All posts by ARitson

The Flower Fields – A new publication by Tessa Bunney

The Flower Fields, commissioned and published by NEPN as part of the ‘Observe Experiment, Archive’ project, supported by Arts Council England with texts by Greg Hobson and Caroline Beck and design by Nikie at Hello Creative.

Now available from Tessa Bunney’s website: http://www.tessabunney.co.uk/product/the-flower-fields/

Between March 2019 and February 2020 Tessa Bunney worked with commercial flower growers around Spalding in Lincolnshire, one of the UK’s major cut flower growing regions, to explore how technology is changing how we grow flowers in this country.
For more information on The Flower Fields please visit the commission page HERE.


Images: Harvesting sunflowers, JB Robinson & Son Ltd, Quadring Fen, July 2019

Shifts: Photography, Environment, Action


Thursday 24 June, 6.30pm.
Friday 25 June 2021, 9.30am – 4pm.

Join us across two days for talks and discussion on Zoom, exploring the role of photography in communicating the environmental crisis and approaches to sustainable practice.
We hope to stimulate discussions about photography, radicalism and activism, including its relationship to aesthetics, sustainability and ecology, impact and reach, collectivism and voice.

Produced by NEPN with photographic artist and researcher Marjolaine Ryley.

Please contact: nepn@sunderland.ac.uk with any access requirements.

Thursday 24 June, 6.30pm.
Join us for a talk by leading cultural theorist and art historian T.J. Demos.

Chaired by Professor Mike Collier, University of Sunderland.

BOOK A TICKET FOR THE TALK BY TJ DEMOS HERE

Radical Futurisms: Insurgent Universality, Solidarity, and Worlds-to-Come

With reference to three international examples of contemporary art—those of Thirza Jean Cuthand, The Otolith Group, and Black Quantum Futurism—this short talk discusses current modelings of radical futurisms and worlds-to-come that refuse surrender to capitalist realism. Where radical imagination meets radical praxis is in the material forces of solidarity, the political form of belonging, more than ever necessary today in the collective battle against international fascisms and global neoliberalisms. While acknowledging the bankruptcy of Eurocentric universalisms, this presentation defends approaches to insurgent political formations beyond identitarian fragmentation, including a political aesthetics of abolition—ultimately of racial and colonial capitalism.

T. J. Demos is the Patricia and Rowland Rebele Endowed Chair in Art History in the Department of the History of Art and Visual Culture, at University of California, Santa Cruz, and founding Director of its Center for Creative Ecologies. Demos is the author of numerous books, including Against the Anthropocene: Visual Culture and Environment Today (Sternberg Press, 2017); Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology (Sternberg Press, 2016); The Migrant Image: The Art and Politics of Documentary During Global Crisis (Duke University Press, 2013) – winner of the College Art Association’s 2014 Frank Jewett Mather Award – and Return to the Postcolony: Spectres of Colonialism in Contemporary Art (Sternberg Press, 2013). Demos co-curated Rights of Nature: Art and Ecology in the Americas, at Nottingham Contemporary in January 2015, and organized Specters: A Ciné-Politics of Haunting, at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid in 2014. During 2019–21, with the Center for Creative Ecologies, and as a Getty research institute scholar, he’s working on a Mellon-funded research project, art exhibition, and book project dedicated to the questions: what comes after the end of the world, and how can we cultivate futures of social justice within capitalist ruins? His new book, Beyond the World’s End: Arts of Living at the Crossing was recently released by Duke University Press.

Friday 25th June 2021, 9.30am – 4pm.

Join us for a day of presentations and discussion with photographers and artists, Hannah Fletcher, Edd Carr, Sabina Sallis, Michele Allen and Shahidul Alam.

We aim to provoke discussion and ask questions about practice and sustainability – materials and materiality; radicalism and activism; and the role of photography and the image in visualising the environmental crisis.

There will be space for participant discussion to ask – What could sustainable photography look like? As a sector, as a practice – concepts, aesthetics, ethics and materials. What do we do next?

BOOK A TICKET FOR THE 1 DAY SYMPOSIUM HERE

Speaker bios coming soon.

This a free event or pay what you can. To make a donation, which will enable us to programme more events please click HERE.

