Blog Archive

Grain Projects, New Art West Midlands, Aarhus Billedkunstcenter and Galleri Image are delighted to announce that Laura Dicken has been selected as the successful recipient of the International Bursary 2020. Laura will now undertake a period of research in Aarhus, Denmark, in March 2020.

Laura’s research proposal was selected by representatives from each of the four organisations from a batch of very strong and exciting proposals. The panel were particularly impressed by the focused, specific approach Laura took to her proposal and by the clear case she made for the impact of the bursary upon the development of her practice.

Laura’s work ‘You Are Another Me’ explores migration through the lens of the female (and female identifying) experience. The project includes portraits and stories of women from a broad spectrum of socio-economic backgrounds and ethnicities who have, for various reasons, migrated alone. By facilitating the telling of these disparate stories she hopes to bring new voices to the migration narrative and to highlight not only the vast differences but to celebrate and illuminate the many similarities. Having worked with participants in Copenhagen, in a pilot of this project, Laura is now able to use her research methodologies to connect with communities in Aarhus, to promote understanding, compassion, international cooperation and collaboration.

Laura’s ongoing body of work is a series of projects which are collaborations with individuals, communities and arts organisations. Through her work Laura hopes to create opportunities for previously untold stories to be shared authentically and with agency. Her process is built around meaningful connection, conversation, workshops and photography. Laura is interested in illuminating the shared human experience and celebrating the extraordinary ordinary.


About New Art West Midlands
New Art West Midlands is the Contemporary Visual Arts Network for the region. Our purpose is to strengthen and develop the contemporary visual arts sector in the West Midlands, creating defining opportunities for West Midlands’ artists and curators, and working collectively to safeguard the future of artists and our sector.
www.newartwestmidlands.co.uk

About Galleri Image
Galleri Image is a non-profit exhibition space, which aims to promote high quality photo-based art by showing Danish and international photography and video art. Founded in 1977, the gallery is the longest running non-profit exhibition space for photographic art in Scandinavia, and for many years it was also the only photo gallery in Denmark. Over the past 40 years, Galleri Image has achieved an international reputation for its exhibitions and has contributed considerably to the recognition and understanding of photography as an important and independent medium in the world of visual art. Based in Aarhus, Denmark, and with free entry to all its shows, the gallery regularly hosts talks, discussions, seminars, workshops and guided exhibition tours. We actively seek to support young talents and frequently tour our exhibitions around the world.
www.galleriimage.dk

About Aarhus Billedkunstcenter
Aarhus Center for Visual Art (Aarhus Billedkunstcenter, AaBKC) is an artist resource center serving visual artists in Denmark’s Central Jutland region. Based in Aarhus, Aarhus Center for Visual Art strengthens the local arts community by creating opportunities for networking and collaboration between artists and institutions, offering professional development services to artists, facilitating discourse and community outreach with public art events and hosting residencies for local and international artists and art professionals.
http://aabkc.dk/page/about-aarhus-center-visual-art

Photo Credit: Laura Dicken

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), Colin Pantall (Writer & Photographer), The Photocopy Club (Photographer, Curator & Publisher), 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 25th 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

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

    

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Lily Wales; Operation Plumbob, 2017

Nuclearosis 2017

Lily Wales; Nuclearosis 2017

Bursary awarded in collaboration with:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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