All posts by ARitson

Shahidul Alam is granted bail!

Shahidul visiting Sunderland in December 2017.

After spending 103 days in prison, Shahidul Alam has finally been released on bail.  We are delighted with this news however we still need to urge for the charges against him to be dropped.

Shahidul is an internationally respected photographer, journalist and activist and a good friend and colleague to many of us working in the photography and the academic worlds here in the UK.

Tell Bangladesh’s Minister of Home Affairs to drop all charges against Shahidul immediately, and to stop this crackdown on free speech.

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/free-shahidul-alam

Wear Experimenting Artists Talk

29 November, 6-8pm Wear Experimenting Artists Talk, Mackie’s Corner, High Street, Sunderland, SR1 1TX

Since June 2018, artist Jo Howell has been delivering a participatory project with and for the people of Sunderland, commissioned by The Cultural Spring and NEPN.

Wear Experimenting has engaged over 1300 residents in a series of photographic experiments designed to observe life in the city.

Associate Artists Nicola Maxwell and Michael Davidson, Ben Freeth and Graham Patterson have been developing projects which explore the connections between their participatory and personal practice, enhancing the Wear Experimenting programme and offer for participants.  You can find details of their workshops delivered here: http://www.northeastphoto.net/?p=4577

All of these projects explore photography as a tool with which we can observe, experiment and archive life in the city.
Join us for a discussion of their work and how they engage the public in its creation.

This is a free event but capacity is limited.  Please email nepn@sunderland.ac.uk to book your place.

Wear Experimenting Workshop and Exhibition Programme

Wear Experimenting opens at Mackie’s Corner, High Street, Sunderland on Thursday 8 November and will run to 1 December, opening on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 3-7pm.  Artist Jo Howell will also present works from the project in The Bridges Shopping Centre and on digital billboards across the city.

Jo Howell and associate artists will be offering a range of workshops throughout the workshop period.  See below for taste of available sessions or visit: https://www.facebook.com/pg/NEPhotoNetwork/events/

Thursday 15 November, 4-6pm and Friday 16 November, 4-6pm, Mackie’s Corner, High Street:
Cyanotype Book Making with Jo Howell

Using a combination of objects, acetate negatives and writing, participants will create a unique folded cyanotype book about the exhibition. Paper for the booklets will be pre-prepared with design focussing on the content and arrangement of the booklets. A UV exposure lamp will be used to expose the books, which will be washed in cold water and dried for participants to take home the next day.
To book your place please email: booking@theculturalspring.org.uk or call 0191 427 8197.

 

Saturday 17 November, 12.45-3pm, Hendon, Sunderland:
Wear Experimenting Associate Artists - Nicola Maxwell and Michael Davidson -
Nature / Industry Photo Walk


Join Nicola Maxwell and Michael Davidson for a photo-walk on which you will take photographs, collect specimens and help build a collective survey of a post-industrial area.

Maxwell and Davidson are artists who specialise in photography with a particular interest in maps and the stories that can be told about an area through found objects and by exploring nature’s intervention.

Please note this is a walking event over hilly terrain and is not suitable for those with mobility issues. Sensible shoes, waterproofs and long trousers advised. Over 16s only.

Please bring a digital camera (camera phone can be used).

This event will take place in Hendon, exact meeting point address provided upon booking.
To book your place please email: booking@theculturalspring.org.uk or call 0191 427 8197.

A follow-up workshop will take place on 24 November, 1pm – 3pm to share images and experiment with post-production.

Saturday 17 November, 4-6pm, Mackie’s Corner, Sunderland:
Wear Experimenting Associate Artist – Graham Patterson
‘Zine making – Accumulation Part 2.

Definition of zine. : magazine especially : a noncommercial homemade publication usually devoted to specialized and often unconventional subject matter.

During the workshop participants can create folded – stapled zines using printed photograms of sea-plastics, that were collected form a shoreline in Roker with participants during last months ‘accumulation’ workshop.

An experimental approach is encouraged to create simple pamphlets and concertina booklets. Large scale inkjet prints of the sea-plastic photograms can be cut into, folded, glued and collaged together – drawn over or written on. All materials to make the booklets will be provided, artist book examples and book making guides will be brought to help with ideas.

