All posts by carol mckay

Photographer Talk: Sophy Rickett

© Sophy Rickett:  Observation 123     1997/2013     courtesy the artist / Camilla Grimaldi, London

Sophy Rickett will be delivering a talk about her practice on Wednesday 1 October 2014, at 6.30pm at the Mining Institute, Newcastle upon Tyne.  Sophy is a visual artist working with photography, video installation and text.

Much of her recent work has explored moments where the encounter between people and nature evokes a profound sense of loss.  Often working at night, her work explores the narrative tendencies of photography in relation to its abstract possibilities.  Her latest body of work Objects in the Field examines the legacy of some astrophysical research conducted in the 1980s, and constructs or re-imagines a set of different narrative voices that are at times contradictory, or at odds with each other. Her work has been exhibited widely; solo exhibitions include Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge; Chateau de Lichtenberg, Alsace; Arnolfini, Bristol; De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill; Ffotogallery Cardiff. Her work is included in the public collections of the Pompidou in Paris, the Musee des Beaux Art, Nantes, the FRAC, Alsace, the Federal Reserve in Washington and the Government Art Collection in London to name a few.

The event starts at 6.30pm and will be followed by informal chat and refreshments in the Institute Library.   The talk is free but booking is kindly requested here as places are limited:

For more information about Sophy Rickett’s projects and practice, visit:

Portfolio Review Day

Saturday 16th April, 9.30 – 4pm

Venue: Mining Institute, Neville Hall, Westgate Road, Newcastle.

Our  Portfolio Review day provides photographers with an opportunity to discuss their practice and portfolio with leading professionals from photographic publishing, commissioning and exhibiting sectors.

The event is aimed at critically-engaged photographers who take a serious approach to their practice and an application process is in place.

Up to 25 photographic artists will be selected to participate in up to 3 reviews.
Applicants should send a CV, short statement about your practice (max. 250 words) and web links to your work, or a maximum of 5 images, which must not be larger than 75KB each, by email to Carol McKay: by 1st April 2011.

There will be a charge for the reviews of £10 each or three for £25, which will be payable upon selection. Fees are non refundable and late-comers unfortunately can not be accommodated.

NEPN Development Bursaries

In conjunction with the Portfolio Reviews, four participating photographers will be awarded a small development bursary of £250 following nominations from our guest reviewers.  All participating photographers will automatically be considered for these awards.   The development bursaries can be used to fund research and development costs or seed publishing or production projects.

For Reviewers details, please follow the link here.

Shahidul Alam talk. Monday 14th March, 7pm, Mining Institute, Neville Hall, Newcastle. all welcome

A photographer, writer, curator and activist, Shahidul Alam obtained a PhD in chemistry at 
London University before switching to photography. He returned to his hometown Dhaka in 
1984, where he photographed the democratic struggle to remove General Ershad. A former 
president of the Bangladesh Photographic Society, Alam set up the award winning Drik 
agency, the Bangladesh Photographic Institute and Pathshala, the South Asian Institute of 
Photography, considered one of the finest schools of photography in the world. Director of 
the Chobi Mela festival and chairman of Majority World agency, Alam’s work has been 
exhibited in galleries such as MOMA in New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the 
Royal Albert Hall in London and The Museum of Contemporary Arts in Tehran.

Shahidul Alam was involved as a curator and an artist in the exhibition “Where Three Dreams 
Cross” which was shown at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, 21 January – 11 April 2010.

His show “Crossfire” on extra judicial killings in Bangladesh was closed down by the 
government. Picture 4Picture 3

Photographer Talk: Thomas Joshua Cooper

Join us on Thursday 10th March for out next photographer’s talk.

We’re delighted to welcome Thomas Joshua Cooper.

Venue: Mining Institute, Neville Hall, Newcastle. 7pm

“Thomas Joshua Cooper is one of the most celebrated and distinctive landscape photographers working anywhere in the world today. He was born in California in 1946 but has lived in Scotland for many years. Cooper is the founding head of photography at Glasgow School of Art but spends much of his life seeking out the edges of the world. Like artists such as Richard Long, and Hamish Fulton, Cooper is a traveller, a nomadic artist whose extraordinary photographs are made in series at significant points around the globe, most often at its extremities. The capturing of any one image can involve days, weeks and months of preparation, arduous travel and considerable efforts to achieve. The locations are found on a map, tracked down and then photographed, each place the subject of a single negative taken with a weighty antique field camera. They are meditative, almost philosophical images, exquisitely printed by the artist in the 19th century manner with layers of silver and gold chloride.”


image credit: Thomas Joshua Cooper Broken Boulder in the Late Afternoon Sun (Remembering Timothy O’Sullivan) along the Snake River, Pillar Falls Canyon, Jerome Co., Idaho 2003-4, silver gelatin print


