Introducing FORM

In this blog post we introduce you to FORM, a lens based collective who create and communicate on issues concerning altered identity. FORM are currently calling for work for an exhibition in Derby. FORM Fringe will coincide with FORMAT International Photography Festival 2019 which will consist of a series of exhibitions, events, and a photobook stall. Click here to find out how to submit. Deadline Sunday 24th February 10am and entry is free.


What is FORM? FORM is a collective of artists based across the UK who all work with photography. Our specialisms range from graphic design, creative writing, artist book making, event planning, product photography, socially engaged practice and teaching. Our core aim is to support the production of new projects by sharing skills, collaborating and creating a community of artists.

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Tell us about the members of FORM. Have you all studied photography? FORM is made up of Becky, Cath, Jo, June, Liz and Rachael. Becky and June both studied Photography at MA level, at London College of Communication and Westminster respectively. Jo also studied at LCC for her BA in Photography, and Rachael also studied BA Photography but at Manchester School of Art. Liz studied her BA in Brighton, which allowed her to produce image and text for her dissertation and Cath studied on a Creative Arts degree and now teaches Photography A Level.

Who or what motivates members to continue making new work? We all motivate each other, that’s one of the huge benefits of working as a collective. Photography can be very solitary, and even though we all produce work at different rates we all benefit from feedback from the rest of the group and having a deadline.

How did FORM come to the surface? We were established in response to Redeye, the Photography Network’s ‘Lightbox’ program; a creative development course where photographers are grouped into collectives and supported through talks, workshops and provided a mentor. FORM were matched with Nicola Shipley of Grain Photography Hub and since the program ended have continued to work together and with Nicola to make new work.

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What is the collectives biggest achievement to date? Our first exhibition together at Brighton Photo Fringe is the biggest project we’ve worked on to date. All of the members developed new projects responding to the title of ‘Form’ while organising the fundraising, curation and promotion of the exhibition. We were based in the Collectives Hub alongside some brilliant fellow collectives and projects and received some great feedback on the show.

Tell us about the conversations you produce for your website. What's your aim for them? The conversations started initially to informally introduce the members and give us all the opportunity to know each other better, but that format suits us perfectly because it represents how we want to work as a collective.

How can photographers get involved in what you do? If you like what we do please follow us on Instagram! FORM is currently looking to work with other photographers as part of the fringe at FORMAT International Photography Festival, details of this can be found on www.formcollective.co.uk.

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Give one tip to new photography graduates. Work with other creatives! Find people who you can work with to motivate each other, get honest feedback and collaborate with. Even if they aren’t a photographer, having someone to push you to keep making work and applying for opportunities is invaluable.

What does 2019 have in store for FORM? We have recently received Arts Council funding to produce work and exhibit in a fringe alongside the FORMAT International Photography Festival. We are all continuing to develop new work for more FORM exhibitions and events, and we want to meet and work with new people. We are also very excited about the launch of Landform, a platform for female landscape photographers run by Cath. Landform will be having their first events in 2019, and there will be plenty of opportunities to get involved in photo walks and socials this year.




Milda Books presents the photobook "Homeland. The Longest Village in the Country" by Georgs Avetisjans

Milda Books presents the photobook Homeland. The Longest Village in the Country by University of Brighton graduate Georgs Avetisjans at the Photo Publishers Market organised by Brighton Photo Fringe and Photoworks.

Phoenix Brighton, October 20th - 21st. 11am - 5pm.


“Landscapes – actual, remembered or idealized – feed our sense of belonging to whatever place, region or nation that we view as homeland.”

Liz Wells
Homeland. The Longest Village in the Country (2015-2018)
is a multi-layered photographic narrative in a form of a photobook with cross-references like hyperlinks to additionally inserted stories connected to the subjects and landscape. The book is about the village where my Armenian-Greek father once had a dream to build a house for our family, but unfortunately couldn’t finish it as he passed away when I was only 6 months young.

The project explores the sea, the land and memories, how the time affects and changes our sense of a place at the same time serving a nostalgic representation of the village in Latvia - Kaltene and its recent history from World War II until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 via interviews, notes and archival imagery. As the Iron curtain fell, the local economy changed and upon joining the EU in 2004, it changed again. These historical shifts made a huge impact on the society and its dreams, many of which the younger generations have abandoned.

The place is located between the forest and the sea about 100 km northwest of the capital Riga. In the latter half of the 19th century and early 20th century it was the second most productive village in the country as 55 seagoing sailing ships were built there.