There will be an opportunity to display the zines, both at Mackie’s Corner and in an A5 perspex leaflet dispenser, within the coastal site where the plastic material was collected. Participants can add factual information to the zines, where they see fit, to highlight the detrimental impact that plastics have on the marine environment. For example, ‘8 Million Tonnes Of Plastic Is Dumped In the Sea Every Year’.

To book please email:
booking@theculturalspring.org.uk or call 0191 427 8197.

Friday 23 November 2018, 2-5pm, Mackie’s Corner, Sunderland:
Wear Experimenting Associate Artist -  Ben Freeth, ‘Scan Paths’

‘Scan Paths’ is exciting project which redefines the boundaries of photography by creating an instant camera capable of performing eye-tracking on the user. When ‘eye tracked’ what you look at reveals both what is important psychologically to you, and the science involved in seeing. It’s a ‘selfie-cam’ that takes a picture of you while simultaneously revealing something about yourself!

Join digital artist Ben Freeth for a workshop in which you will help to create a ‘Yarbus Cam’ and use it on Friday 23 November from 2-5pm at Mackie’s Corner, Sunderland.

To book your place please email: booking@theculturalspring.org.uk or call 0191 427 8197.

Ben Freeth has a background in photography, documentary practice and workshop delivery. His current work expands on this extending into digital media practice and incorporating data as a medium for artistic expression. Ben’s artworks feature scientific photography combined with multichannel sound works, custom electronics, code, instruments and data driven artworks featuring photography and data sonification. Ben has worked and exhibited across the North East, the UK and internationally.  The production of Yarbus Cams is supported by FabLab Sunderland.

A Drop-in session (no need to book) will also run on Saturday 1 December, 2-5pm at Mackie’s Corner when you will get the opportunity to create images using the Yarbus Cams.

Friday 30 November, 1-3pm, Mackie’s Corner, Sunderland:
Pinhole photography with Jo Howell

In this pinhole photography workshop you can bring a container to create your own pinhole camera to photograph the City, or you can use the pre-made cameras from the project. This is one of the first photographic processes. Any container that you can make light tight can be turned into a simple camera. Using a darkroom and photographic chemicals we will develop the photographs you take. Participants will be expected to take photographs outside, so wrap up warm!

*Drop-in session, no need to book.

 


                        
                        

A Struggle for Democracy: Exhibition at the University of Sunderland

Visiting Professor Julian Germain and Emeritus Professor John Kippin

 

A Struggle for Democracy – Shahidul Alam

Wednesday 17 October 2018, 1pm. University of Sunderland, Priestman Building (Showcase Space), SR1 3PZ.

Join us to launch an exhibition of work by visiting professor Shahidul Alam and to raise awareness of the international campaign for his release from detention in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

There will be an introduction by Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries, Professor Arabella Plouviez and contributions from invited guests.  All are invited to participate in a mass photograph to communicate our collective voice which will be shared and added to the thousands internationally who are campaigning for Shahidul’s ‘immediate and unconditional release’ (https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/free-shahidul-alam).

The exhibition runs 16-28 October 2018, as part of the UK-wide exhibition of work by Shahidul Alam, initiated by the Northern Centre of Photography, University of Sunderland, Autograph, London and Drik, Bangladesh.

#FreeShahidulAlam

The exhibition is produced by NEPN and the Northern Centre of Photography.

A Struggle for Democracy: Images by Shahidul Alam displayed across the UK


Shahidul Alam, Smriti Azad, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1994.

Dr Shahidul Alam was arrested, tortured and imprisoned in Dhaka Bangladesh at the beginning of August. Shahidul is an internationally respected photographer, journalist and activist and a good friend and colleague to many of us working in the photography and the academic worlds here in the UK.

University of Sunderland, where Shahidul has been a visiting professor for many years, Autograph and Drik have proposed a mass exhibition of Shahidul’s work in support of the campaign to free him (#FreeShahidulAlam).

Shahidul has been a significant force both in photography and in photographic education and we feel it is essential that we raise our voice in support of him.

On 28 October Shahidul is due to be awarded the Lucie Award at Carnegie Hall, New York.

We invite as many organisations as possible to participate in an exhibition (8 – 28 October 2018) across the UK, in solidarity with the works recently shown at Drik Gallery Bangladesh, under the exhibition title ‘A Struggle for Democracy’.

The ambition is for every participating institution to show a minimum of 1 image by Shahidul alongside an information panel. This will provide context and a call to action for the public, urging them to add their voice to the online #FreeShahidualAlam campaign and Amnesty International’s appeal for his release.

