Blog Archive

26th October, 6 PM, Zoom, £3 / £5
Book a ticket here

We are excited that Chloe Dewe Mathews will join us for a talk on zoom about her practice.

Chloe Dewe Mathews is an artist, photographer, and filmmaker. Her work is internationally recognised, exhibiting at Tate Modern, Irish Museum of Modern Art and Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden; as well as being published widely in newspapers and magazines such as the Guardian, New Yorker, Financial Times and Le Monde.

She is the recipient of the Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography from Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, and her work is held in public collections such as the British Council Art Collection, the National Galleries of Scotland and the Irish State Art Collection.

Four monographs have been published on her work: Shot at Dawn (Ivorypress, 2014), Caspian: the Elements (Aperture / Peabody Press, 2018), In Search of Frankenstein (Kodoji Press, 2018) and Thames Log (Loose Joints / Martin Parr Foundation, 2021).

www.chloedewemathews.com

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Agency is a new body of work commissioned for Coventry UK City of Culture which extends Anthony Luvera’s ongoing work made with people experiencing homelessness in towns and cities across the United Kingdom over the past 20 years. Throughout 2021, Luvera invited participants to use disposable cameras to document their experiences and places in the city that are significant to them. Participants were also invited to use digital medium format camera equipment in order to work on the production of a self portrait for the artist’s ongoing series Assisted Self-Portraits. The final images will be exhibited along Warwick Row, a road containing many estate agents that leads into the city centre from Coventry Train Station, throughout the duration of the HOME festival and featured in a community newspaper distributed freely across the city.

Supported by GRAIN Projects

The exhibition will take place from Fri 08 Oct – Thu 28 Oct 2021 on Warwick Row, Coventry

Image Credit: Ruby Nixon

GRAIN Projects (Birmingham) FORMAT and QUAD (Derby) are delighted to announce a new iteration of their successful East meets West masterclass programme, which will take place online.

The masterclass programme is for UK based emerging photographers and offers professional development, inspiration, guidance and support in a collaborative learning environment in order to allow photographers to develop their practice, networks and new unique opportunities. The programme will offer a platform for participants to receive guidance and participate in focussed discussions that will make a difference to their work and contribute to their career development.

The online sessions will be led by industry and art form leaders who will share their knowledge and practical advice on developing a successful career. This opportunity is aimed at emerging photographers and recent graduates currently based in the UK wishing to broaden their perspectives and push the boundaries of their personal development. We welcome diverse and innovative submissions.

The cost for the Masterclass programme is £200 and will be payable once accepted onto the programme. We have two bursary places available at £100, for participants who live in either the West or East Midlands.

There will 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.

How To Apply:

  • CV
  • Outline explaining why you would like to apply for the programme and how you
    think it would benefit you (maximum 250 words).
  • Link to your website and social media or a PDF with 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 15th August 2021. Please send your applications as one PDF to info@formatfestival.com

The programme will take place from the 8th September 2021 (evening) through to the 19th February 2022. Six masterclass sessions will run on a combination of Saturdays (daytime) and Wednesday (evenings). Exact dates T.B.C

Image credit; Marley Starskey Butler

Coventry; Visual Stories is by Asia, Aya, Daleen and Mohsin who are service users of the Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre.

The photographs were created as part of a series of online photography workshops that took place during lockdown 2021. the participants learnt about creativity and expression through photography, about technique, photographic history, and they created photographs in response to their new lives in Coventry.

The participants have created a photographic response to their lives in the city, revealing a snap shot of the place and their relationship to it.

About the Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre (CRMC):
Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre (CRMC) welcomes and empowers asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants in Coventry to rebuild their lives and achieve their potential.

Forming from humble beginnings in the back of a local laundrette, the charity has grown exponentially during the past two decades and now assists over 4,000 people each year. This includes destitute families, victims of trafficking, modern slavery, unaccompanied children and those escaping conflict zones from around the world.

This project is part of a Coventry partnership which assists and empowers newly arrived individuals and families so that they can rebuild their lives in their new home. Set up in Coventry in 2014, it started out by supporting Afghan interpreters and their families who used to work with the British Army in Afghanistan.

The UK government then launched the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) and Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme (RVC), which resettle vulnerable families and children from countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and Turkey.

It is formed of local organisations Coventry City Council, Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre, Coventry Law Centre, Coventry Citizens Advice, Positive Youth Foundation, Foleshill Women’s Training and St Francis Church of Assisi.

Currently, Coventry has welcomed over 600 refugees on the programme, one of the best responses of any local authority in the country.

The workshops were led Sam Ivin, Jaskirt Boora, Liz Hingley and Stephen Burke.

The zines & window vinyl were designed by Lotte Norris

This project has been supported by Coventry City Council, Coventry City of Culture and Arts Council England .