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Images from the series  The Longest Village in the Country  by Georgs Avetisjans

Images from the series The Longest Village in the Country by Georgs Avetisjans

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Revolv Collective presents 4UZHBINA

Preview: 29th September, 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Open daily: 30th September – 29th November, 11:00am-5:00pm

Venue: Phoenix Gallery, 10-14 Waterloo Place, Brighton BN2 9NB


Revolv Collective invites you to The Collective’s Hub, part of Brighton Photo Fringe taking place at Phoenix Brighton from Saturday 30th September to Sunday 29th November 2018.

4uzhbina is a photographic installation, created collaboratively by the artists Krasimira Butseva and Lina Ivanova, for Brighton Photo Fringe 2018. The word ‘4uzhbina’ describes a non-existent place, an illusory location, which cannot be found on any map, nevertheless it could be accessed by anybody. It is simply an invention of the tongue, existing only in the spoken and written Bulgarian language. The term contains simultaneously the essence of a no-man’s land and a dolce vita. 

In her new work, Krasimira Butseva uses moving image and appropriates found photography and materials, entangling personal and fictional histories. In her short film, she remembers the day, in which Bulgaria was accepted in the European Union, while performing repetitive rituals and readings. Using a found family archive originating from Kent, Krasimira plays with connotation and denotation, shaping a completely new narrative out of the photographs. Through this body of work, she explores the way in which politics inform nations and form identities, along with the correlation between native roots and cultural routes.

Lina Ivanova’s autobiographical piece explores issues of representation, identity and status of the migrant in the birth country. Photography becomes a power tool to remember, to store memories and experiences and possess a space, in which one feels insecure.  The manipulation of family archival records creates a personal interpretation of one’s own origin. The use of alternative processes suggests the transition from a state of familiar to a state of the foreign. Fragile family photos are reproduced on the surfaces of domestic objects and removed from their expected setting providing a context of the every-day in a moment of return. 

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Events

4UZHBINA: Artist talk 

20th October 2018 (Saturday)
1:00pm – 2:00pm

The founders of Revolv Collective, Krasimira Butseva and Lina Ivanova will form a dialogue about methods of using found photography and objects, alongside alternative processes to create new bodies of work. Reflection on current work on display at the Collective’s Hub, will lead to a discussion about belonging and identity. 

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Routes OR Roots

27th October 2018 (Saturday)
12:00pm – 2:00pm

Routes OR Roots invites participants to take part in a two-hour long workshop delivered by Revolv Collective. The activities encompassing notions of belonging and the self, welcomes participants to contribute to the workshop with personal objects, photography and memories in order to form a narrative of personal and collective diaspora. The workshop is open to people from any age and background to join.

[City] Stories - Urban photography exhibition

WORLDWIDE COLLECTIVE OF URBAN PHOTOGRAPHERS STAGE EXHIBITION AT FOUR CORNERS IN BETHNAL GREEN

13 urban photographers from Goldsmiths are opening their MA Degree Show at Four Corners gallery from 3rd-6th October 2018, including an exclusive lecture from Danish photographer Lene Hald.

The exhibition will feature new work made as part of the Photography & Urban Cultures MA at Goldsmiths, University of London, exploring the creative interplay between urban theory and the visual representation of cities & communities.

Coming from all over the world, the artists featured share their take on the contemporary life of the city, informed by urban theory and sociological research.


 
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3rd - 6th October, Four Corners Gallery (London), part of Photomonth

10th - 14th October, Phoenix Brighton, part of Brighton Photo Fringe

Private View - 4th October, 6-9pm - register here

Urban Photographer's Association Annual Lecture by Danish photographer Lene Hald - 5th October, 4-5.30pm

Artist's Panel & Urban Photo Walk - 6th October, 2-4.30pm

*All events are free.


Co-curator Becky Morris Knight commented:

“As global urbanization speeds up and our political and media environments become more fragmented, exploring and examining how we live together becomes an urgent task and one which artists can make a valuable contribution to.”

“The work we make is informed, inspired and underpinned by sociology and urbanism, helping us to create meaningful images which speak to important issues our society faces, such as gentrification, media censorship, the body, identity and class.”

About the exhibition

Ting-Ling Yu shares a delicate exploration of nudity and public decency in London, while Yihong Wu’s work offers a consideration of typical interiors in China through carefully composed medium format images.

Image by Steve Jones

Image by Steve Jones

Other projects include Steve Jones’ forensic examination of the staircase as a shaper of architectural space and Henry Woodley’s personal journey through the waterways of London and the communities of boaters he lives alongside.