These can be ‘exhibited’ in a number of ways– they could be projected, on a screen or printed within buildings (foyers, entrances, social spaces, exhibition space) or could be exhibited externally in public-facing spaces with high foot-fall. All files will be provided for local printing/presentation.

Please confirm your participation in the UK wide project!

 

How it works 

1.      Email: nepn@sunderland.ac.uk to request files

2.      Select an image (or more depending on your capacity) from the image files and download

3.      Download the corresponding information panel text.

4.      Print or digitally project or screen both image and text file in your space, reception, public/social place to coincide with the exhibition timeframe

5.      Document interactions and any event you wish to programme.

6.      Share images of the installed images using the #FreeShahidulAlam on social media.

Participating cultural organisations:

Autograph, London; NEPN, Sunderland; Side Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne; Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool; Impressions Gallery, Bradford; The Photographers’ Gallery; Redeye: The Photography Network; Panos; New Art Exchange, Nottingham; Photo North Festival, Harrogate; FotoDocument; Nottingham Contemporary; Breeze Creatives, Newcastle upon Tyne; Pop Recs, Sunderland; Swadhinata Trust, London; Royal Photographic Society; Sunderland Culture; HOME, Manchester;  Unfold Stories and SHED London; Woodhorn Museum, Northumberland; NewBridge Project, Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead; Berwick Visual Arts; Four Corners, London; QUAD and FORMAT International Photography Festival; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art; Fotonow; Gallery Oldham; pic.london; Star and Shadow Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Participating Universities:

University of Sunderland; Durham University; Ulster University; University of Lincoln; University of Wolverhampton; London School of Economics and Political Science; Nottingham Trent University; Edinburgh Napier University; Coventry University; Royal College of Art; University of South Wales; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Cumbria; University of Plymouth; Blackburn College; University of Gloucestershire Birmingham City University; University of Salford; The Northern School of Art; Anglia Ruskin University; Sheffield Hallam University; University of Derby; University for the Creative Arts, Farnham; Bury College; LCC, University of the Arts London; University of Brighton and photoworks; Newcastle University; University Centre Weston; Kings College London; Middlesex University.

International partners:

Photo Romania Festival; Galerie Lichtblick and Kolga Tbilisi Photo, Georgia;  Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, Australia; Encontros da Imagem, International Photo Festival, Braga, Portugal; Philiyput Art Centre, Philadelphia, USA; Noorderlicht House of Photography, The Netherlands; Galeria umelcov Spiša, Spisska Nova Ves, Slovakia.

 

 

 

 

Shahidul Alam Detained: Appeal for his release

Dr. Shahidul Alam, internationally respected photographer, activist, journalist, founder and Managing Director of the Bangladesh multimedia company, Drik, founder of Chobi Mela International Photography Festival and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, was forcibly abducted from his home on 5 August.

Shahidul is a long-term collaborator and friend of NEPN and visiting professor of the Northern Centre of Photography at the University of Sunderland.   The department, NEPN and its forerunner IPRN, have worked with Shahidul for 20 years on numerous projects, most recently on a presentation of his exhibition ‘Kalpana’s Warriors’ in partnership with Breeze Creatives last December 2017-January 2018, during the Freedom City Festival.

Shahidul is currently being held as a prisoner of conscience in police custody in Dhaka, Bangladesh, following his arrest for exercising his right to freedom of expression. If found guilty, the authorities have warned Shahidul could face up to 14 years imprisonment.

Amnesty International have called for Shahidul’s ‘immediate and unconditional release’ and have issued an Urgent Action Call: www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/free-shahidul-alam

There is also a petition here: https://www.change.org/p/dhaka-metropolitan-police-release-shahidul-alam-now

#FreeShahidulAlam

 

Image courtesy:   Chobi Mela International Festival of Photography

Call for Associate Photographic Artists – #WearExperimenting

Deadline:  9am Monday 16 July 2018.
#WearExperimenting is an ambitious photographic project devised by Jo Howell and commissioned by The Cultural Spring and NEPN.  The project seeks to engage the people of Sunderland in a series of photographic experiments intended to explore the cross-currents of creativity shared by photography and science. It seeks to explore the connections between participatory and socially-engaged photography and to build a community of practice in this area.  Experiments will ask questions relating to the natural and physical environment; social, domestic and work life; health and well-being of the city and its residents.

