CURRENT PROJECTS

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

24 08 2018

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. Anthony is Principal Lecturer and Course Director of MA Photography and Collaboration at Coventry University. He also designs and facilitates public education programmes for galleries and community photography projects across the UK. 

Collaborating with people who have experienced homelessness living in Birmingham builds upon the work he has undertaken in cities and towns across the United Kingdom for over fifteen years to create an archive of photographs, sound recordings and other materials that represents the lives and experiences of the most marginalised people in society. Creating this new body of work with the clients of SIFA Fireside, the main access point to support and services for vulnerably housed and homeless adults in Birmingham, will enable participants to use photography to express the things they are interested in and present their points of view.

Luvera’s interdisciplinary approach is committed to the process of collaboration and its associated methodologies in order to investigate the problems with photographic representation and visibility. His concern and advocacy for confronting the politics of representation has been part of an increased practice of and dialogue with socially engaged and community art – to emphasise the importance of self-representation among marginalised individuals.

 

Image credit: Documentation of the making of Assisted Self-Portrait Fred Clarke, from Assembly by Anthony Luvera, 2013-2014

Commission by GRAIN Projects, in collaboration with SIFA Fireside and supported by Arts Council England and Birmingham City University.

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

Image: Mahtab Hussain

Camera Obscura by David Bethell

Ilam Park, Ilam Holy Cross, near Ashbourne, Staffordshire Moorlands

The work will be in-situ 14 – 22 April 2018

Artist David Bethell is inspired by the rural landscape and natural environment.   He frequently uses performance, film and photography in his work to animate his installations and sculptures within the location and to explore a narrative. GRAIN Projects has commissioned David to create a unique camera obscura for Ilam Park in the Peak District, inspired by the landscape and heritage there and in collaboration with the National Trust.

Ilam Park is a 158-acre country park situated in Ilam, on both banks of the River Manifold five miles north west of Ashbourne, and is owned and managed by the National Trust. The estate includes the remains of Ilam Hall, built in the 1820s.  Nearby, within the village, a Saxon church stands which houses the shrine of a Mercian king.  Most significant is the beautiful landscape, an area of outstanding natural beauty, including Bunster hill just beyond the church and the magnificent example of a picturesque landscape in the foreground.

It is the church that forms the basis and design for David Bethell’s site specific largescale work which functions as a camera obscura. Visitors will be able to engage and experience the surroundings as an inverted landscape from within the installation.   The commission will capture the immense beauty of the surrounding landscape from its position.

For more information on Ilam Park, how to get there and parking arrangements visit; https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ilam-park-dovedale-and-the-white-peak

For more information on David Bethell http://davidbethell.com/

David Bethell Inverted Landscapes writing by Selina Oakes

GRAIN is proud to continue to host a series of talks by artists and photographers.

The talks are programmed in collaboration with our project partners and are often planned to coincide with the regional exhibitions, events and commissions.

In collaboration with Coventry University Photography Department, GRAIN is pleased to announce three new Photographers’ Talks dates.

Trish Morrissey  

Thursday 22nd February 2018, 6pm – 7.30pm

Square One, The Hub, Coventry University, Priory St, Coventry CV1 5QP

£4.00 tickets – click here for tickets and more information


Guy Martin

Wednesday 7th March 2018, 6pm – 7.30pm

Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry

£4.00 tickets – click here for tickets and more information


Lua Ribeira

Wednesday 28th March 2018, 6pm – 7.30pm

mac, Birmingham

£4.00 tickets – click here for tickets and more information


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
  • David Hurn
  • Matthew Murray
  • Liz Hingley

Image Credit: Guy Martin, The Parallel State

We are pleased to produce Noises in the Blood, an exhibition of works by photographer Lúa Ribeira from the series of the same name, in conjunction with Argentea Gallery, Birmingham.

Argentea Gallery, 30th March-12th May 2018

Noises in the Blood is inspired by contemporary Jamaican dancehall ritual.  Made in collaboration with a group of British Jamaican women in Birmingham, Ribeira recreated scenes from dancehall culture at the participants’ homes. By embracing the impossibility of fully understanding this cultural expression so very different from her own, Ribeira playfully dissects the ideas of femininity and sexuality within the performances.   Ribeira does not intend the images to comment on the Dancehall, but to become the ritual itself. The power of the transformations of the women and the innovation and provocation that they engage, often clash with Western ideas of femininity. ‘Mythological powers, the concept of female divinity and sacredness in Afro-Caribbean culture, were very present in my visual search. Fed by their folklore and my imagination, universal subjects such as birth, love, death and sex are central to the encounters.’ – Lúa Riberia

The title is borrowed from author Dr Carolyn Cooper’s book ‘Noises in the Blood: Orality, Gender, and the”Vulgar” Body of Jamaican Popular Culture’. Through Noises in the Blood Ribeira did not attempt to produce a series that reinforced the mass media’s view of dancehall and the female body as a denigration of women.  She did not wish to ignore the display of the participants’ bodies nor their perception of femininity to create westernised versions of the dancehall ritual. Both strategies, she felt, would ultimately fail to acknowledge the complexity of cultural expression.

