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

01 07 2019

Arpita Shah

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

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

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

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

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

www.arpitashah.com

Image Credit – ‘Haseebah’ Modern Muse © Arpita Shah

A collaboration with The Swarm and University of Birmingham Digital Humanities Hub

 
This artistic R&D project, with The Swarm and University of Birmingham Digital Humanities Hub, investigated how institutional archives, such as that held by the Library of Birmingham, can be ‘crowd-connected’ through data-mining tools. The aim – to demonstrate how social media archives can build access points that drive engagement for libraries, galleries, and museums.
Photographer Adam Lee facilitated a series of community workshops, creating a new body of photographic tableaux with non-attenders of the Library.

Software was then used to create new connections and access points that drive engagement via the workshop participants social networks.

The tableaux enabled the workshop participants to build a personal connection to the work to stimulate interest from others in their social networks driving engagement (through tagging and similar).

The project enabled us to examine how we might crowd-connect and engage non-attenders and whether using the Mining the Archive engine can create new access points and engagement with archive content.

1. The Unknown
2. Progression
3. Education
4. Discovery
5. Empowerment

20 01 2014

NEWFOTOSCAPES

NFS_Book_InsideCover_10     NFS_Book_InsideCover_11

In collaboration with Coventry University and led by Jonathan Shaw, award-winning photographer and educator, Newfotoscapes is a multi-platform book.

The Library of Birmingham and GRAIN were delighted to host the Launch of Newfotoscapes in collaboration with Jonathan Shaw and have a panel discussion from distinguished contributors Pete James (Curator, Photography Collections and Co-Director of GRAIN), Katrina Sluis (Curator of Digital Programmes, The Photographers’ Gallery) and Dr. Shaun Hides (Head of Media Department, Coventry University).

Photography has never been a more dominant and embedded part of contemporary culture than it is now. The pervasive eye of the world has arisen and new practices of visibility have emerged confronting the power of the establishment. The net has amplified our ability to connect and build communities across the globe and digital technology and the social media sharing and communication of images has facilitated an exponential growth in picture capture and seamless digital distribution.

Newfotoscapes seeks to navigate the evolving topography surrounding the image in the twenty-first century, offering a focused eye on the contemporary creative author-curator and image-maker and on the possibilities afforded by an increasingly complex professional landscape. Jonathan Shaw advocates a new way of thinking about photographic production and education in a post-digital era.

Newfotoscapes can perhaps best be understood as a series of curated texts arising from a series of in-depth conversations with 10 key stakeholders in, and influential commentators on, photography; including: Andy Adams, Charlotte Cotton, Dewi Lewis, Mishka Henner and Stephen Mayes. Perspectives and views cover a wide range of topics such as photo-books, archives, mobile, community, value, curation, appropriation, power, open education, connected/networked image, governance, licensing and the agency.

In the spirit of today’s mobile and connected world Newfotoscapes is available as a book and will also be simultaneously available on the web under a Creative Commons license and versioned in ePub and Print formats.

For more information go to http://newfotoscapes.org or to download the ebook click here, hard copy books are also now available to mail order from the online store.

 

 

GRAIN has been awarded one the 19 AHRC funded CATH (Collaborative Arts Triple Helix) Projects, by the University of Birmingham and the University of Leicester.

Through CATH, GRAIN has established a cross sector team to investigate the shifting value of photography between the archive and audience engagement with it.

Within the context of digital media, the nature of archives in the 21st century is expanding. Whilst photographs continue to be curated and commissioned by cultural organisations, living collections are also being actively produced by wider demographics and archived on the Internet in a variety of ways. The culmination of these activities is arguably represented on the one hand by the intentional ‘public archive’ and, on the other, by the unintentional, ‘people’s photographic archive’ online.

Mining the Archive will explore the different intentional and unintentional archives that focus on two case studies: the previous and current sites of the Library of Birmingham, and the area of the Longbridge which used to be the home of the British Leyland automobile factory. In each case, the intentional archives will be compared to the unintentional archives posted online by individuals through sites such as Flikr, Facebook and Instagram.

Through the comparison of public and personal archives, the project will explore shifting notions of intentionality, value and collecting in order to establish investigate significant themes around what public collections represent in relation to the public(s) themselves, and will have benefit within debates on collection policies of cultural institutions. In addition, the collaboration between the University of Birmingham, GRAIN/Library of Birmingham and the digital SME The Swarm will enable a plural interpretation of the existing and imagined nature of archives in the 21st century.

Image: Francis Frith & Co, Reading Room, Birmingham Reference Library, c1890

Photography and The Archive is a new GRAIN research partnership and collaborative project with Birmingham City University and Stuart Whipps.  Participants will be drawn from students studying the Arts based Masters postgraduate program.  The research-led project is site specific and responsive to material housed in The Library of Birmingham Photography Collection.

The relationship between photography and the archive is as old as the medium itself.  Photographs were adopted by the emerging state apparatus of the late nineteenth and early 20th century as documents of indexical veracity. These archives had functions as multitudinous as the images themselves and were applied for both mundane clerical purposes, and to reinforce complex ideological positions.  With the development of advanced technologies, both analogue and digital, this system of archiving and use has become more nuanced.  Artists and photographers have been responding to archives for as long as they have existed, and continue to engage with the aesthetics and politics of this application of the medium.

This project explores the definition and application of Documentary Photography in relationship to the archive through theoretical and practical methods. It interrogates ideas of objectivity and demands a broad and inquisitive approach to questions on the uses of archive material, from a historic and contemporary perspective.

Participants will take the Bournville Village as a starting point and catalyst for the production of new work.  The project will culminate in a public exhibition and a new publication.  Article Press and the Library of Birmingham will co-publish a book that presents examples of collaborative practice.


Copyright 2016 GRAIN.