Blog Archive

Arenig is the name of the mountain to the north-west of Lake Bala, North Wales. This location is where artist Matthew Murray has producing a series of landscapes in response to the work of painters J. D. Innes and Augustus John who produced work at Arenig between 1911 and 1914. Murray’s approach is a personal representation. He depicts the landscape through what he feels rather than what he sees. Curator Roger Watson said of the work, ‘a series of dark mysterious landscapes that are cinematic, giving an emotional response as well as a sense of the solidity and earthbound sensation of the environment.’

The Arenig series, explores modern printing processes and early historical alternative printing techniques and how different printing approaches can give a different understanding and interpretation towards the final physical image. Photographing at Arenig and its surroundings locations, documenting diverse landscapes, surfaces and textures throughout; the different seasons allow Murray to experiment using a number of printmaking processes, each process giving a different result.

Murray is working collaboratively to explore new techniques and to reflect on the landscape. He is working with artists, emerging practitioners and communities looking at how people emotionally connect and respond to the landscape. This way of working will inform the work, harness strong ideas, show the exploration of place and identity, topical observation and the transformative moments within the landscape. Through research, collaboration, exhibition and publication, the intimate insight and obsessive study, will allow audiences to think about their own experience, memories and emotions when faced with landscape and nature.

“Photographs are about memory – or perhaps about the absence of memory, providing pictures to fill voids, illustrating and sometimes falsifying our collective memory (Lippard, 1998: 60)”

The new work will feature an engagement programme including workshops, masterclasses and a photo walk.

The work will be exhibited at Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum, Wiltshire in the summer of 2020. A new publication will accompany the exhibition.

Associated Events:

Photogravure Workshop with Jack Whitwell
9th and 10th November from 11am – 5pm
Hot Bed Press Studios,  First Floor, Casket Works Cow Lane, Salford M5 4NB
£45 (plus booking fee) for 2 days, 5 places, book your ticket here.

Learn copperplate photogravure in a two day workshop, taught by printmaker Jack Whitwell. You will learn how to expose, etch and print a 10×8 inch sized photograph of your choice. A high resolution image must be sent via email to jack.whitwellart@gmail.com,  at least 3 days ahead of the workshop. Some prior experience of etching and photography may help, however, it is not essential as full tuition will be provided.

What is Photogravure? The photogravure is an intaglio print, much like an etching, aquatint or mezzotint. The continuous tone of the original photographic negative are etched, in varying strengths of acids, onto a copper plate using a carbon printed gelatin resist and an aquatint halftone. Ink is then applied to the etched plate, wiped with a cheese cloth. Dampened cotton rag paper is laid on the plate and is then run through a roller press. The image in ink is then transferred from the plate to the paper. Photogravure is a true continuous-tone ink printing technique. Hand printed photogravures have an atmospheric and object quality that is unique to the process. The print will also last a millennia, without fading, if cared for.

Photo-Walk with Fleur Olby and Matthew Murray
14 November Lickey Hills
12.30 – 4pm, meet at Lickey Hills Visitor Centre & café
Lickey Hills Country Park, Warren Lane, Rednal, Birmingham B45 8ER
£3 (plus booking fee), book your ticket here.

Join Matthew Murray and photographic artist Fleur Olby at the Lickey Hills for a photowalk.  Matthew and Fleur will talk about their approach to the landscape, their methodology and how that informs their work. Fleur’s narrative is in visual poems, she works with plants and food, in gardens and landscapes. North Yorkshire based she has exhibited her work internationally and has been She has had one monograph published by Fuel publishing and self published her latest one –  which is in the V&A’s National Library of artists books and Aperture’s library and The Photographer’s Gallery bookshop.  It is also part of her forthcoming exhibition at the Garden Museum in 2020. She has also had her work featured in The Observer magazine, the Sunday Times and the Sunday Telegraph.

Please dress sensibly for the conditions, and bring with you any refreshments you may require including, water, hot drinks and food.

Workshop with the Photocopy Club, In association with Matthew Murray
8th February | 10.30am – 5pm
The Shell, Birmingham City University
£25 (plus booking fee) 10 places only, book your tickets here.

The Photocopy club workshop gives you an insight into the history of zines, self publishing and street photography. You will get to shoot, curate and design as a group and you will have an introduction into Japanese book binding.

Participants need to bring a digital Camera (camera phone) Laptop and any cables to download images. No pre skills, but an interest in photography and self publishing.

The Photocopy Club is an open submission exhibition project which supports photographers and collectors through a series of xerox exhibitions, workshops, talks and events.  Since starting in 2011 TPC have curated over 30 group and solo exhibitions within the UK and abroad.   TPC has exhibited at the LAABF and the NYABF as well as OFFPRINT London and the Berlin Miss Read Book fair. They have worked with The Photographers Gallery, Magnum Photos, Photoworks, Woohoo Space, Joberg Photo School, Adidas, UCA, John Doe, Margret, Dr Martens, Doomed Gallery and a verity of photography festivals through the world.

www.photocopyclub.com

The work is supported by Arts Council England, GRAIN Projects and the University of Gloucestershire.