Recipient of the Jerwood Award and the Firecracker Grant, ‘Noises in the Blood’ will be exhibited at Argentea Gallery in early 2018, alongside a limited edition leporello book of the work published by Fishbar Books.

Lúa Ribeira Cendán (born 1986) is a Spanish documentary photographer based in Bristol. S he graduated in Graphic Design Degree BAU, Barcelona 2011, and with a BA in Documentary Photography from the University of South Wales, Newport in 2016. She was awarded the Jerwood Photoworks Grant 2018, the Reginald Salisbury Fund 2016, Firecracker Grant 2015 and Ditto Press Scholarship in 2015. She has participated in The Independent Air Residency, Denmark 2015, Photo España 2014, Emcontros da Imagem Discovery Awards 2015, Gazebook Photobook Festival 2015,  and ‘A Fine Beginning’, Contemporary Welsh Photography exhibition London 2014 . Her work was selected by Susan Meiselas for inclusion in Raw View magazine’s “Women looking at Women” issue and has featured in the British Journal of Photography.

For the exhibition a new piece of writing has been commissioned by writer, curator and photographer Colin Pantall ‘Lose the Noise and you Lose the Meaning’

20 01 2018

Indre Serpytyte

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. 

Earlier this year GRAIN Projects commissioned Serpytyte to collaborate on research and make new work in response to the history of war and conflict in Birmingham.

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 Birmingham 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 and then decorated by women for home 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.

Image credit: © IWM (Q 54375) – A female munitions worker operating a chronometer for registering velocity of bullets fired from cartridges at the Kynoch’s factory in Birmingham, 1917

Photographer and anthropologist Liz Hingley is collaborating with Syrian individuals who have recently arrived in Coventry on a unique UN programme, to capture the remarkable welcome that the city and refugee centre provide. Interlacing between archival collections and fundamental symbols of contemporary life, Hingley looks to future of the fastest growing city in the UK.

The work references the historic practice of presenting honoured visitors with symbolic keys to the city gates in relation to the sim card given to refugees as soon as they land in the UK. The sim card offers a direct link to scattered loved ones and an archive of photographic memories.  As an object and tool it thus offers an immediate sense of security, identity and home in a new place.

Presented within an intimate installation, items from the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum’s collections portray the cities eclectic history alongside images, which explore how stories and skills from Syria can translate and transform in new contexts.

The exhibition will be on show at the Herbert Art Gallery from the 1st December 2017 to the 11th of February 2018.

This project was commissioned by GRAIN Projects and is generously supported by Arts Council England, Rubery Owen Trust, Coventry University and The Herbert Art Gallery. Enormous thanks is also owed to Coventry City Council, Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre and the participants in the project.


Artist Talk by Liz Hingley 

Herbert Art Gallery & Museum – Learning Space   
Thursday 18th January 2018
4.30 – 6.30pm

Join Hingley at Herbert Art Gallery and Museum on Thursday 18th January to explore the process and creation of this thought provoking exhibition. Tickets are free, but places are limited so please book via our eventbrite page.

Image credit;  Key from the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum Collection

Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 23.23.38

 

 

12 11 2017

Saddleworth

Arena Gallery, Mac, Birmingham

18 November 2017 – 21 January 2018

The project will premier Matthew Murray’s new work which focuses on contemporary photography and the landscape. Murray has created a photographic odyssey, an epic series of landscape works made over a period of four-and-a-half years. The exhibition will be accompanied by a new publication, symposium and newly commissioned writing.

Murray involves the viewer in a series of challenges; aesthetic, emotional, and perhaps even moral. If we look at the pictures without knowledge of the location – and the tragic historical events that took place there – our initial response to the brooding, picturesque terrain may be purely aesthetic. This location seems untouched by human intervention. Murray captures its changing moods under glowering skies, creating impressions, partly real and partly generated through the photographic process. We seem to be in a dream world as much as a real place. In this work Murray occupies a position within a lineage of landscape artists stretching back hundreds of years.

Murray is a Birmingham based photographer who has worked in a gallery context as well as commercially shooting campaigns for various advertising agencies, features for editorials and exhibiting personal photography projects.

In the context of the exhibition Saddleworth, Responding to A Landscape, the symposium will invite acclaimed and outstanding photographers, artists, writers and photography historians to talk about their work and relationship with the landscape. Those speaking alongside Matthew Murray include; Richard Billingham, Jem Southam, Chrystel Lebas, Camilla Brown, Simon Constantine, John Hillman and Mark Wright.

The practitioners will talk about how they have approached landscape and their unique relationship with it.

Image Credit:  Matthew Murray – Saddleworth Moor, Peak District

The project is supported by GRAIN Projects, Arts Council England, Gallery Vassie, mac Birmingham, Pirate Design and the University of Gloucestershire.

mac-birm-black81Pirate_Logo   gallery Vassie logo small


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