Image by Henry Woodley

Image by Henry Woodley

Artist Shan Ye worked in green spaces in London to think about how citizens in a wealthy country use their leisure time. Bo-Cheng Liu took inspiration from the margins, walking over 100km to explore the liminal land between airports and the city, often overlooked and unconsidered.

Image by Becky Morris Knight

Image by Becky Morris Knight

Becky Morris Knight approached the idea of how our online spaces influence our urban lives, with a series which looks at how censorship works on Instagram and what that might look like if applied to our cities.

Image by Qiunan Li

Image by Qiunan Li

Taking a personal approach, Mia Irmgard Klit will be launching an innovative photobook which challenges conventional approaches to medical sociology by exploring her sister’s experience of coma. Qiunan Li is also looking at memory and individual experience in his project in which he picks out images he cannot remember making and creates a new narrative from them.

Image by Lee Gavin

Image by Lee Gavin

Lee Gavin will be showing a series of portraits which investigate class, life milestones and identity, while Korean photographer Suhyuk Chai shares images made within a transient community on the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Image by Lorena Sanchez Pereira

Image by Lorena Sanchez Pereira

Kat Huber’s poetic work captures a fleeting moment within the landscape, layering the past, present and future in images of a derelict fairground slated for renewal in Berlin. Also considering a landscape in flux, Lorena Sanchez Pereira creates large-scale images exploring the regeneration of Hackney Wick in her series Gentricity.

Special Events

The exhibition also has a series of special events taking place throughout the run, kicking off with the Private View on 4th October, 6 – 9pm.

Danish photographer Lene Hald will fly in to deliver the Urban Photographer’s Association Annual Lecture on the 5th October, 4-5.30pm in the Four Corners gallery.

Titled Photography, care and co-creation, the talk will set off in Hald’s own photographic work, which is situated in the intersection of photography, visual storytelling, social engagement and participatory practice.

On Saturday 6th October, urban photographer and Director of Urban Photo Fest, Paul Halliday, will be chairing a panel discussion with 3 of the artists from the exhibition, considering the role photography can play in generating new knowledge of the urban.

After it closes in London, [City] Stories will transfer to Phoenix Brighton as part of Brighton Photo Fringe, from 10th – 14th October.

www.citystorieslondon.com

https://twitter.com/citystorieslon1

https://www.instagram.com/citystorieslondon/

Photohastings exhibition opportunity

Photohastings in collaboration with Brighton Photo Fringe open submissions to 'Not the Final Major Project' to recent photography graduates.

Be in with the chance of exhibiting at Hastings Arts Forum 2nd - 18th October.

Submissions close Friday 20th July.

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Contact Sarah French with enquiries.

Photograd Experience: James Dobson

University of Brighton photography graduate and soon to be featured Photograd, James Dobson, has written a piece for the Photograd blog about the group exhibition he was recently a part of at the Brighton Photo Fringe entitled, Lie of the Land. Continue reading to find out more about this group of graduates that have remained connected post university. 

Lie of the Land  installation shot

Lie of the Land installation shot

Introduction

We are four photographers James Dobson, Rachel Maloney, Annalaura Palma and Noora Pelkonen, who met four years ago on the MA Photography course at the University of Brighton, graduating in 2014 and 2015.

Since beginning our studies together we have had an ongoing dialogue, all being interested in different aspects of landscape and place. After we graduated we stayed in touch and continued our conversation beyond University and eventually decided to make a collaborative exhibition when BPF was on the horizon. The exhibition is called Lie of the Land and it is about the ways in which the past, the unperceived and the forgotten fold themselves into our current experience and reading of landscape.

Image from the series  Karelia  by Noora Pelkonen

Image from the series Karelia by Noora Pelkonen

Image from the series  The Forest  by Rachel Maloney

Image from the series The Forest by Rachel Maloney

Planning

We were all at a stage where we felt ready to show our work, be that a different manifestation of older, ongoing work or completely new work and BPF seemed a good opportunity to do this. As a platform it gives you a framework within which your exhibition can be made visible - there are more people engaging with photography and potential visitors in Brighton during the Biennial/Fringe month and you are given support by the fringe in terms of promotion.