Image: Untitled (Pollard), 2019, from The Weight of Ants in the World © Michele Allen.

Partnership event:

Plants and Protest: Or How to Grow your Art and Eat it! – Marjolaine Ryley

Dilston Physic Garden – Saturday 3 July, 1pm-5pm

Ignite your imagination into the incredible potential of plants – discover how growing and gardening can be an act of resistance, protest and hope.
First, is an introduction to artists working with living materials – with humour, innovation and insight – in areas of ecology, growing and sustainability. This includes my own practice-based PhD research – ‘A Delicious Garden’ with vegetal interspecies encounters.
Then, enjoy practical demonstrations on how to develop skills in basic growing/ horticulture.  These include – how to compost successfully (even on a small scale), getting started with veg, a guide to growing micro-greens and an introduction to plant propagation (i.e. how to make plants for free!). Some microgreens and seeds will be available to take home.

Be empowered with the knowledge and skills in horticulture – one of the most useful and hopeful gifts at this time. The session is planned to include practical demonstrations underpinned by horticultural theory – be inspired to take the first steps!

Attendance is £20 with all proceeds to Dilston Physic Garden. Booking here: https://dilstonphysicgarden.com/event/plants-and-prints/

Marjolaine is a Senior Lecturer in Photography at the University of Sunderland and a PhD researcher at Newcastle University. Her practice encompasses photography, creative writing, plant-made imagery and participatory practice to explore the horti-counterculture, politics and collaborative plant-human encounters in the vegetal world. She is currently Artist in residence at Dilston Physic Garden and has an RHS Level 2 qualification in Horticulture. She enjoys getting muddy in her experimental allotment/laboratory.

An taster on-line version of ‘Plants and Protest’ will run at lunchtime during the Photography, Environment, Action symposium on 25 June.

Image: Sorrel © Marjolaine Ryley

Shahidul Alam in conversation with Professor Arabella Plouviez

Black and white image on a black background. Pictured is a campaigner for democracy in Bangladesh

Join us for an online conversation with Shahidul Alam on Thursday 18 March at 2.30pm (GMT). The event will be chaired by Professor Arabella Plouviez, Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Creative Industries at the University of Sunderland.

To book a place please follow this link to the Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/speaking-truth-to-power-shahidul-alam-tickets-144207048163

For over four decades, Shahidul Alam has pursued a vision to change representation of the ‘Majority World’ and to exploit the power of photography to affect social, environmental and political change.

Shahidul’s work has been shown across the globe and he has won several international accolades. In 2018 he was the recipient of the Lucie Award and named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. In 2019 he received the ICP Infinity Special Achievement Award and he was the 2020 recipient of the CPJ International Press Freedom Award.

Alam’s book of ‘My Journey as a Witness’ was described as “The most important book ever written by a photographer” and his new book ‘The Tide Will Turn’ published by Steidl, with photographs by Alam and pioneering Bangladeshi photographers and text by Arundhati Roy and Alam is in the New York Time’s list of “Best Art Books of 2020”. Alam’s retrospective ‘Truth to Power’ is currently touring the US to critical acclaim.

Shahidul is a long-standing Visiting Professor of photography at the Northern Centre of Photography, University of Sunderland and a long-term collaborator of NEPN.

This event is programmed as part of SHIFTS, a new project for NEPN which will explore photographic practice in the context of global shifts and pressing issues affecting the making and dissemination of photography.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England and the University of Sunderland.

Image: Smriti Azad, 1994 ©Shahidul Alam.

A new project for NEPN

NEPN is delighted to announce the launch of Shifts, a brand-new professional development and research programme for the photographic sector. Shifts is supported by ACE and University of Sunderland.
Shifts will offer a new series of talks and peer discussions, exploring the shifting landscape for the production of meaningful photographic work and the ways in which relationships with audience are evolving. As we move into a period of recovery and repositioning beyond Covid, we aim to explore how photographers can adapt to changing contexts whilst looking forward, considering new opportunities and sharing strategies for developing resilience.

A new professional development strand of activity will support individual Project Surgeries with NEPN programme manager and a Mentoring scheme which will be announced later in the Spring. Workshops will offer skills-based development, based on feedback from our community of practice.
A new, more interactive website for NEPN will house our commissioned programme and archive, news, events and opportunities and provide a greater platform for the photographic community to share work.
Shifts is underwritten by a commitment to make NEPN programme more accessible and representative of a diverse photographic community.

