CURRENT PROJECTS: At The Herbert Museum and Art Gallery, Coventry

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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24th November 2017, 9.30am-5.30pm

Responding to a Landscape will explore, debate and review the evolving relationship between artists and photographers and the landscape.  We will hear from a number of perspectives, from acclaimed practitioners for which landscape is a recurring subject, a social and environmental concern, a research and archive practice and an essential departure.   What does landscape and our natural world look like and mean to photographers and artists today? 

The symposium has been planned in conjunction with the exhibition Matthew Murray’s Saddleworth; Responding to a Landscape, premiered at mac, Birmingham. Murray is interested in depicting the landscape based on what he feels rather than what he sees.  His landscape work is a personal story and odyssey. His Saddleworth is the result of a five year creative and sensitive journey that captures the beauty of the moorland landscape.

The symposium invites acclaimed and outstanding photographers, artists, writers and photography historians to talk about their work and relationship with the landscape. Those speaking alongside Murray include; Richard Billingham, Chrystel Lebas, Jem Southam, Camilla Brown, Simon Constantine, John Hillman, Craig Ashley and Mark Wright. 

The practitioners will talk about how they have approached landscape and their unique relationship with it. Landscape photography has a long and significant history and today approaches have perhaps never been so broad with practitioner’s motivations and aesthetic concerns been varied. Some document, others work with more abstract concerns; Some work collaboratively, others in isolation; Some are working on environmental concerns and others more personal stories.

During the Symposium we will hear from the perspective of the photographer, curator and academic. They are motivated by landscape for many different reasons. We will hear from and celebrate those that create self-initiated projects and commissioned bodies of work and see a range of photographic practices that are at the cutting edge of photography now.

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

Prices
Early Bird Concession: £15
Early Bird Standard: £22
Early Bird available until 15th October 2017.
Concession: £20
Standard: £28

To book your tickets click here.

*Please note prices include tea/coffee in breaks but do not include lunch.

Photo credit: Saddleworth  © Matthew Murray.

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10 08 2017

SETTLING

Photographer Sam Ivin has worked with individuals and community groups in Stoke on Trent to explore migration to the city. During the residency he has focused on the participant’s personal photographs and stories, working with people who moved to the city from after World War II to the present day.  These include Sikh families in the 1950’s, war veterans, and more recent individuals. They have travelled for a wide range of reasons: professional opportunities, education and refuge from difficult circumstances.

Most participants have engaged with the project through a series of workshops, others through individual meetups.   During the project those taking part have taken photographs, shared photography collections, made photo collages and told their stories, focusing on what led them to live in Stoke-on-Trent. Fascinating, brave and poignant stories have been captured and recorded alongside precious photographs that tell something of the participant’s story.

Photography is part of these people’s journey; from the places and people they left to their new lives in Stoke-on-Trent.  Photographer Sam Ivin has created a new archive of photographs from people’s contributions.  

Sam Ivin is a photographer whose work focuses on social issues and the people connected with them. His pictures attempt to demonstrate the impact situations have on his subjects. By documenting their stories and perspectives he hopes to provide a more personal, tangible understanding of them. He studied Documentary Photography at the University of Wales, Newport graduating in 2014.  Since then he has been awarded numerous significant photography prizes including the Magnum Photos Graduate Photographers Award, May 2017, The GMC First Prize, Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, March 2017, the Best Graduate Single Image, Runner Up,  British Journal of Photography (BJP) Breakthrough Award 2016 and the Winner of Best Single Image, Human Category at Renaissance Photography Prize 2015.

A selection of the archive, entitled ‘Settling’ will be exhibited in Stoke on Trent at The Big Feast Festival during August 2017.

Image Credit: Walerian ‘Val’ Tyminski
Photographer: Unknown/Possibly Fellow Soldier
Date: 1946
Location: Florence, Giotto’s Bell Tower in the Background.
Description: Val poses for a photograph in Florence. He spent a year in Italy after World War II had ended, occasionally the Polish Army would go on one or two day excursions to nearby places of interest.

The project is a collaboration between GRAIN Projects and Appetite, supported by Arts Council England and is part of the Creative People and Places Programme.

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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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Following an Open Call photographer Sam Ivin has been awarded the new Residency commission in Stoke on Trent. The residency will see Ivin engaging with individuals and communities that moved to or migrated to Stoke-on-Trent from within the UK or internationally. Those that have made their home in the city and work in the city have made Stoke-on-Trent a diverse community and the city it is today.

Photography is part of these people’s journey; from the places and people they left to their new lives in Stoke-on-Trent. These photographs will be in people’s family albums, stored in shoe boxes, treasures and keepsakes for themselves, their families and friends.