There is an opportunity for associate photographers/artists from the North East of England to contribute to #WearExperimenting by proposing and leading on a specific area of exploration. We are keen to receive proposals for support that will feed research for existing projects in development, providing the opportunity for photographic artists to develop their audience and deepen relationships with the public.
The selected photographers will be expected to develop and deliver 2 half-day participatory workshops in identified community settings in Sunderland, supported by lead artist Jo Howell.

Associates will also be required to present the findings of their research and workshop in a zine/e-publication or photographic form and will be asked to share their practice and learning from the project in a peer reflection.

NEPN will also offer 2 x advisory sessions with the Associates which will aim to support their wider practice development.

Fee available: up to £3,000 per Associate inclusive of VAT, materials and expenses. 

The activity should be undertaken during the period July-November 2018.
Application Process
Please email:

  • Cover letter, incorporating artist statement and current areas of enquiry and why this opportunity would benefit your professional and creative practice (max 2 pages).
  • CV
  • Links to your photographic work
  • Proposed budget breakdown (fees and any other costs).
  • Indicative timetable

Applications should be sent to: nepn@sunderland.ac.uk by 9am Monday 16 July 2018.
We welcome enquiries and informal discussions, please email nepn@sunderland.ac.uk in the first instance express interest.

 

For more information about WearExperimenting visit:

Twitter: @WearExperiment
Instagram:  @wearexperimenting
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WearExperimenting/

This programme forms part of Observe. Experiment. Archive, NEPN’s overarching enquiry for 2018/19. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Photographer Talk: Hannah Starkey

Image:  Hannah Starkey, Untitled, October 1998. 1998 framed c-type print. 122 x 152 cm, 48 x 59 7/8 inches.  ©Hannah Starkey, courtesy Maureen Paley, London


Join us to hear Hannah Starkey talk about her practice, reflecting on her creative and professional development at 6.30pm on Thursday 28 June at Hope Street Xchange, Sunderland.  This talk opens the DEVELOP Graduate event 28-29 June but is open to ALL.  Booking and more info HERE.

Hannah Starkey was born in Belfast in 1971. She has received numerous awards throughout her career including the Vogue Condé Nast Award, 1997, the 3rd International Tokyo Photo Biennale’s Award for Excellence, 1999 and the St. James Group Ltd Photography Prize, 2002.
Recent solo exhibitions include Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, France, 2016 and Maureen Paley, London, UK, 2015, as well as previous solo exhibitions at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, USA, 2013, Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, UK, 2011, Church of Light, a commission by the German Protestant Church, Frankfurt, 2010, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin and Castello di Rivoli, Turin both in 2000 and Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK in 1999.
Hannah Starkey was invited to curate a room in History Is Now: 7 Artists Take on Britain, Hayward Gallery, London, UK and in 2014 she selected works for Magnum: One Archive, Three Views | BPB14, Part of Brighton Photo Biennale 2014, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea, UK.    Her work was included in Transparency, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK, Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915 – 2015, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK, 2015, Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography, Belfast Exposed and The MAC, Belfast, UK.

Hannah Starkey’s photographs are represented in the collections of the Centraal Museum in Utrecht, Huis Marseille Museum for Photography in Amsterdam, Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Castello di Rivoli in Turin, Italy, Seattle Art Museum, Tate in London and Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
Starkey lives and works in London.   https://www.maureenpaley.com/artists/hannah-starkey?image=1

Attendance for this talk alone is £5.00 and is open to all, however you can attend the whole DEVELOP Graduate talk (including this event) for £20. You can find more information HERE

Following Hannah’s talk transport will be provided to the exhibition preview and book launch of John Kippin: ‘Based on a True Story, Works 1984 ̶ 2018′ at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art.
The exhibition features works spanning Kippin’s forty year career and will run from 29 June ̶ 23 September 2018.

#WearExperimenting

#WearExperimenting is an ambitious photographic project devised by Jo Howell and commissioned by The Cultural Spring and NEPN.  The project seeks to engage the people of Sunderland in a series of experiments, intended to explore the cross-currents of creativity shared by photography and science and to invite the public to share their experience of life in the city.   Experiments will ask questions relating to the natural and physical environment; social, domestic and work life; health and well-being of the city and its residents.

Residents of Sunderland, and those who work in the city, can participate in workshops in Pallion, Millfield and Hendon and there will also be opportunities to encounter the project through a pop-up community darkroom which will appear over the next few months in community and social green spaces.

