Category Archives: Photography Festivals

Photo Stroll LOOK/13 Liverpool International Photography Festival Pt 2 – Tom Wood and Martin Parr, plus group show Blackout


‘Every Man and Woman is a Star © Tom Wood


New Brighton 1976 © Martin Parr Magnum Photos

There is still time to see around 20 works by Martin Parr and Tom Wood at the Walker Art Gallery Liverpool in an exhibition that runs until 18 August. The photographs, which were taken in the late 1970s and 80s, are drawn from the art gallery’s own collection and concentrate on both photographers’ Merseyside work forming an exploration of the similarities and differences between the two photographers.

A small selection of Parr’s Irish scenes are included as well as possibly the earliest work by Parr in a public collection (New Brighton, 1976). Images from some of Wood’s seminal projects, such as All Zones Off Peak (bus journeys in and around Liverpool) and Looking for Love (Chelsea Reach nightclub, New Brighton) are also on show. In connection with the City of Contrasts Photography Competition 2013 two pairs of photographs by Tom Wood from the exhibition are on display at Liverpool Cathedral until 26 August. Tom Wood at Liverpool Cathedral.



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BLACKOUT was shown as part of the festival and was curated by Imogen Stidworthy and festival director Patrick Henry. The show considered the relationship between viewer and (photographic) subject. Asking: what is at stake in this relationship and to what extent do they constitute each other? In BLACKOUT the presence and nature of the subject is brought into question, even to the verge of disappearance. The show is now closed.

Of note was Danica Dakic’s absorbing short video Emily which places the viewer in the charged space between a young deaf girl and her teacher, as she is inducted into the signs and facial expressions of sign language. While Dominique Hurth‘s Un Cup D’Ull (from Catalan, meaning ‘a glance’) combined archival photographs with text to reflect, in highly personal terms, on how what we see is incorporated into broader historical narratives.

Photo Stroll LOOK13 Liverpool International Photography Festival Pt 1 – Rankin’s Alive: In the Face of Death

The second edition of LOOK13 Liverpool International Festival (17 May -15 June 2013) opened in May and closed this weekend, but you can still catch some of  the exhibitions taking place in Liverpool.

In collaboration with some of Liverpoolʼs well-known museums and galleries, LOOK/13 presented “a diverse programme of contemporary and historical exhibitions” that includes new work by the portrait photographer Rankin, Alive: In the Face of Death (until 15 September) at the Walker Art Gallery in a show in which he “sets out to explore and challenge our perceptions of death”; rarely-seen early photographs by Martin Parr and Tom Wood in Every Man and Woman is a Star (until 18 August), and Double Take: Portraits from the Keith Medley archive (15 September). Bringing together influential and established photographers, presented alongside international emerging talent, LOOK/13 explored ideas of subjectivity and selfhood, based around the question, ʻwho do you think you are?ʼ.

Today’s post is a Photo Stroll through, Alive: In the Face of Death – a slick offering encompassing a diverse range of photographic approaches to the subject of death, which will also be the subject of a BBC2 Culture Show documentary this summer. The Walker Art Gallery is impressive and the space given over to the show is substantial – there’s even a wall for visitors to record their responses to the show with coloured post-it notes and details of The Dying Matters coalition, an organisation that seeks to encourage more open discussion around dying, death, and bereavement.

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Alongside portraits of those who are terminally ill, or who have faced death, are photographs of people whose business is death  – from a gravedigger and the only UK maker of death masks, to a studio where the ashes of a loved one can be incorporated into cremation tattoos. Rankin’s own responses to the subject feature too, reflected in a series of self portrait, as well as in his ‘life’ masks, including the one captioned, Michael Jackson, which caused some confusion.

From skulls – whether they are Vanitas, Day of the Dead, Damien Hirst or Salvador Dali-influenced ones – to ‘life’ masks, Rankin hones in on familiar symbols of death, borrows heavily from them and then offers back his collection of works beautifully packaged. His heart-shaped display Anne + Roy is a tribute to his now dead parents and the variously-sized photos of his parents mirrors the ongoing fashion in contemporay photography for the vernacular, the personal archive and the family album. Death is an emotive, and often gloomy, subject but in Alive: In the Face of Death, Rankin celebrates life.