NEPN Symposium and Portfolio Reviews


Friday April 15th and Saturday April 16th 2011

Venue: Mining Institute, Neville Hall,  Westgate Road, Newcastle

Symposium Programme  15th April

Photography Publishing and the Future of the Photobook

The NEPN is delighted to welcome our panel of invited speakers to debate the state and future of  photo-publishing.   Join us for an afternoon of discussion and inspiration.  Speakers include: Rob Hornstra, photographer, (, Bridget Coaker  photo-editor/curator (troika editions) Bruno Ceschel lecturer/writer/curator (selfpublishbehappy), Marc Feustel curator/writer/blogger(eyecurious). 101101_Cover_ELPLFL_400px_e

image credit: Rob Hornstra/Arnold van Bruggen (2011) Empty land, Promised land, Forbidden land  194 × 251 mm / 272pp / 93 Colour Photographs / Hardbound with photo-illustrated boards / Language: English / Design: Kummer & Herrman / Print run: 900 copies

Talking about walking…

Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 15.05.46

Our first photography walk is on Wednesday 23rd February. Rendezvous is at 5pm at the Lit&Phil, Westgate Road, Newcastle.

Remember, though: no cameras allowed!

This (short) walk is folllowed by the Photography Reading Group, from 5.30 – 7pm at the Lit&Phil. We’ll be joined by Wideeyed who will talk about their involvement in the Collective Encounters exhibition opening at Format 11 Photofestival in Derby next month.

The exhibition’s curator Yasmina Reggad has decided to explore the concept of ‘The Flâneur’. She invited collectives working with or about photography and related media to look at this concept through the lens of the mobile observer/aesthete  that Walter Benjamin championed.  From this starting point, the exhibition questions different characters of the flâneur, translated into artistic method for the exploration of the city.

The exhibition will showcase 4 new commissioned artworks, including one by  ASA & Wideyed.

Symposium and Portfolio Reviews: Future of the Photo-book

Dates for your diary:

The NEPN symposium and portfolio reviews will be on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th April.

Our symposium theme this year is around photography publishing and the future of the photo- book. We’re inviting practitioners, publishers, writers and curators to talk about their experiences.  Confirmed speakers include Bruno Ceschel ( and Gordon McDonald (Photoworks  More details coming soon.

Picture 2

Image credit: Self Publish, Be Happy at Vision 10, London, 19th November 2010

Saturday 16th April is you chance to show your portfolio to some of our invited reviewers — keep the date free!

Photographer Talk: Dan Holdsworth

Come along to hear Dan Holdsworth talk about his recent work, including his current exhibition at Baltic and his new commission with CIRCA Contemporary Art Projects.  Thursday 10th February @ 7pm, Mining Institute, Neville Hall, Westgate Road, Newcastle.


image credit: Dan Holdsworth, ‘Blackout 10′

talking about walking..

Reading Group: Wednesday 19th January @ Lit&Phil

We’ll be joined by artist Tim Brennan who will lead one of our walks later in the spring. Over the last decade Tim has developed an artistic methodology based on walking and conversation as art (which he refers to as the manoeuvre). His ongoing ‘manoeuvres’ include ‘Crusade’, which involved a walk from Jarrow in South Tyneside to the House of Commons in 1996, whilst  his 2006 exhibition ‘the North’ consisted of a constellation of objects and images which take us on a journey through northern England and Scotland to unpick ‘the idea of north’, to use historian Peter Davidson’s phrase. Since 2002, Tim has undertaken walks throughout northern Britain that expand upon his performance works. The two new bodies of work which have come out of ‘performing Northumbria’, respectively photographs and watercolours, explore the relationship between geography, personal memory, and social history (


Photography Walks Project

We’d like to create a different kind of forum for talking about photography and producing work. This is the Photography Walks Project.   If you can, come along to the Lit and Phil. on Wednesday 19th January at 5.30 to find out more!

No marathons or power walks intended: we’ll simply stroll! (And don’t worry — we’ll wait until it’s much warmer and lighter before  taking to the streets). Whilst walking, we talk about photographic stuff. The catch is that no cameras are allowed on these group walks.  We will be asking if it possible to ‘see’ or ‘discover’ a place photographically, without actually snapping an image or getting out the camera -phone.

Suffolk Street, 1958

image credit: Jimmy Forsyth, Scotswood road, 1958

Instead, we will invite you to take/make considered photographs after the walk, but in response to the conversations and the walk itself.  The work produced can be uploaded onto our new  ‘My Walk’ web-site. There will also be a curated show of photographic prints from the ‘My Walk’ project, which will coincide with an international photography conference in Sunderland (Versatile Image: the Photographic image in the age of Web 2.0, which is happening 24th – 26th June 2011).

More details coming soon!