Coventry; Visual Stories is by Charlotte, Ellie, Jamie, Janson, Prash and Thomas who are all members of Teenvine Plus, a development programme run by Grapevine for young people with autism or learning disabilities.

The photographs were created as part of a series of online photography workshops that took place during lockdown in 2021. The participants learnt about different photographic techniques, used different types of cameras and it was also a space for conversation & friendship where their thoughts, feelings and life experiences of Coventry were shared and discussed.

The young people have created a photographic response to their lives in the city, revealing a snapshot of the place and their relationship to it.

About Grapevine:
Grapevine is an organisation that helps all kinds of people experiencing isolation, poverty and disadvantage in Coventry and Warwickshire. They are a pioneering example of how to help people work together to solve their problems for good. They strengthen people, spark action and shift power across services. They empower local citizens with the skills and confidence to act on what they care about; connecting through their shared humanity, taking power into their own hands and regenerating their communities.

One of their many projects working towards this is Teenvine Plus, an intensive development programme for teens with autism or learning disabilities in Coventry. They help learning disabled youngsters to get the friendships, confidence and skills they need in order to mature into independent young adults able to achieve their ambitions.  They strengthen people by uncovering their talents and passions, then use these to create natural networks of community support. Networks that strengthen, bring opportunity and help them take charge of their lives.

The workshops were led Ayesha Jones, Jaskirt Boora and Stephen Burke.

The zines & window vinyl were designed by Lotte Norris

This project has been supported by Coventry City Council, Coventry City of Culture and Arts Council England .

Friday 21st May 2021
9:30 am – 17:30 pm

The Rural Gaze considered, explored, debated and reviewed how photographers and photography practice develops and responds to the rural.

In January 2020 GRAIN Projects commissioned acclaimed, established and emerging photographers and artists to make new work in collaboration with and in response to rural communities and locations. In the new bodies of work the photographers explore issues of rural life, environments, economics, politics, land use, community and cultural identity against a backdrop of post Brexit agriculture, the global climate emergency and the Covid 19 pandemic.

The projects range from the poetic, documentary, conceptual and archival and demonstrate a range of different approaches to photography about the rural that is not dominated by the picturesque, pastoral or romantic but by important new voices that show the complexities, connections and diversity of the rural landscape, people and places in a state of significant change and dramatic shifts in agriculture and rural communities. The work also remarks on the city and the countryside and shows our essential and integral relationship with the land and the rural.

The artists and photographers are Alannah CooperEmily GrahamGuy MartinLeah GordonMarco KesselerMatthew BroadheadMurray BallardNavi KaurOliver Udy and Colin RobinsPolly Braden and Sam Laughlin. They were joined by academics and writers Camilla Brown and Mark Durden who facilitated the symposium.

A new hard back publication, to be released this summer, will feature all the projects along with new writing by Camilla Brown and Mark Durden.


The Rural Gaze Symposium, Recording – £5.00 , purchase via the Paypal button below:

 

Image Credit: Around the Stump (c) Murray Ballard


How To Apply?
The residency is a major new opportunity for a Photographer as part of the national Photographer-In- Residence Programme ‘Picturing England’s High Streets’. The opportunity in Stoke is developed by GRAIN Projects in collaboration with the Stoke town High Street Heritage Action Zone Board and in the context of a wider programme of High Streets Heritage Action Zone activities.

The residency will contribute to the key local High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) aim to connect the historical Stoke high street to the Spode factory site, which sits adjacent to the high street. The lack of connectivity means that the high street is missing out on benefiting from Spode & visitors and the creative community based at the Spode site.

The former Spode site presents a significant opportunity to transform the wider area and has begun to act as a catalyst for future economic growth and cultural development.   Community engagement projects are being developed by the HSHAZ Board locally built around local priorities for health, wellbeing, inclusion and regeneration.  Ultimately the HSHAZ area in Stoke is establishing itself as a cultural hub and destination.

Stoke;  Stoke Town High Street Heritage Action Zone | Historic England

About the national photographer-in-residence programme 
Picturing England’s High Street is a three-year project which includes six photographer-in-residence programmes at six high street locations across England. For more information see Open Call: Historic England, Picturing England’s High Streets – Photoworks.

England’s high streets have a long history and have always been at the heart of our communities. They are our landmarks, points of reference and meeting places. Across centuries people have gathered together on high streets, from market days to turning on the Christmas lights; coffee dates to national jubilees.

Every high street in England, whether it is in a medieval market town or a post-war city centre, has a unique and distinctive history that creates identity and a sense of place. Despite this, high streets are struggling, and need to adapt to survive. This commission will help people reconnect with their high streets, seeing them as places that can thrive and are of relevance to them and their lives.

The photographer-in-residence programmes are a key part of this Picturing England’s High Streets. The six photographers-in residence will work with local communities to reimagine the high street, producing images which will become part of the Historic England archive.