PHOTO SUBMISSIONS – SlideLuck calls for submissions for closing evening at FORMAT13 International Photography Festival


Slideluck London (formerly Slideluck Potshow) is calling for photographic bodies of work and multimedia submissions in two categories:

FACTORY AND MASS PRODUCTION. For possible interpretations of this theme.

OPEN THEME. Send in your best work on any subject. For inspiration you can view Slideluck’s previously featured artists.

The slide show will be presented as two separate collections, both of which will be chosen by guest curator Monica Allende (Photo Editor of The Sunday Times Magazine and founder of the pioneering Spectrum section) and will take place on the closing night of FORMAT International Photography Festival in Derby on Saturday 6 April starting at 6pm.

The evening will be art directed by Louise Clements (Artistic Director of FORMAT13) and Maria Teresa Salvati (Director of Slideluck London) at the Chocolate Factory. There will also be a potluck-style dinner followed by the slideshows curated by Monica Allende.

SLIDELUCK (formerly Slideluck Potshow) is an international non-profit arts organization that aims to build and strengthen community around photography and food. It functions as a platform for exposing photographers, curators, collectors, and editors to new work, in a creative non-commercial environment.

The event will celebrate the conclusion of the FORMAT FESTIVAL and will bring together members of the photography, art and media communities for an evening of eating, drinking, visual storytelling and music featuring a new performance by The Developer.


On the night of the show, Monica Allende will announce one outstanding work of her choice, to be featured in the Spectrum section of The Sunday Times Magazine.

Blurb will be supporting the event, awarding each applicant a £30 voucher and selecting the best photographic story of the evening rewarding this photographer with a £350 Gift Card to spend at

GUP Magazine will also select a few series, providing a high-quality stage and broad audience (online and/or in print) for the artists/photographers.

A 15% discount on any Viewbook plan. The discount will be applied on a first subscription payment.

Submit your work for a chance to be shown at Slideluck London / FORMAT!

There is a £10 fee per submission fee.

This is an opportunity for photojournalists, fashion, fine-art and documentary photographers to have their work screened in a unique environment.

We are currently seeking cohesive, creative and thought-provoking submissions responding to a theme of ‘FACTORY AND MASS PRODUCTION,’ or bodies of work with an OPEN theme.

• Maximum of 5 minutes long (but can be much shorter).

• We recommend 15-40 images.

• All forms of media can be submitted in this framework (be it photography, painting, sculpture or installation art).

• Multimedia pieces are accepted, but no short films.

4 March 2013 midnight (GMT)

Submit work online at or for multimedia pieces.

For detailed information on the submission process.

Portfolio Reviews – Photomonth at the Museum of Childhood with Citizen Skwith, Daniel Alexander and Dougie Wallace

Photos above © Citizen Skwith, Petting Zoo

The same day as the Tri-pod show PV took place at the Phoenix Brighton, I did a day of portfolio reviews at the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green for Photomonth. It’s the fourth year that I’ve done this and I’m always happy to be invited back.

I never know what to expect from the people I see and there are always some surprises, such as Citizen Skwith‘s clever signs and wonderful sense of humour (see photos above). Plus, reviewers get paid which is not always the case.

I’m posting a few iPhone photos from Photomonth’s recent portfolio reviews of some of the work that I came across, although I didn’t record all of it. If you were there and want to let people know about your work, post a comment with a link to your website/work.

So, in no particular order, here are a few projects that I saw. More from the reviews to come in another post later next week.

Daniel Alexander says of 1day6cities project. “Today it is exactly a year on from  11.11.11 when the films were all shot. The project is also being exhibited at Oxford House until the end of this month.” This gives you all time to see it before it comes down.

1DAY6CITIES from 1day6cities on Vimeo.