During September 2019 artist Nilupa Yasmin undertook a residency at Brixton Market to make new work based on her meetings and making with the market stall holders. During the residency she remarked on a very evident wave of energy she received from the space. This energy, colour and vibrancy is translated into the new images and woven work that she has made.  Weaving has become a sense of performance for Nilupa during this residency.  In the new work there is a character in each piece along with an injection of the excitement and surprise in what she’s making.

Photofusion members observed Nilupa making work on the Saturdays and were intrigued by the pattern making and how different images related to each of them.

Nilupa Yasmin’s work is primarily lens based, while taking a keen interest in the notion of culture, self-identity and anthropology. Combined with her love for handcraft and photographic explorations, the artist repeatedly draws upon her own South Asian culture and heritage. The practice of weaving, passed down through inheritance, has become an integral exploration in the development and expression of human value. Her research examines the principles of craft in art-based practice; becoming an evident methodology shown throughout her work whilst investigating ideals and traditions that are very close to home.

Her work is exhibited at Photofusion until 20th November 2019.

www.Nilupayasmin.com
www.photofusion.org

GRAIN in collaboration with The New Art Gallery Walsall presented an exhibition which brought together three photographers, Arpita ShahMaryam Wahid and Nilupa Yasmin whose practices are rooted in the exploration of cultural identity.

Together they presented new and existing work focused around portraiture, culture and female identity. Through making work both about and in collaboration with their families and communities, these artists celebrate the rich and varied roles of women in society.

This exhibition provided an opportunity to expand upon narratives around the Asian diaspora and in particular the roles and identities of women.

A selection of works from Shah’s series ‘Purdah – the Sacred Cloth’ were shown; which presented contemporary women based in the UK from a variety of South Asian backgrounds who chose to practice traditions of head covering or veiling. West Midlands based Wahid and Yasmin created new work. Wahid’s portraits of women encountered in Pakistan, aim to recognise and celebrate women’s contribution to the economy and society. Yasmin’s self-portraits, with their multi-layered and manipulated surfaces, reflected upon femininity and cultural identity.

Exhibition Dates: 15th November 2019 – 19th April 2020..

Image Credit: Photography by Jonny Bark

 

29 08 2019

SIXTEEN

‘What’s it like to be sixteen years old now?’ This is the central thread running through the ambitious touring exhibition SIXTEEN. Photographer Craig Easton conceived this work following his engagement with first-time voters in 2014. Unlike the rest of the country, sixteen year olds in Scotland were given their suffrage for the first, and as yet only time, in the UK.

Later Craig invited award-winning fellow photographers Robert C Brady, Linda Brownlee, Lottie Davies, Jillian Edelstein, Stuart Freedman, Sophie Gerrard, Kalpesh Lathigra, Roy Mehta, Christopher Nunn, Kate Peters, Michelle Sank, Abbie Trayler-Smith, Simon Roberts and MFA candidate David Copeland to join forces with him to develop the project.

Together they collaborated with more than one hundred and seventy young people from diverse communities across the country to explore their hopes, fears and dreams. Each photographer selected a theme and a location. These span large conurbations such as London and Manchester, and include Wales, Northern Ireland, the north and south west of England, and the Scottish Islands.

Sixteen is an age of transition. At a 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 European Union. It is an issue they had no say in. Working with photography, film, social media, audio recordings and writing, Craig and his colleagues give voice to those rarely heard.

The incisive portraits and the young people’s candid testimonies reveal whom and what they really care about and reflect the trust engendered between the sixteen year olds and the photographers. This gives the project significant potency, and highlights how social background, gender, ethnicity and location influence a teenager’s life and ambition.

A bespoke series of work from the broader SIXTEEN portfolio has been selected for this public realm exhibition, which is produced and commissioned in partnership with GRAIN, Birmingham City University, Millennium Point Trust and Arts Council England. It includes finely wrought portraits of local sixteen year olds by the internationally acclaimed photographer Kate Peters who grew up in the Midlands.

Sixteen Launch:
Join us for the exhibition launch after The State of Photography III symposium, from 5.30pm – 7.30pm at the Parkside Building, Birmingham City University.

More information via:
www.craigeaston.com
www.sixteen_touring.co.uk

Image Credit: (c) Kate Peters, Anthony, 2018

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: Photography by Jonny Bark

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 was a floor-based, 200 metre square photo mosaic consisting of more than 3,500 images of females from across the West Midlands.   It was located on the concourse of Birmingham New Street Station.  The artwork was 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.

This project was supported by Network Rail, Cross Country Trains, GRAIN Photography Hub, Arts Council England, LSE Women’s Library, Birmingham City University, Birmingham Hippodrome and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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 was 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 accompanied the artwork and could be seen at Birmingham Hippodrome from 16 October 2018 – 31 January 2019.

This project was supported by Network Rail, Cross Country Trains, GRAIN Photography Hub, Arts Council England, LSE Women’s Library, Birmingham City University, Birmingham Hippodrome and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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

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.

 


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