Exhibitions

VR: Wirral Hospitals’ School and MaxLiteracy Award

10 June - 3 September 2021

Exhibitions

Return To Nature

30 July 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

VR: First Light New Northern Graduates Exhibition

22 May - 4 July 2021

Exhibitions

We Are Nature

30 July - 14 August 2021

Exhibitions

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival — Jessica El Mal: Grounds For Concern

16 July - 15 August 2021

Exhibitions

Digital Window Gallery: Who We Are

8 July - 31 July 2021

Exhibitions Main Exhibition

Whose Land Is It?

8 July - 19 September 2021

Exhibitions

VR Student Exhibitions: UCEN

9 June - 13 June 2021

Exhibitions

VR Student Exhibitions: Youth Culture by Whitby High School

23 June - 27 June 2021

Exhibitions

VR Student Exhibitions: Arc with Hugh Baird

16 June - 20 June 2021

Past Events

First Light: Photography Writing Now – Tilt Launch Party

9 July 2021

Past Events

OPEN ROOMS #14: Separated Together

24 June 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

Student Exhibitions: Whitby High School

23 June - 27 June 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

Student Exhibitions: UCEN

9 June - 13 June 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

Student Exhibitions: Arc

16 June - 20 June 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

Digital Window Gallery: HOMETOWNS

10 June 2021

Exhibitions Main Exhibition

Digital Window Gallery: Postcards from us x

10 June - 20 June 2021

LightNight 2021: Play

21 May 2021

Heavy Gardening Art Trail Photowalk

21 May 2021

OPEN ROOMS #13: A BALKAN JOURNEY WITH CHRIS LESLIE

17 June 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

First Light New Northern Graduates Exhibition

22 May 2021

Past Events

Open Eye Gallery book club presents: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

3 June 2021

Past Events

First Light Spotlight: Interior Tension

22 June 2021

Past Events

First Light Spotlight: Networked Beings

8 June 2021

Past Events

First Light Spotlight: Things Are Strange

25 May 2021

Past Events

OPEN ROOMS #12: INDEPENDENTS BIENNIAL

6 May 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

Liverpool Biennial 2021: The Stomach and the Port

19 May - 6 June 2021

Picturing England’s High Streets: Prescot

7 April 2021

Picturing England’s High Street: Chester

7 April 2021

Exhibitions

Reclaim The City: Suzanne St Clare

8 April 2021

Past Events

First Light Spotlight: Parallel Histories

11 May 2021

Past Events

First Light Spotlight: After Nature

27 April 2021

Past Events

First Light Spotlight: Unearthly Matter

13 April 2021

Exhibitions

Hanging out: Interviews

23 March - 5 April 2021

Exhibitions

Digital Window Gallery: Independents Biennial

18 March - 6 June 2021

Past Events

First Light Spotlight: Corrupted Archives

30 March 2021

Past Events

First Light Spotlight – Connecting new photography with writing

16 March 2021

Past Events

OPEN ROOMS #11: ON THE CORNERS OF ARGYLE AND GLENWOOD – PHOTOBOOK IN COLLABORATION

11 March 2021

Freelance Photographer in Residence Position

23 February 2021

Family Page

23 February 2021

About Alternative Lens

23 February 2021

Projects

Introducing Energy House

23 February 2021

Past Events

Open Rooms #10: All Dressed Up With Nowhere To Go

25 February 2021

The Course

12 February 2021

Past Events

PLATFORM ISSUE 3: HOPE

12 February 2021

Events

OPEN CALL: THE STORY OF LIVERPOOL THROUGH ITS TREES

1 January - 30 April 2021

Past Events

OPEN CALL: HOMETOWNS

11 February - 31 March 2021

Past Events

WHAT WE DO IN LOCKDOWN

5 January 2021

HYPERTEXT: Books Beyond Bars – Felix McNulty in conversation with Sarah Jane Baker

28 November 2020

HYPERTEXT: Ruth White – The Role of the Photobook in Representing the British Working Classes

28 November 2020

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Charlie Booth: The State of Photography Conference

Charlie Booth, Interim Curator of Open Eye Gallery

 

The State of Photography sought to consider, explore, debate and review how photographers and photography practice develops and responds in this political moment. How do we look at our world today, how do we collaborate and work with communities and what does the world look like to photographers? 

