NEPN and Breeze Creatives are pleased to present an event with a difference about Joseph Swan and Photography in Sunderland on Wednesday 1 February at 6pm – 8pm at the Athenaeum Building, 27 Fawcett Street, Sunderland, SR1 1RE.
Most people know Joseph Swan as the inventor of the incandescent light bulb. But he was also a photography entrepreneur and businessman, with connections far and wide. We’re celebrating this story in Sunderland, the town where he was born and grew up and where he encountered photography for the first time.
Join us for a Victorian Athenaeum evening, where we will combine ‘learning and entertainment’, with (brief!) photographic talks, demonstrations of old and new photographic processes and the opportunity to chat and socialize. It’s our version of ‘steampunk’ photography: 19th century techniques and inventions with a contemporary twist.
Bring your cameras and mobile phones to help us celebrate this story and find out more about how Joseph Swan is inspiring a new generation of photographers, artists and historians in the North East.
Artist Karolina Maciagowska will demonstrate her new work with the collodion process.
A chance to view portraits created by Andy Martin using collodion process and a Mawson and Swan camera dated from 1880-1890s.
Try out our Victorian Selfie-Station.
Architecture and design historian Michael Johnson will talk about the history of The Athenaeum Building and Fawcett Street.
NEPN Programme Manager and Senior Lecturer at the Northern Centre of Photography at University of Sunderland, Carol McKay, will introduce a new photography research project by the Northern Centre of Photography.
Paul Cordes, Founder of the Newcastle Photography Festival, will talk about Joseph Swan’s many photographic patents and the processes that inspire him.
“It’s great to be doing this event in Sunderland’s Athenaeum Building, for it was here that Swan came first as a young apprentice chemist to find out about the brand new science of photography. Here in Sunderland he was inspired to make his first photographic experiments”. (Carol McKay, Programme Manager, NEPN)
Produced by Breeze Creatives and NEPN.
With special thanks to students and staff at the Northern Centre of Photography, University of Sunderland.
This event is part of a collaboration between Breeze Creatives and Sunderland BID who are showcasing three events in the Athenaeum Building on Fawcett Street, Sunderland. As joint-winners of Sunderland’s 10×10, the events will act as taster events, keeping the vibrancy of Sunderland city alive into the evening. To celebrate the Athenaeum building the events, under the umbrella of ‘Athenaeum Nights’ also include; an exhibition which plays and responds to the scale of the space, and ‘Babble: Three-Legged Chair’; a rising talent of young artists, including Charlie Dearnley and Adam Goodwin, join to create an improvisational group exploring a conversation between music, dance and live visuals.
Please note the Athenaeum Building is an historic space in early stages of redevelopment. It is accessed via stairs to the first floor and is unfortunately not accessible for wheelchair users.
Image top: ©Karolina Maciagowska
Image below: Park MkII from The Lostness Cycles ©Lucy Carolan and Richard Glynn