We knew that we wanted to show our work in a neutral space (which are quite hard to find in Brighton) such as a gallery, as we wanted full attention from the visitors, so we looked for a suitable space in Brighton and booked it early in 2016. As the gallery is limited in space, the challenge was to make sure that each work had its own breathing space but also make sure that the visitor could enjoy the journey, however small, through the exhibition– so the connections between works was very important. We were limited in the amount of pictures we could hang so we started to think of the exhibition as a collaborative development of an idea, rather than a chance for each of us to have our own individual exhibition. Smaller, low-budget shows often work better with this approach, and I think we all enjoyed discovering new aspects about our work and making new associations between pictures during the curation process. 

Lie of the Land   installation shot: images form the series  Churches  by James Dobson

Lie of the Land installation shot: images form the series Churches by James Dobson

Image form the series   Churches     by James Dobson

Image form the series Churches by James Dobson

In terms of promotion, BPF produce a newsprint brochure with a map and website to navigate the exhibitions, so we decided to not make any flyers but instead built an internet presence via twitter, which you can find here @Lie_of_the_land.

Experience and reflection

The exhibition has had a positive response from visitors. For us it was very good to have a space to see how our new work operated in a gallery context and also to be able to open up dialogues and new relationships. When you’re in this kind of festival environment it is good to be involved in every aspect of making an exhibition – so invigilating, which can sometimes be tedious, was actually at times very rewarding, giving us the opportunity to be surrounded by our work and think about photography. Exhibitions can be great spaces for the development of ideas, in a different way to being out in the world.

Image from the series  Virginia Woolf: Virginia’s path  by Annalaura Palma

Image from the series Virginia Woolf: Virginia’s path by Annalaura Palma

Advice

In regards to advice, look at festivals like BPF that not only support the promotion of your work to a wider audience but give opportunities for photographers to submit their work for exhibitions and prizes; BPF has the Danny Wilson Memorial Prize, the Open Solo Show, the group show at the Regency Town House and also the Collectives Hub. 

 

Photograd Catch-Up Feature: Caitlin Chescoe

Featured Photograd Caitlin Chescoe was commissioned by Brighton Photo Fringe this year to make a new body of work alongside their three emerging curators. We caught up with Caitlin recently to find out about her plans for the festival and then her experience of accepting a commission and being a part of this years event. Caitlin has since informed us of more about Kings House: In Transition and some of her influences when making the work. Continue reading to find out more...

Statement

As the offices of Brighton and Hove City Council since 1996, activity inside Kings House has shaped the face of the city. The imminent sale of the building and relocation of the Council offices has received much local press coverage, but less attention has been paid to the social histories of the site. Kings House: In Transition celebrates the people and stories that have shaped the life of the building by inviting members of staff to share their experiences. The exhibition features portraits and oral histories collected as the Council staff begin the process of relocating.

Kings House: In Transition  installation image by emerging curator, Sarah French.

Kings House: In Transition installation image by emerging curator, Sarah French.

Series Influences

I really love the work of portrait and documentary photographers such as Alec Soth, Stephen Shore, Nick Ballon, Jo Metson Scott and Kalpesh Lathigra who all use photographic film. I use social media a lot to look at imagery and also take from my own experiences assisting to try to progress with my work.

Images f rom the series   Kings House: In Transition

Images from the series Kings House: In Transition

The Commission

Kings House: In Transition was my first commission out of university. I was sent the brief after Sarah French, one of the selected Fringe emerging curators, messaged me to ask if I was available to do it. I felt the brief really suited my work and so agreed to start the following Tuesday. I was told that I could do whatever I wanted, which was great! However, it all came down to how receptive the staff at Kings House were going to be towards us to what we would be able to photograph. We were fortunate enough to have full access to the building with the help of Cat Fletcher, re-use manager, and Martin Hedgecock, facility and building services manager. The curators assisted me in contacting members in the building, arranging meeting times and having brief interviews whilst I photographed the staff which I really enjoyed as I am used to working on my own in these types of situations but this meant I could concentrate on taking great photos. I decided to shoot film because I knew I would be happy with the end result and this could potentially be another project to add to my portfolio once we had finished.

The organisers of the Fringe had given the trainee curators, Sarah French, Jamila Prowse and Ruby Rees Sheridan, the original space in Kings House reception. Time was of the essence so we had to shoot and complete the edit in a very short period of time. We only had a few days to complete the edit and through assisting I was able to receive advice from a couple of photographers who I have worked with which was really helpful. We agreed on what materials would work within the budget and would be to a high photographic standard. Our space also changed from in the reception area to in the first floor hallway which meant we had more space for the installation.