Ivin will create an archive of photographs and a new work for exhibition.  The archive will tell the participant’s stories of arriving in the city and where their journey started from.  A positive project, Ivin will celebrate commonalities using images from local people’s own photography collections, having them work with these images to present a contemporary archive and a work for exhibition.

The residency will take place between June – September 2017.

During his previous project, Lingering Ghosts, Ivin visited Sanctus St. Mark’s, a refugee support group based in St. Mark’s church in Stoke-on-Trent.  This body of work, commissioned by Fabrica, Treviso, Italy, saw him working with refugees in all parts of the UK.  Since publishing the award winning and critically acclaimed Lingering Ghosts in February 2016 and exhibiting the work around Europe Ivin has become increasingly interested in the integration of migrants in UK cities.

Ivin will create an archive of photographs focusing on the migrant community in Stoke on Trent by looking back through family and personal archives, having conversations and delivering workshops.   He will investigate the topic of immigration through migrants’ perspectives.

Sam Ivin is a photographer whose work focuses on social issues and the people connected with them. His pictures attempt to demonstrate the impact situations have on his subjects. By documenting their stories and perspectives he hopes to provide a more personal, tangible understanding of them. He studied Documentary Photography at the University of Wales, Newport graduating in 2014.  Since then he has been awarded numerous significant photography prizes including the Magnum Photos Graduate Photographers Award, May 2017, The GMC First Prize, Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, March 2017, the Best Graduate Single Image, Runner Up,  British Journal of Photography (BJP) Breakthrough Award 2016 and the Winner of Best Single Image, Human Category at Renaissance Photography Prize 2015. www.samivin.com

The project is a collaboration between GRAIN Projects and Appetite, supported by Arts Council England and is part of the Creative People and Places Programme.

Image Credits

Featured image above: Sam Ivin. Pakistan from Lingering Ghosts.  2015, Fabrica, Treviso, Italy.

Sudan

Sam Ivin.  Sudan from Lingering Ghosts.2015, Fabrica, Treviso, Italy.

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Friday 16th June 2017
9:30 am – 17:30 pm
Birmingham City University, The Parkside Building, B4 7BE

The State of Photography II will explore, debate and review how photographers and photography practice develops and responds in our current challenging times. How do we look at our world today and what does the world look like to photographers?

We invite acclaimed and outstanding photographers and artists who document the world around us to showcase their recent work. Each have different approaches to making their work which is issue based. They have been artist, story teller, observer, participant, explorer and poet. Their work has been made through collaboration, participation, community engagement, research and obstinacy.

Some document communities and people they are familiar with others offer external perspectives on social issues and situations. Does one offer a better way to tell a story? Is it important to come from a community or do you become too involved? Is it more objective to come in from the outside? How do we insure the engagement is sincere and does not exploit?

The documentary role of photography is changing, particularly as work is commissioned and made for gallery settings. Photography can impart the greatest truth of our times and sheds light on injustices, inequality and other aspects of our society. It has been and remains one of the strongest vehicles for change as photographers explore polities, gender, society, sexuality, diversity, economics and environment. It seems today – a time of political unrest, flux and crisis – more essential than ever to explore the role that photography can play.

During the Symposium we will hear from the perspective of the photographer, curator and academic. They share our concerns about the present and offer a diverse range of practices, experiences and stories that document the state of humanity and the world today.

The State of Photography Symposium aims to present new bodies of work, question and challenge ideas, as well as offering advice and talking about positive approaches to influence change, provoke, prompt and give a voice.

We will hear from and celebrate those that create self-initiated projects and commissioned bodies of work and see a range of photographic practices that are at the cutting edge of photography now.

Speakers include:

  • Andrew Jackson
  • Anthony Luvera
  • Camilla Brown
  • David Severn
  • Edgar Martins
  • John Hillman
  • Kajal Nisha Patel
  • Mahtab Hussain
  • Michelle Sank
  • Paul Herrmann (Redeye)
  • Peta Murphy Burke (Arts Council England)
  • Simon Constantine

Prices
Early Bird Concession: £15
Early Bird Standard: £18
Early Bird available until 31st May 2017.
Concession: £18
Standard: £25

To book your tickets click here.

*Please note prices include tea/coffee in breaks but do not include lunch. 

Photo credit: ‘The Bayou of Borba (Portugal)’, from the series Siloquies and Soliloquies on Death, Life and Other Interudes, 2016 © Edgar Martins.

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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.