If you would like to talk through a project with NEPN to help shape your thoughts around presentation, partnerships or fundraising or make connections, then please get in touch by
emailing programme manager Amanda Ritson to arrange a conversation via Zoom.  

Shifts is supported using public funds through Arts Council England and University of Sunderland.
To ensure you hear about the events and offer please sign up to our mailing list on our Contact page by following THIS LINK.

Wideyed Agri[Culture] Book Launch Recording – 7 October 2020

 
A talk and book launch of the publication Agri[Culture] with Wideyed programmed in collaboration with NEPN and the Northern Centre of Photography. With contributions by Jill Cole, Director of Northern Heartlands as well as Dr Menelaos Gkartzios, Reader in Planning and Rural Development from the Centre for Rural Economy at Newcastle University.

About Agri[Culture]:
Agricultural shows have been part of British farming life for centuries. The smaller shows last for just one day while the largest cover a whole weekend, but all have in common contests for best livestock, cake, craft, owner and vegetable competitions. Whatever their size, these annual events are important meeting places for local communities, but they also attract participants and audiences from across surrounding regions, briefly drawing together urban and rural people in celebration of shared agrarian heritage.

Agri[Culture] began in 2018 with Wideyed photographers Lucy Carolan, Richard Glynn, Louise Taylor and Nat Wilkins collectively focussing on the annual agricultural shows taking place in the North Pennines area of England where they live. A version of their work was first exhibited in Wyoming and then toured back to its source, appearing at selected agricultural shows along the Allen, Tees and Wear dales during the 2019 season. The travelling exhibition combined contemporary photography with archive materials, and creative writing by members of the NorthPens Writers Group. It invited everyone to consider the culture of rural traditions by serving as a stimulus for conversations about our agri[cultural] identity and sense of place in past, present and future.

Agri[culture] – the book – celebrates the culmination of this 2 year project.

www.wideyed.org

NCP and NEPN Connect Series: Wideyed ‘Agri[Culture]‘

Please join us for a virtual book launch with Wideyed collective via Zoom on Wednesday 7 October at 4.00pm (BST/UK time).

To attend please email: amanda.ritson@sunderland.ac.uk and joining instructions will be emailed
shortly before the event.   
This event will have British Sign Language interpretation.

Wideyed will talk about their work and publication Agri[Culture] and we will also be joined by Jill Cole, Director of Northern Heartlands as well as Dr Menelaos Gkartzios, Reader in Planning and Rural Development from the Centre for Rural Economy at Newcastle University.

Agricultural shows have been part of British farming life for centuries. The smaller shows last for just one day while the largest cover a whole weekend, but all have in common contests for best livestock, cake, craft, owner and vegetable competitions. Whatever their size, these annual events are important meeting places for local communities, but they also attract participants and audiences from across surrounding regions, briefly drawing together urban and rural people in celebration of shared agrarian heritage.

Agri[culture] began in 2018 with Wideyed photographers Lucy Carolan, Richard Glynn, Louise Taylor and Nat Wilkins collectively focussing on the annual agricultural shows taking place in the North Pennines area of England where they live. A version of their work was first exhibited in Wyoming and then toured back to its source, appearing at selected agricultural shows along the Allen, Tees and Wear dales during the 2019 season. The travelling exhibition combined contemporary photography with archive materials, and creative writing by members of the NorthPens Writers Group. It invited everyone to consider the culture of rural traditions by serving as a stimulus for conversations about our agri[cultural] identity and sense of place in past, present and future.

Agri[culture] – the book – celebrates the culmination of this 2 year project.
The launch – postponed in March – marks the end of the traditional show season.

Wideyed is a North East based photography collective that undertakes local, national and international projects, and creative collaborations leading to the production and innovative dissemination of new works. Over the decade since it was founded, its members – Lucy Carolan, Richard Glynn, Louise Taylor and Nat Wilkins – have received awards and bursaries, undertaken artist residencies, worked on commission, and exhibited from England to South Africa.

wideyed.org / @wideyedphotos

NCP and NEPN Connect Series: Helen Marshall

 

Image from Helen Marshall's 'The People's Moon' installation at Piccadilly Lights

Please join us for a talk by Helen Marshall via Zoom on Thursday 2 July at 2.30pm.