 

The day began with an opening keynote by the acclaimed socially engaged photographer, Anthony Luvera, who spoke about a range of projects including Assembly, an exhibition of work created over a twelve-month period with people who have experienced homelessness living in Brighton. Assembly consisted of, amongst other items, a new series of Assisted Self-Portraits; photographs created by participants and sound recordings of discussions and group sessions. I enjoyed hearing these sound recordings in particular and found playing them within his presentation a solution to the regular absence of participants’ own voices in photography conferences. I have attended many conferences where socially engaged projects are discussed and there is always the question posed “who isn’t in the room?”

 

This approach to presenting the participants’ voice alongside their image was mirrored in the second keynote of the day, by photographer and self-introduced ‘Documentaritist’ Daniel Meadows. It was a treat to witness the illustrated talk cut with different videos and sound files bringing Meadow’s most seminal social documentary works to life. There was a range of accents that echoed around the lecture theatre as the photographer introduced each new project and place in time, through the introduction of important colleagues and friends in different periods in his life. 

 

GRAIN’s introductory question of how to consider different ways to look at the world around us was answered with the morning presentation by Anand Chhabra. Anand serves as the incumbent Chair at Black Country Visual Arts which he founded in 2014. The focus of the organisation is to work on photographic projects that profiles stories in ethnic communities and has initiated such projects as Exodus: Movement of a People, Desi Pubs and the award winning Apna Heritage Archive. It was the former that sticks out to me as pertinent when considering how we as photographers look at the world around us. During his presentation Anand spoke about visiting a local archive only to discover a lack of presence from any of the Punjabi community. The Apna Heritage Archive is a collection of vernacular family images; documenting every-day life and the key milestones in the lives of migrants coming to the Midlands. One thing I was particularly drawn to from his presentation is how he needed to persuade the participants to get involved, reflecting an honesty about external perceptions of who does and does not want to engage in such projects. For Chhabra it highlighted the importance of explaining context and cultural legacy to support people to take part. In essence their participation ensures their life experiences won’t be lost for the next generation. 

 

A trio of talented photographers filled the afternoon with presentations on their work. Beginning with the keynote presentation by Julian Germain, he spoke about a project produced in collaboration with Patricia Azevedo and Murilo Godoy, called No Olho da Rua (In the Eye of the Street) which since 1995 has enabled a group of Brazilian street dwellers to photographically document their own lives. Notably I remember Julian speaking about the concept of ownership and authorship. For participants of No Olho da Rua if you featured in the photograph you owned the photograph it did not matter who pressed the shutter or who’s camera it came from. Collaboration was at the forefront of the following presentation from Clémentine Schneidermann who spoke about her project “It’s Called Ffasiwn” which was produced with creative director Charlotte James in 2015 and several groups of children in the South Wales Valleys. The title for the work came from a throw away comment from one of the young girls taking part, in response to a remark from a local boy intrigued by the garments worn during the shoots. The project explored not only collaborative approaches to working with local young people but the impact and potential of a project when collaborating with a practitioner from another creative industry. Sam Ivin spoke about his work with asylum seekers in the UK, which began in Cardiff and he continues to deliver across the UK. The hand scratched portraits of Lingering Ghosts were made in response to the different asylum seekers wish for anonymity. 

 

It was also a pleasure to hear from Liz Wewiora, Open Eye Gallery’s Head of Engagement, to officially launch the socially engaged photography network, which also acts as my platform for sharing the highlights of the event today. Good luck with the initiative, which received positivity from the crowd, and highlights the importance of the wider discussions covered from the State of Photography III.  

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