Event Report: Matthew Broadhead at Unveil'd Photo Festival 2016

University of Brighton graduate, Matthew Broadhead, was selected to visit and report back on this years Unveil'd photo festival via Photograd. During his visit, Matthew took over the Photograd Instagram and has since written a very detailed and comprehensive report of his experience of the festival. We've decided to include the first section of his report here, alongside some of his images taken during the weekend, and hope that our readers would like to read the report in full on Matthew's website.

We would like to thank Tom at Unveil'd for encouraging and supporting our call out, and Matthew for being a fantastic reporter.


My name is Matthew Broadhead, I was selected to exhibit in Exeter Phoenix in South Devon for Unveil’d Open 2016. Also being chosen by Photograd to be the event reporter for Unveil’d I was in Exeter and present at a selection of scheduled events throughout Friday 21st, Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd October.

The first event I attended was Project Management in the Arts held by Daisi from midday until 2:30pm at Exeter Library in The Rougemont Room. Daisi are the Arts Education Partnership organization for Devon and Torbay started in 1995. To summarize, they provide information, advice and development opportunities for artists, young people and educators. Ruth Cohen delivered the talk and the presentation provided an introduction to the organisation along with case studies of what they’ve done recently as part of their initiative. 

Images by Matthew Broadhead from the  Project Management in the Arts  event held by  Dais i at Unveil'd 2016

Images by Matthew Broadhead from the Project Management in the Arts event held by Daisi at Unveil'd 2016

The workshop aspect was simple but effective, forming groups to conjure a response to a commission for charities including Cancer Research UK and The National Trust considering a programme and who/what it’s target audience to enrich is. It highlighted important questions unearthed during the process of creating a proposition for funding and then the endeavour to answer the questions and deliver. Many of the students who attended the talk were Plymouth College of Art students studying BA (Hons) Photography in their third year and Louise Fago-Ruskin, lecturer in photography at Plymouth College of Art, approached me after the workshop to deliver a talk to her students about my body of work Heimr exhibited at Exeter Phoenix for Unveil’d Open. I was very pleased to oblige and we went over to the venue after Daisi’s workshop. I had a very positive experience talking about my work and practice after graduating from Brighton University for around three quarters of an hour.

Heimr  exhibited at Exeter Phoenix for Unveil’d Open  by Matthew Broadhead

Heimr exhibited at Exeter Phoenix for Unveil’d Open by Matthew Broadhead

Matthew Broadhead speaking to Plymouth College of Art students

Matthew Broadhead speaking to Plymouth College of Art students

Heimr  exhibited at Exeter Phoenix for Unveil’d Open  by Matthew Broadhead

Heimr exhibited at Exeter Phoenix for Unveil’d Open by Matthew Broadhead

Heimr  exhibited at Exeter Phoenix for Unveil’d Open  by Matthew Broadhead

Heimr exhibited at Exeter Phoenix for Unveil’d Open by Matthew Broadhead

I left Exeter Phoenix and walked up to Rougemont Gardens behind Exeter Library, one of multiple different locations of the Towers exhibition. On the Unveil’d website, the exhibition was described as a series of large-scale images on show throughout public grounds in the city of Exeter, curated in response to the fortification of Exeter’s Roman wall in the 13th century. They wrote:

“Tracing its history, the wall surrounded institutions of central powerhouses; government, religion and military. The construction of ten towers were built to protect and observe the city, bringing forth tensions of boundaries and their role in defining the city and more widely how we deal with place. The city wall itself was constructed in response to the geology of the land, in particular the strategic placing of five gates reflecting the movement of the river.”

The setting of each exhibit correlated with the locations of these ten towers. The images were printed on strong weather resistant material with a loop at the top and bottom for scaffolding tubes to pass through. This particular piece consisted of four panels with a single large format image on each side by the artists Jessica Lennan, Oliver Udy, Eva Cooney and Glauco Canalis. All of the imagery was evocative of environment, both with and without human presence. Eva Cooney’s dramatic piece particularly reflects the movement of the river through Exeter. A few minutes walk through Rougemont Gardens in the green space elevated between Exeter Phoenix and the rear entrance of the Royal Albert Museum there was a single piece by Tim Mills titled Overdale Road from his project Twelve Shilling Paradise. The garden study depicted a fish tank with live goldfish positioned on bubble wrap on a piece of wooden furniture. The concept of the exhibition and ideas ruminating in this photograph make me consider the transience not so much of the environment but more of the existence of humanity within it. The detail shot shows a ladybird and the whole front and back of this piece were covered with them, adding another dimension to the piece. 

Installation image by Matthew Broadhead:   Teufelsberg, Berlin   by   Jessica Lennan as part of   Towers   exhibition, Unveil'd 2016

Installation image by Matthew Broadhead: Teufelsberg, Berlin by Jessica Lennan as part of Towers exhibition, Unveil'd 2016

Rougemont Gardens   Towers   e  xhibit by Matthew Broadhead

Rougemont Gardens Towers exhibit by Matthew Broadhead

Rougemont Gardens  Towers  exhibit by Matthew Broadhead   

Rougemont Gardens Towers exhibit by Matthew Broadhead
 

Rougemont Gardens   Towers   e  xhibit by Matthew Broadhead

Rougemont Gardens Towers exhibit by Matthew Broadhead

Unfortunately by the time that I was exploring Towers for myself the artwork in Northernhay gardens was vandalised and subsequently taken down. The work presented belonged to Robert Darch and Melanie Eclare. The final exhibit I saw as part of Towers was further away towards Exeter Bus Station in Southenhay Gardens. The triangular structure consisted of work by Jem Southam, Fern Leigh Albert and Brendan Barry.