A key strand of #WearExperimenting will be online participation, an invitation extended to the public to create specific images relating to life in the city between September – October 2018.  Each month, a photographic ‘recipe’ or directive will be issued to the city’s residents and the resultant images shared across social media, building up a rich image bank and data set from which we can observe ourselves.

Follow the project at:

Twitter: @WearExperiment
Instagram:  @wearexperimenting
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WearExperimenting/
www.wearexperimenting.co.uk/

Artist Statement by Jo Howell
My interest lies in how we express our collective and individual human experience. There are many cultural aspects that make up our common assumptions and opinions. By working directly with people to create artworks I am aiming to create art that challenges my own preconceptions and those of others.

Sunderland is my home town, and a perfect example of a City that is viewed by outsiders as many unfavourable things. It is viewed as an impoverished area, as an area of high unemployment, an area with poor health, and many more things that have been said about our City in the media. Some of these issues are based on statistics and information collected by the government. I don’t see my lived experiences as being reflected wholly by these statistics. I find these ideas reductive, in the sense that it reduces our agency in in the broader societal context. That we are maligned by presumption.

As an insider I want us all to really explore these assumptions about our area using photography in its many different forms. Like a science experiment we will create photographs following a systematic method. When given the same instructions or parameters for investigation, what will happen? Will we create something totally unexpected? Will we create very similar images, or will there be deviations throughout due to how each participant interprets the instructions? Will this project help us to understand our place in the world, or perhaps help us to redefine it?

The Cultural Spring is the Sunderland and South Tyneside Creative People and Places programme, funded by Arts Council England to raise participation and engagement in the arts amongst local communities.   Since 2014, The Cultural Spring has produced innovative and award-winning large-scale projects that include community engagement as a key part of the commission. Past major commissions of The Cultural Spring have included WildWorks’ A Great Night Out, the Summer Streets Festival and Inventors led by Sunderland born Dominic Wilcox, which has subsequently become ‘Little Inventors’ and continues to inspire young people to develop their own invention ideas.

The commission is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

 

Photographer Talk: John Kippin

Join us to hear John Kippin talk about his exhibition ‘Romanitas’ and his work in greater depth on Wednesday 6 June at 6.30pm at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art.

The event is free but booking is requested HERE

Romanitas reveals a brand new body of work created in Rome since 2012. It was made before the rise of the far-right on both sides of the Altantic, but after the austerity imposed by governments across Europe that has allowed parties such as Northern League in Italy; the Front National in France; Golden Dawn in Greece; the Freedom Party in Austria; the Party for Freedom in Holland; the Alternative for Germany, all to flourish.

In Romanitas, Kippin reflects upon both the state of contemporary politics, in relation to that what WH Auden called the “low, dishonest decade” of the 1930s. In Romanitas Kippin dwells on the image of the future built by a far-right nationalist regime that still exists, to picture the daily life lived amongst it. The work can be read as a kind of portrait of Europe in our time. Kippin’s starting point in creating the work was Winston Churchill’s famous phrase: “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us”.  More about the exhibition HERE

John Kippin’s artwork is represented in three of the UK’s national collections of contemporary art, having recently been acquired for the Arts Council Collection in 2018, and having works in the Victoria & Albert Museum and British Council Collection.  John Kippin’s career began in the early 1970s when he was a key figure in the co-operative of young artists who ran 2B Butler’s Wharf at Tower Bridge. In this decade he was instrumental in presenting artists’ film, performance, and installation projects in public and gaining recognition for new media in the visual arts. In the 1980s Kippin began to receive widespread recognition for his own photographic artwork, exhibiting in public venues from the Serpentine Gallery in 1981 to the Laing Art Gallery in 1989. In the 1990s he was awarded major one-person exhibitions at venues including The Photographers’ Gallery, London and his work was acquired for the permanent collections of national institutions. He also exhibited across Europe, North America and Asia. In the 2000s he undertook research residencies at places from the military base Greenham Common to the stately home Compton Verney, and published a sequence of ground-breaking artist’s books. Since then he also exhibited bodies of work at venues from BALTIC to the Imperial War Museum.

Kippin is Emeritus Professor in Photography at the University of Sunderland and is chair of the visual arts organisation Locus+.

The talk is programmed in collaboration with Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art.

 Image: John Kippin, Untitled from Romanitas, 2013-2016.