High street users and the community are at the heart of this project and we are looking for photographers whose practice is socially engaged. We are proposing a way of working rather than a thematic or visual approach.

The project starts with a simple provocation; ‘Your high street: Investigate before, picture now and imagine the future……’

We will use this provocation as a creative springboard for a socially engaged, diverse, community led commissioning for the 6 photographer-in-residence programmes.

What are we expecting?
We are looking for a photographer who has an interest in Stoke town HSHAZ and whose practice embraces the opportunity to collaborate with the local community. We would welcome applications from socially engaged photographers with a connection to Stoke town or Stoke on Trent  – although this is not essential.

The Socially Engaged Photographers role will include working closely with local partners to develop relationships with communities to develop visual narratives that are meaningful to them. The photographer will support participants to create photographic stories themselves, through a process of dialogue and collaboration.

Artist Fee – £6,000 over 2 year period.

Key dates and timeline
Open call deadline: May 26th 2021
Short list contacted: June 4th 2021
Interviews: June 10th 2021 (TBC)
Start date: Summer 2021  HSHAZ residency begins
End date: End Summer 2023

How to apply   
For more information and to apply download the Brief here.
Download Equal Opportunities Form here. 


How To Apply?
The residency is a major new opportunity for a Photographer as part of the national Photographer-in-Residence Programme ‘Picturing England’s High Streets’. The opportunity in Coventry is developed by GRAIN Projects in collaboration with the Coventry High Street Heritage Action Zone Board and in the context of a wider programme of High Streets Heritage Action Zone activities.

The residency will contribute to the key local High Street Heritage Action Zone aims including, restoring and regenerating a forgotten part of Coventry’s historic townscape, boosting the local economy and celebrating the city’s rich heritage. The Burges area is the focus and forms a key element of Coventry’s surviving historic townscape.  The Coventry High Street Heritage Action Zone project will help reverse decline by enhancing the special character of the conservation area, attracting more business and visitors and raising awareness of the area’s heritage within the local community.

The Photographer-in-Residence will connect with the communities in this distinct area and contribute to the cultural activities that are planned in the lead up to the development of a new heritage square and public space.

Coventry;   The Burges, Coventry High Street Heritage Action Zone | Historic England

About the national photographer-in-residence programme  
Picturing England’s High Street is a three-year project which includes six photographer-in-residence programmes at six high street locations across England. For more information see Open Call: Historic England, Picturing England’s High Streets – Photoworks.

England’s high streets have a long history and have always been at the heart of our communities. They are our landmarks, points of reference and meeting places. Across centuries people have gathered together on high streets, from market days to turning on the Christmas lights; coffee dates to national jubilees.

Every high street in England, whether it is in a medieval market town or a post-war city centre, has a unique and distinctive history that creates identity and a sense of place. Despite this, high streets are struggling, and need to adapt to survive. This commission will help people reconnect with their high streets, seeing them as places that can thrive and are of relevance to them and their lives.

The photographer-in-residence programmes are a key part of this Picturing England’s High Streets. The six photographers-in residence will work with local communities to reimagine the high street, producing images which will become part of the Historic England archive.

High street users and the community are at the heart of this project and we are looking for photographers whose practice is socially engaged. We are proposing a way of working rather than a thematic or visual approach.

The project starts with a simple provocation; ‘Your high street: Investigate before, picture now and imagine the future……’

We will use this provocation as a creative springboard for a socially engaged, diverse, community led commissioning for the 6 photographer-in-residence programmes.

What are we expecting?
We are looking for a photographer who has an interest in Coventry HSHAZ and whose practice embraces the opportunity to collaborate with the local community. We would welcome applications from socially engaged photographers with a connection to Coventry  – although this is not essential.

The Socially Engaged Photographers role will include working closely with local partners to develop relationships with communities to develop visual narratives that are meaningful to them. The photographer will support participants to create photographic stories themselves, through a process of dialogue and collaboration.

Artist Fee – £4,000 over 1 year.

Key dates and timeline
Open call deadline: May 26th 2021
Short list contacted: June 4th 2021
Interviews: June 10th 2021 (TBC)
Start date: Summer 2021  HSHAZ residency begins
End date: End Summer 2023

How to apply   
For more information and to apply download the Brief here.
Download Equal Opportunities Form here. 

Artist Edgar Martins in conversation with Fiona Curran and Sarah Matheve of
Koestler Arts Trust and Sophie Greener, Grapevine, Coventry & Warwickshire

Wednesday 14th April 2021
2.00 – 3.30pm (free event – places must be booked in advance)

In association with ‘What Photography & Incarceration have in Common with an Empty Vase’ by Edgar Martins, currently on exhibition at the Herbert Museum & Art Gallery, Coventry, Edgar Martins will be in conversation with Fiona and Sarah from the Koestler Arts Trust and Sophie from Grapevine. During the event the speakers will talk about some of the themes explored in the exhibition including isolation, loneliness, loss and disadvantage.