Installation image  by Matthew Broadhead :  Red Mudstone, Sidmouth 1996  by Jem Southam at Southernhay Gardens as part of the  Towers  exhibition, Unveil'd 2016

Installation image by Matthew Broadhead: Red Mudstone, Sidmouth 1996 by Jem Southam at Southernhay Gardens as part of the Towers exhibition, Unveil'd 2016

To read Matthew's report in full, visit his blog.

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.  

Event Report: 'The Form of Possibility' MA Photography and MFA Photographic Arts, University of Plymouth.

The Form of Possibility is a group exhibition of final year bodies of work by graduating students of MA Photography and MFA Photographic Arts from the University of Plymouth in 2016. It began with a private view on the 22nd September on the second floor of the Scott Building, Plymouth University, Drakes Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA and runs Monday to Friday until the 13th October 2016.

The bodies of work demonstrate the variety in the interpretation and use of the photographic medium in the contemporary, ranging from personal explorations, to investigations of place, and enquiries into the materiality of the medium itself. 

Liz-Ann Vincent-Merry's series is part of an ongoing project which looks at 1,200 identity photographs from south east France, dating between 1900 and 1970. The work is an exploration of the mnemonic powers of these portraits in her quest to recover a life that has vanished.

From the series  The Marseille Papers  by Liz-Ann Vincent-Merry

From the series The Marseille Papers by Liz-Ann Vincent-Merry

The Marseille Papers  installation image

The Marseille Papers installation image

Lucy Bentham considers traditional aesthetics and the psychological theory of Escape, taking a deeply personal approach to the role of the female artist desiring to escape from the domestic space, by venturing into the land. 

Image by Lucy Bentham

Image by Lucy Bentham

The work of Robert Darch adopts a style of documentary realism while constructing an imaginary place through the mapping of a learnt culture onto direct experience. 

From the series  Durlescombe  by Robert Darch

From the series Durlescombe by Robert Darch

Durlescombe   installation image

Durlescombe installation image

Carly Seller’s work is a meditation on experience and embodiment from paths that invite us to move along their lines, as well as consideration of the camera having the ability to define, abstract and extend the range of visual perception.

From the series  Tracing a line along a breath exhaled  by Carly Seller

From the series Tracing a line along a breath exhaled by Carly Seller

Tracing a line along a breath exhaled   installation image

Tracing a line along a breath exhaled installation image

Katie Lowe uses a custom-built, lensless, camera to create single images on whole rolls of transparency film along her favourite stretch of beach along the North Coast of Cornwall. 

Shift  by Katie Lowe

Shift by Katie Lowe

Michelle Reynolds’ work consists of diptychs comparing and contrasting the landscapes and cityscapes of Europe and Kansas, opening up a dialogue in relation to the idea of place and one’s connection to where they came from.

Image by Michelle Reynolds

Image by Michelle Reynolds

David Gibson’s work explores profound personal and subjective moments of solitary psychological reverie in the landscape.

From the series  Dark Light and Mist  by David Gibson

From the series Dark Light and Mist by David Gibson

Gabby Laurent uses an absurdist approach to comment on a history of art practices such as self-portraiture and the photographic relationship to sculpture. 

Image by Gabby Laurent

Image by Gabby Laurent

James Waterfield deals with the issue of loneliness through undertaking bicycle journeys, pausing and thinking between journeys to complete a bookwork which, in one sense, is a kind of personal advertisement. 

Image by James Waterfield

Image by James Waterfield

Sian Davey presents the documentation of an awkward stage in the life of her daughter, Martha, as Martha transitions from child to young woman. 

From the series  Martha  by Sian Davey

From the series Martha by Sian Davey

Glauco Canalis’ work is a documentary study of San Berillo, an Island in the heart of Catania: A site once known as the biggest open-air brothel in Europe. 

Image by Glauco Canalis

Image by Glauco Canalis

It is evident from this group exhibition alone that the multiplicity found within the photographic medium in the contemporary, led by the range of the artists, is vast. Even in a world in which mass imagery can sometimes overwhelm our visual senses there are still cases, such as within this exhibition, that clearly declare that the photographic medium is alive and well, and will continue to evolve. 

It has been a pleasure to be a part of this diverse cohort and I can’t wait to see what our successors produce this year. 

MFA Photographic Arts students are: Sian Davey, Glauco Canalis and Robert Darch. 

MA Photography students are: Lucy Bentham, Michelle Reynolds, Katie Lowe, Liz-Ann Vincent-Merry, James Waterfield, Gabby Laurent, David Gibson and Carly Seller.

Some of the works from this exhibition will also be displayed as part of a faculty exhibition in the Peninsula Arts Gallery, Plymouth, in December. 

- Lucy Bentham