arts Council England.

Rugby Art Gallery & Museum, 7 May – 22 June 2019

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.

GRAIN Projects commissioned Serpytyte to collaborate on research and make new work. This new project will be exhibited in partnership with Rugby Art Gallery & Museum.

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 Midlands 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, decorated by soldiers and sent home for 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.

Artist Talk:
Rugby Art Gallery & Museum
13th June | 12.30pm
The event is free & no need to book, join the artist in the gallery from 12.30pm.

Image credit: ‘When the Golden Sun is Sinking (2019.04)’ (c) Indre Serpytyte

Photography For Whom? is a new periodical focused on socially-engaged photography. Published biannually, Photography For Whom? seeks to shine light on significant yet overlooked work of the past and to generate debate about contemporary practice, by bringing writing and practice from the community photography movement back into circulation from sources which are out of print, largely unknown or difficult to access. Each issue presents a historic text alongside a newly commissioned piece of writing to foster critical consideration of socially-engaged photography today. www.photographyforwhom.com

Photography For Whom? is edited by Anthony Luvera and supported by GRAIN Projects and Multistory.

For more information and to purchase a copy of Photography For Whom? Please visit – photographyforwhom.com

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 Multistory as part of BLAST! Festival, on Saturday 29th June at Wesley Methodist Church, 10am – 5pm.

During the morning our guest expert reviewers will give short presentations to advise on key features of portfolio & professional development, and in the afternoon there will be opportunities for one to one portfolio advice and reviews. Each participant will have the opportunity to see 3 of our reviewers, the one to one sessions last 20 minutes.

The day is a must for emerging photographers and has been devised to support emerging practitioners, students and artists who work in photography to get advice and reviews from leading photography experts (practitioners, curators and commissioners).

Please note there will be a maximum of 25 attendees to enable a focussed day. Please book early, once you have booked you will be sent a form to select the reviewers you would like to see.

Date – Saturday 29th June
Time – 10am – 5pm
Location – Wesley Methodist Church, 291 High Street, West Bromwich,West Midlands,  B70 8ND

Tickets are priced at £25 or £18 (plus booking fees) and can be booked here.

If you have any questions about the day please contact stephen.burke@grainphotographyhub.co.uk.

Reviewers & Speakers

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, including Tate Liverpool, London Underground’s Art on the Underground, British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Belfast Exposed Photography, Australian Centre for Photography, PhotoIreland, Malmö Fotobiennal, Goa International Photography Festival, and Les Recontres D’Arles Photographie. Anthony is Principal Lecturer and Course Director of MA Photography and Collaboration at Coventry University. He also designs and facilitates public education programmes for the National Portrait Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts, The Photographers’ Gallery, Barbican Art Gallery, and community photography projects across the UK. 

Liz Hingley
Liz Hingley is photographer, anthropologist and curator working on multi-platform projects that explore systems of belief and belonging around the world. Her publications include the books Under God’ (Dewi Lewis, 2010), End of Lines, Shanghai (Be-Poles, 2013), Home Made in Smethwick (Multistory, 2016) and Shanghai Sacred (Washington University Press, 2018).  Her photographs and writings feature in global media publications such as Time, Le Monde, Financial Times, The Guardian, and New Scientist as well as in academic journals. Liz has received numerous awards including The Photophilanthropy Award, Prix Virginia and the Getty Grant. She is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham and University College London. Between 2013-16 she was based in China  as a Visiting Scholar of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. Liz is also a trustee as well as curator at SIDE in Newcastle, and is actively seeking documentary work to exhibit in the gallery. 

Niall Mcdiarmid
Niall’s work is about documenting the people and landscape of Britain. For the past 8 years, he has been travelling across the country building an archive of images with a distinctive style which show a changing population at this significant time.

Niall’s work is held by the National Portrait Gallery, Museum of London, Martin Parr Foundation and the Sir Elton John Photography Collection.

Sebah Chaudhry
Sebah Chaudhry is a Freelance Creative Project Manager. She is experienced in working at international world class festivals and events. She is currently Creative Producer on an international British Council funded project, The Place I Call Home, connecting the UK to the Gulf region, culminating in a series of exhibitions from September 2019 – March 2020. She has also just curated a show by Alina Kisina at Diffusion Festival in Wales.

From 2013 – 2017, Sebah was the Festival Coordinator at FORMAT Festival, the UK’s largest contemporary photography festival. She was a key member in the delivery of the biennale festival, working on exhibitions, events, the UK’s largest portfolio review and other FORMAT projects in the UK and internationally.

She has previously worked with Photo Beijing, Beijing; Unseen Platform, Amsterdam; Kasselfotobook Festival, Kassel; Fotofestiwal, Łódz; Rhubarb-Rhubarb, Birmingham; Dong Gang, South Korea and Fotofest, Houston.

Sebah is an avid networker and an advocate for the promotion of emerging artists, encouraging both artists and others to get involved in the art scene. Currently UK editor for thephotoexhibitionarchive.com, Advisory Board Member for 1623 theatre company and Steering Group member for FORMAT Festival, Derby.

 

Malcolm Dickson
Malcolm is a curator, writer and organiser. He is the Director of Street Level Photoworks, a leading photography arts organisation in Scotland – celebrating 30 years in existence this year – that provides artists and the public with a range of opportunities to make and engage with photography. He co-ordinates a programme which embraces different genres of photography which is extended through a network of local and community venues, regional art galleries, and through national and international partners. Recent exchange residencies have included cities such as Quebec City, Berlin, and Marseille, with further collaborations taking place in 2019 with Finland and Ireland. He runs the Photography Networks in Scotland platform which profiles exhibitions and events in photography across Scotland. Street Level is a lead partner in Scotland’s Season of Photography.

A former Senior Research Fellow at Dundee University, recent writings include the chapter ‘Slender Margins and Delicate Tensions: Projects by European Video Pioneers Stansfield/Hooykaas’ in the book ‘European Women’s Video Art’ (John Libbey Publications 2019).

Interested in viewing bodies of work in their early stages which impartial advice may help  ANDsubstantially developed bodies of work from artists and photographers, which blend experimental approaches, conceptual or issue based themes; social landscape work and new documentary; work that tells a compelling story; lyrical and narrative or abstract and non-narrative; photography based work that intersects with other media. Advice will be given on the basis of the work seen. No fashion or commercial work.

If you have any questions about the day please contact stephen.burke@grainphotographyhub.co.uk

 


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