To attend please email: amanda.ritson@sunderland.ac.uk and joining instructions will be emailed shortly before the event.  

This event will have BSL interpretation.

Helen Marshall is an award-winning visual artist based in London, United Kingdom. Her practice is rooted in photography, storytelling and new technology, often situated outside the gallery or museum. She set up The People’s Picture in 2016, an artist-led design studio delivering giant photo mosaic commissions in the public realm. The People’s Picture combines thousands of photographs to tell a story, commemorate an important occasion or bring attention to important social issues. Her portfolio includes exhibitions and commissions for The Horniman Museum, The National Memorial Arboretum, BBC Television, Tate Britain, The Photographers’ Gallery, Financial Times and Canary Wharf Group.

Helen’s work is held in private and public collections.

Helen will be speaking about both the creative development and the production of key projects of ‘The People’s Picture’ studio.

www.helenmarshall.co.uk

https://thepeoplespicture.com/

Supported by Advance HE: Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence

Image: ©Helen Marshall/The People’s Picture from The People’s Moon

NCP and NEPN Connect Series: Julian Germain


Please join us for a talk by Julian Germain via Zoom on Thursday 4 June at 2.30pm.

To attend please email: amanda.ritson@sunderland.ac.uk and joining instructions will be emailed shortly before the event.  

This event will have BSL interpretation.

It could be argued that all of Julian Germain’s work is ‘social’, founded on relationships and collaborations as well as on engagement through photography, exploring themes that affect people’s lives. He often utilises archival, found and domestic images alongside his own, reflecting on photography’s place in society as well as exploring its deep connections with time and memory. He will discuss the evolution of a range of projects that explore ideas of shared creativity, of looking to the future as well as the past, of being socially, politically and artistically relevant and of the importance of connecting with people.

Collaborative projects include No Olho da Rua (with Patricia Azevedo, Murilo Godoy and street dwellers from Belo Horizonte, Brazil) – a series of ‘zines featuring selected themes from the No Olho da Rua Archive (as well as edits by guest curators) are currently being published by Mörel; The Ashington District Starnewspaper (with people who live, work, study or are from the ex-mining town of Ashington, Northumberland). Other work includes For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness, published by MACK, exhibited at Baltic, Gateshead; Classroom Portraits, published by Prestel, exhibited at theNederlands Fotomuseum.

Instagram: @juliangermain
web: juliangermain.com

 

Supported by Advance HE: Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence

Image: ©Julian Germain


NCP and NEPN Connect Series: John Kippin and Nicola Neate

Join us for a conversation with John and Nicola on Thursday 21 May at 3.00pm with staff and students from the Northern Centre of Photography.
They will be joining us from North Uist in the Outer Hebrides where they have been living and making work for over 12 months, as part of a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship.

We will be talking about how they are making work and adopting new practices and there will be a short film available shortly beforehand to stimulate discussion.

There are a few spaces available to wider NEPN.
To attend please email: amanda.ritson@sunderland.ac.uk and joining instructions will be emailed shortly before the event.

This event will have BSL interpretation.

We are inviting questions from the audience, you can email these in advance or you can pose these during the conversation using the Chat function.

For more information about John and Nicola’s current work in North Uist please visit their blog here:
https://inthisdayandage.org/in-this-day-and-age/

Supported by Advance HE: Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence.

Image ©John Kippin and Nicola Neate.

POSTPONDED – Wideyed Book Launch Agri[culture]

Sadly this event is now postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

18th March 2020 – 5.30pm – 7.30pm, University of Sunderland, Showcase Space, Priestman Building, SR1 3PZ

The launch will take place at the closing event of their exhibition of the same title.

The book celebrates the culmination of a 2 year project by Wideyed photographers Lucy Carolan, Richard Glynn, Louise Taylor and Nat Wilkins, which focussed on the culture of agricultural shows in the North Pennines area, near where they live.
The closing event offers a final opportunity to see the exhibition, which also features rurally-themed work by students of University of Sunderland and University of Wyoming, produced in response to Wideyed’s Agri[culture].

Image: ©Nat Wilkins