Book a free place here.

Edgar Martins was born in Portugal and grew up in Macau, China. In 1996 he moved to London, where he studied at the University of the Arts and the Royal College of Art. Landscape, place, space and political, social and human issues are explored in his multifaceted work.

His work is included in significant collections including the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Royal Institute of British Architects, UK; Dallas Museum of Art;  Fondazione MAST, Bologna; Fondation Carmignac, Paris. His first book was awarded the Thames & Hudson and RCA Society Book Art Prize. Between 2002 and 2020 Martins published twelve separate books.  He was the recipient of the inaugural New York Photography Award (Fine Art category) in May 2008. Between 2009 and 2010 he was also awarded the SONY World Photography Award and 1st prize in the Fine Art/Abstract category of the 2010 International Photography Awards. In 2017-2018 he was distinguished in the Magnum and SONY World Photography Awards. He also represented Macau, China, at the 54th Venice Biennale.

Grapevine is an organisation that helps all kinds of people experiencing isolation, poverty and disadvantage in Coventry and Warwickshire. They are a pioneering example of how to help people work together to solve their problems for good. Grapevine strengthens people, sparks action and shifts power across services. They empower local citizens with the skills and confidence to act on what they care about; connecting through their shared humanity, taking power into their own hands and regenerating their communities. To find out more about their activities and programme visit www.grapevinecovandwarks.org

Koestler Arts has been inspiring participation in the arts by people in the UK’s criminal justice system for nearly 60 years. The Koestler Awards – an annual awards programme spanning 52 categories, judged by over 100 expert judges including Jeremy Deller, Hot Chip, Emma Bridgewater, Raphael Rowe and Joelle Taylor, is key to their programme as well as outreach, mentoring, events, sales, feedback and exhibitions. They also run exhibitions and events featuring work by entrants to the awards across the UK with the aim of helping offenders, secure patients and detainees lead more positive lives by motivating them to participate and achieve in the arts and to increase public awareness and understanding of arts by people in the criminal justice system. To find out more about our work and upcoming exhibitions and events visit koestlerarts.org.uk

During 2020 GRAIN Projects awarded commissions and bursaries to 22 new bodies of work responding to Covid 19 as part of a national programme. Photographers, artists and writers created series, text and imagery responding to and documenting unprecedented times.

Work by eight artists from this programme feature in the exhibition for FORMAT21. They show us the impact on the individual, family and communities, on our health and wellbeing, the inequalities of the pandemic, new ways of working and new closer connections with nature and each other.

Their work focuses on the private, the overlooked and the unfamiliar tropes and imagery of Covid. This is a significant record of life during Covid and the major changes to our way of living and working. Reflecting on and responding to these times as the familiar became unfamiliar the work is an important document of a year lived as never before.

See the online exhibition here.

Andrea G Artz: Pandemia to Pandemia. Artz’s commissioned work features sculptural forms made from her photographs, created as moving image works. The artist travelled on public transport throughout the pandemic to make photographs and interview people capturing their emotions and vulnerabilities.

Barnaby Kent: All People Are Like Grass. Kent’s work looks at the experience of Covid and the onset of lockdown coincided with the start of spring. Throughout the pandemic we witness the annual seasonal cycle and become aware of the essential need for access to nature.

Chris Hoare: Street Cleaners. Hoare photographed the undervalued workforce that helped keep our society going, choosing to photograph street cleaners who kept our environments, cities and streets clean during the pandemic.

Chris Neophytou: The Planting of a Fig Tree. Neophytou made work with the Greek Cypriot community in north Birmingham focusing on how the challenges of Covid-19 affected this community as people adapted to the challenges of practicing their faiths and at the distance felt between the UK and family and heritage in Cyprus.

Jaskirt Boora: Birmingham Lockdown Stories. Boora is a British Indian photographer, her work documents the community around her focusing on how people have come together to offer support and care for each other. Her motivation was to extend the feeling of good will and togetherness she experienced.

Jemima Yong: Field. Yong’s work was made in lockdown in London as she photographed the view from her bedroom window, witnessing how the same public space was being used and shared throughout 2020. Social distancing, face covering, exercise, team sports and family events feature in a typology of 76 black and white photographs exhibited as a performative work.

Lydia Goldblatt: Fugue. In Goldblatt’s series Fugue, intimacy and distance are key. The works meander, moving back and forth through the signs of routine, love and care that bear witness to family life. Chronological time, normally linear and clear, is suspended merging with emotional duration.

Shaista Chishty: Playing Their Part. Chishty looks at mainstream representations of people of colour during Covid, exploring the visual culture and tropes and the racialised press and media coverage, drawing comparisons with the propaganda of the British Empire and World War II.


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