“1DAY6CITIES is a global photography project that took place on the 11th November 2011 – 11.11.11, in London, Dubai, Shanghai, Auckland, San Francisco and São Paulo. Using word of mouth, email and social networks we put together an international team of photographers to create a unique twenty-four hour snapshot of this day across six very different cities around the globe. At exactly 00.00 Coordinated Universal Time (world time/GMT) photographers in each of these cities captured their first image in an event that saw photographs being taken every 30 seconds for the following 24 hours.

“The brief was for the photographers to shoot the most interesting thing happening in their city, at the time they had chosen to shoot. The cities were chosen because they are roughly an equal time difference apart meaning the films show the sun travelling around the earth through the course of the day.” The edited film is shown above and the edited stills can be seen on the 1day6cities website. There is a full list of the contributors on the website.

Dougie Wallace arrives wearing a pale blue/grey and black ensemble and carrying his colour coordinated portfolio. He smells of fish. Well, his breath does, on account of the fish pie he ate for lunch. He shows me his work, see Mumbai Rickshaw drivers shot and the Stags, Hens and Bunnies (working title) project, which is near to completion, and documents the day and night antics of hen nights and stag parties in the north.

There’s more than a hint of the Carry On about the subjects of some of these shots – all of which are well observed and captured with a wry sense of the absurd. Referring to himself as ‘The Martin Parr of the Facebook’ generation, take a look for yourself…

Citizen Skwith uses photography to document the signs that he makes and places in public places. Subverting and playing with the language of warning signs, Citizen Skwith’s works are a clever form of street art made available for everyone to enjoy. His website features all of his work and is well worth a look. I’ve already ordered the time traveller Blue Plaque for my hallway.

Brighton Photo Biennial 2012 – Trevor Paglen’s Geographies of Seeing show podcast with Lighthouse director Honor Harger

Lighthouse director Honor Harger. Photo © Wendy Pye

Social scientist, artist, writer and provocateur Trevor Paglen uses photography to explore the secret activities of the U.S. military and intelligence agencies. For me, Geographies of Seeing was one of Brighton Photo Biennial’s to-see shows, not least for Paglen’s multi-dimensional approach to his subject matter. Who could resist taking time to look at the work of someone who is described as a ‘provocateur’, especially as I first saw some of this work at Frieze art fair a few years ago and was intrigued back then.

On the press tour of the show I got a chance to discuss the work with Lighthouse director Honor Harger who provides an informed and articulate insight into Paglen’s work in the audio podcast below. Click on the link below and then again on the link, it goes green as you rool over it, in the next page. It is 17mins 26secs long.


Trevor Paglen Geographies of Seeing Photo © Wendy Pye

“The Other Night Sky uses data from an international network of amateur satellite watchers to track and photograph classified spacecraft. Echoing the efforts of historic astronomers, Paglen documents astral movements that don’t officially exist.

Trevor Paglen Geographies of Seeing Photo © Wendy Pye

“In the series Limit Telephotography Paglen adapted the super-strength telescopes, normally used to shoot distant planets, to reveal top-secret U.S. governmental sites, sometimes 65 miles away from his camera; covert bases, so remote they cannot be seen by an unaided civilian eye from any point on Earth.

 Show photos above. Photo © Miranda Gavin

“Paglen coined the term “Experimental Geography” to describe practices coupling experimental cultural production and art-making with ideas from critical human geography about the production of space, materialism, and praxis. His work, such The Other Night Sky has received widespread attention for both his technical innovations and for his conceptual rigour. He is also author of three books including Torture Taxi (2006), the first book to comprehensively describe the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program, I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me (2007), which is a look at top-secret military programmes, and Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon’s Secret World, which is a broader look at secrecy in the United States.

Honor and I at the show. Photo © Wendy Pye

“Paglen (born in 1974) is an American artist, geographer, and author, currently based in New York. His work deliberately blurs lines between science, contemporary art, journalism, and technology to construct unfamiliar, yet meticulously researched ways to see and interpret the world around us. He has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; The Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis; The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Institute for Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams; the 2008 Taipei Biennial; the Istanbul Biennial 2009, and numerous other solo and group exhibitions.” From press release. Presented and curated in partnership with Lighthouse.