Blog Archive

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

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

The Portfolio Development Day was 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 gave short presentations to advise on key features of portfolio & professional development, and in the afternoon there were opportunities for one to one portfolio advice and reviews.

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.

 

Photography by Emily Jones

GRAIN is delighted to have awarded the FORMAT Festival Portfolio Award to Sophie Gerrard for her work ‘The Flows’.  This is the third time GRAIN has awarded a special prize at Format International Photography Festival.

“The Flows (from the Norse ‘ floi’ meaning ‘flat, deep, wet land’) focuses on the gentle and undulating peatlands of the Flow Country, located in Caithness and Sutherland in the far north of mainland Scotland.

Peatlands are a globally rare habitat vital in combatting climate change. They cover only a tiny amount (3%) of the planet’s land surface, yet peatlands hold almost 30% of all terrestrial carbon – twice as much as all the world’s forests. Scotland contains a vast amount (13%) of this vital global resource, and the Flow Country is widely considered to be the largest expanse of blanket peat bog in the world.

Historically peatlands have been seen as empty and valueless wastelands, of little benefit to humans yet still forced into marginal production for the leanest of economic return. During the 1980s, the Conservative government under Margaret Thatcher offered tax incentives to the super rich, resulting in vast areas of the Flow Country being planted with non-native coniferous Sitka spruce which drained, damaged and ultimately killed large areas of the bog. Over 80% of the UK’s peatlands have been damaged by years of such mismanagement.

Survival of the peatlands is a touchstone for the environmental health of the nation. These almost magical places are now being painstakingly revived through conservation by the RSPB and their partners. Sophie Gerrard’s photographs look at how these natural resources fit into Scotland’s topography and consciousness, linking people to the land, and vice-versa.”

The Flows is showing in the Document Scotland group show Contested Land – Set against the current political backdrop Document Scotland’s four photographers examine the complex relationship between the nation’s people, history and landscape.

Showing at:
Perth Museum 23rd April -23rd June, 2019.

Launch event and talks 9th May 2019
Dunoon Burgh Hall, 20th July – 18th Aug., 2019.
Inverness FLOW Photofest, Sept., 2019.
PhotoNorth festival, 30 Nov. – 2nd Dec., 2019.

Sophie Gerrard (Scottish, b.1978) is an award winning photographer specialising in contemporary documentary stories with environmental and social themes.

Sophie began her career in environmental sciences before studying photography at Edinburgh College of Art followed by an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at London College of Communication.

Her first major project, E-Wasteland was awarded a Jerwood Photography Award a Fuji Bursary and a Magenta Fast Forward Award. She has since been shortlisted and nominated for the Prix Pictet Award several years running and the 2015 Remote Photo Prize.

Sophie’s editorial and long term personal work has been published widely by clients including The Guardian, The New York Times, The Telegraph Magazine, FT Magazine, The Washington Post, Esquire Magazine, Foto8, The British Journal of Photography, Portfolio Magazine, Lucky Peach, Le Monde and many others.

Solo and group exhibitions include OFF_festival Bratislava 2018, The Scottish National Portrait Gallery (2015), Brighton Photoworks Biennial (2014), Impressions Gallery, Bradford (2014), Street Level Gallery (2014), Scotland House, Brussels (2014), Unseen Amsterdam (2013), Flowers East Gallery (2008), The Arbetes Museum (2008), Paris Photo (2008) and the Photographers’ Gallery (2012/13). Her work is held in a number of collections including St Andrews University Special Collection, The National Galleries of Scotland, Couttes Bank private collection, StatOil Collection and the Sir Elton John private Collection.

In 2012 Sophie co-founded Document Scotland, a collective of internationally acclaimed photographers dedicated to chronicling the social, cultural and economic life in Scotland.

Sophie is a lecturer in photography at Edinburgh Napier University, a senior lecturer at Falmouth University MA Photography online and a member of the board of trustees for Impressions Gallery in Bradford.

Sophie’s work has been published in several books including “New Light” The Jerwood Foundation (2009), “Tunnock” Cafe Royal Books (2015), “The Bigger Picture”, Impressions Gallery (2015) and “Compassion, Commitment, Community” The Savitri Waney Charitable Trust (2013).

Sophie is represented by The Photographers’ Gallery in London.

www.sophiegerrard.com

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 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.

 

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

 


Copyright 2016 GRAIN.