Shrewsbury, 9th February – 20th  April 2017 

Evolution Explored is an exhibition of works curated from the Magnum Photos archive and presented in the public realm, in St. Mary’s Square and The Square, Shrewsbury. The project is a collaboration with Shrewsbury Business Improvement District (BID) and The Hive Arts Centre.

The work of Magnum photographers will reach new audiences on the streets of Shrewsbury in a specially curated exhibition inspired by ‘Evolution’ and the town’s links to Charles Darwin.

Acclaimed photography agency Magnum Photos have worked in collaboration to curate an exhibition of stunning photographs made internationally by the world’s leading photographers.

The ten-week street exhibition, Evolution Explored, will be on show at two locations. The event coincides with International Darwin Day and Darwin’s birthday on 12th February.

The exhibition also links to Magnum Photos’ 70th anniversary which is to be marked by a series of international events, projects and partnerships.

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LON10446 The Natural History Galleries of the Horniman Museum in London, England. 1993. © Stuart Franklin/Magnum Photos

Magnum Photos is a photographic co-operative owned by its photographer members. Noted for its diverse and distinctive work, Magnum chronicles the world and interprets its people, events, issues and personalities. It was founded in 1947 by four pioneers, Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger and David Seymour.

Today its editorial offices in New York, London, Paris and Tokyo, and its network of sub-agents, provide photographs to the press, publishers, advertising, television, galleries and museums around the world.

It has approximately one million photographs in both print and transparency in a physical library, with more than 500,000 images available online. It is said that if you picture an iconic image, but can’t think who took it or where it can be found, it probably came from Magnum.

The project is supported by Arts Council England, Redrow Homes, Shrewsbury Shopping and Shrewsbury Colleges Group.

As part of this exhibition there will be a series of associated activities including education workshops with selected Primary, Secondary and Further Education organisations. There will also be a Photo Safari Event on Saturday 8th April 2017, see details below.

www.evolutionexplored.org

About Evolution Explored – A review by Jonny Bark

Top image credit: Tiananmen Square, Beijin, CHINA. 1989. © Stuart Franklin/Magnum Photos

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Evolution Explored Photo Safari

Sat 8th Apr
10am – 5pm (or join for half a day at 10am or 2pm)

As part of Evolution Explored a Photo Safari will take place in the town of Shrewsbury with The Hive acting as hub. The activity will take place over a full day and will be targeted at families. It will be devised as an adventurous journey or expedition during which people hunt for, explore, or investigate opportunities to creatively write with light and record images. The tasks will be fun, collaborative and will result in a series of images that can be displayed in an exhibition at The Hive and featured online as part of Evolution Explored.

Those participating will be asked to bring their own cameras and to dress comfortably for a day outdoors. They will be set a series of four image making tasks, and may choose from the eight points of interest on the safari map.

Working individually or as a team, complete the challenges on this adventure, linked to the Evolution Explored Magnum Photos Exhibition. The best will win prizes and then see your work displayed!

£3 per person / group £10 (Max 5), all are welcome, but under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult.

To book your place follow this link https://hiveonline.cloudvenue.co.uk/photosafari

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Longleat Safari Park, Wiltshire, England. From the book ‘A to B tales of modern motoring’. © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

GRAIN are working in collaboration with Mark Wright and Format International Photography Festival on a new exhibition and publication.  The project will Premier work from Wright’s series The Fireside and the Sanctuary.

24 March – 23 April 2017

The work is made with the communities affected by fracking decisions in northern England.  In his work Wright considers the experiences, lifestyles and habitats of the communities affected by policy decisions that will impact on the landscape and their way of life.  Wright has spent time with these communities working on interviews and photography.  Village, rural and agricultural communities are the most obviously affected by national government policies relating to the new gas drilling procedures by giant, global chemical companies.   The environment and communities are rapidly changing following the lead up to the decisions in autumn 2016.   The impact on people’s way of life, their ability to have a voice for their own concerns and wellbeing, is affected as communities are divided by tensions and the notion of changes to their way of life.

Wright’s practice is based upon in-depth research, written material and absorbing himself in a landscape or community.  In the new work fracking is clearly seen, not as a ‘local’ problem but one that gravitates around a central place and a collection of people.  The environmental and social concerns are universal and relevant to all of us.  In his work Wright makes the issues identifiable rather than literal or geographically specific.

The exhibition The Fireside and the Sanctuary will be exhibited at Format International Photography Festival 2017 and will be accompanied by a limited edition photo book with newly commissioned writing by Gemma Padley and Simon Constantine.

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Image Credits;  Mark Wright, The Fireside and the Sanctuary            

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