Images from the series   Kings House: In Transition

Images from the series Kings House: In Transition

Work and Outcomes

We decided to re-use chains that were from an adult day care centre in Brighton that had been funded by the council however the centre had to close because of cuts which Cat Fletcher found for us. We also decided to re-use bulldog clips from the building so this was all in keeping with the concept of re-using and recycling. We had to prepare the space a small amount by cleaning the windows and painting the walls to white as they were scuffed and decorated in a lovely lilac colour.

During the exhibition we put on a talk; Caitlin Chescoe and Cat Fletcher in conversation with Sarah French, Ruby Rees Sheridan and Jamila Prowse, which was us discussing our roles within the project and our journey towards the final exhibition. It was great to have a chance to debrief altogether about the project as we had not had the chance to previously. In hindsight I am glad our tutors made us talk in public at University because I new I would have been really nervous otherwise, however I really enjoyed it.

Images f  rom the series   Kings House: In Transition

Images from the series Kings House: In Transition

Experience and Future Plans

We are hoping for the exhibition to be moved to the Town Hall which is where the workers from the council have moved to. However, we are also looking to potentially show the work at other galleries in the near future.

Overall my experience has been a positive one. I can trust myself to handle the pressure of shooting with the expectation of a good outcome and working within tough time constrains which I found made all of us more proactive as we used our time wisely. It has been different to work with other people on my projects as normally I work alone but it has been really good working as a team making creative decisions. I have really enjoyed meeting everyone involved in the Fringe, have had great exposure and made great contacts. Thank you to everyone.

Find out more about Caitlin and her work via her website.

Photograd Experience & Event Report: Phoebe Kiely at Brighton Photo Fringe

Introduction

My name is Phoebe Kiely. I studied photography at Manchester School of Art and graduated in 2015. For many reasons I have remained based in Manchester. 

 
From the series  They Were My Landscape

From the series They Were My Landscape

 

The Event

Brighton Photo Fringe was established in 2003. The Fringe aims to nurture new talent and to give a platform for collaborations. 

This was the first time I had ever seen the Fringe. I've got a lot of memories in Brighton, it was great to revisit the city knowing that my work was being showcased there. 

Over this month there are many events, everything is so close to the city centre. 

Above images from the series They Were My Landscape

 

The Exhibition

I went to a few of the exhibition spaces on the map and stumbled across others. Some were on the sea front, others in gallery spaces and one outside the library.

The shortlisted artists had a print each in front of St Peter's Church. There was also a projection of the eight images we each submitted at Phoenix Brighton.

For this competition I created an edit which I had never showcased before, I believe most of the images I included had not been seen before online or otherwise. I was conscious that this was risky, not knowing what people would think of the images and how they worked as a series. The project I submitted is titled They Were My Landscape, it's an archive of sorts. Due to the volume of work and the concept behind it, the series consists of many different edits. As the work grows and develops I create different combinations of images. 

 
Installation shot of    They Were My Landscape  at BPF

Installation shot of They Were My Landscape at BPF

 

All of the images I selected were quite new. I find it difficult separating emotional attachment from new images. Usually time fizzles out this connection and I am able to look at the work more objectively. However, this was the series I wished to submit, so I took the risk on the new photographs. I combined street photographs with more intimate images in to a series of eight.

Involvement

Earlier this year I exhibited at Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool alongside Peter Watkins, the 2014 Solo winner. I saw a link asking for submissions, highlighting Peter's work which I recognised immediately. I followed the links and it requested me to apply through the LensCulture website

 
From the series   They Were My Landscape

From the series They Were My Landscape

 

Over the last few months, I have really concentrated on submitting to open call competitions. I always look at the judges to see who is making the decision on the submissions. I literally do this to briefly look at the names and possibly what the judges are working on. But you can never really mould your submission to what they want to see I don't think. The work you make is personal and writing about it with that in mind and editing what you think is your most honest edit is the best way to go forward. If this fails at least you'll always know that you gave a really pure submission.  

Reflection

I would encourage photographers to keep an eye on this biennial event, specifically for the submission window for the solo show. It's priceless having your work seen by jurors like the ones at Brighton Photo Fringe. There are so many other opportunities here to show work. 

 
From the series   They Were My Landscape

From the series They Were My Landscape

 

Final Thoughts

It's great seeing the work up, especially in print. When I see my work in shows I am reminded of the temporariness of it all. 

In my practice I strive to make darkroom prints. Making permanent objects is where I get my buzz. This show has reminded me that I need to create something that lasts, I need to make a book.