Events and News

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: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/bangladesh-photographer-facing-14-years-declared-prisoner-conscience

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 June – November 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/
Coming soon:  http://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.

Artist Talk: Fiona Crisp

Join us to hear Fiona Crisp talk about her exhibition Material Sight, and her practice in greater depth on Wednesday 9 May at 6.30pm at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art.

The event is free but booking is requested HERE

Fiona Crisp explores how we might encounter spaces where the frontiers of knowledge are being expanded. Material Sight is a new, large-scale commission that uses photography, moving image and sound to approach the material environments where experiments that challenge the limits of our imagination are carried out. For nearly two years Crisp has worked with three world-leading research facilities for ‘fundamental science’: Boulby Underground Laboratory, sited in the UK’s deepest working mine, Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology and Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso, the world’s largest underground laboratory for particle physics, housed inside a mountain in central Italy.

Material Sight runs until 13 May 2018 at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art and will then tour to Arts Catalyst Centre for Art, Science & Technology, London from 7 June – 14 July 2018.

Fiona Crisp is an artist known for creating installations of large-scale photographs that question the presence of the photographic object as an unstable and deeply equivocal phenomenon. Her projects have been created by spending intensive periods of time in particular locations. Previous projects have included working in the Early Christian catacombs of Rome, and in a Second World War underground military hospital. Crisp studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and has exhibited both nationally and internationally. The project Material Sight has been supported by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship. Crisp’s work is held by several national collections of contemporary art, including Tate, the British Council, Arts Council and Government Art Collection. Fiona Crisp is represented by Matt’s Gallery, London.

This event has been programmed in partnership with NGCA: http://www.ngca.co.uk/ as part of our series exploring the relationship between photography, science and technology, Observe. Experiment. Archive.

Image: Fiona Crisp, Osservatorio Astronomico di Campo Imperatore, 2018.   Giclée print from colour transparency.  Image courtesy the artist and Matt’s Gallery, London.

 

DEVELOP Graduate – Professional Development Event

Image: Helen McGhie, Wanderer 2017

DEVELOP Graduate is a two-day professional development event organised by graduating students from the Northern Centre of Photography with NEPN.

The event has been co-designed to support emerging photographers and artists using photography, offering a space to think about next steps and build professional networks.

The programme comprises a keynote photographer talk by Hannah Starkey on the evening of Thursday 28 June and a full day of talks and discussion on Friday 29 June, with contributions from photographers including Liza Dracup, John Kippin, Sarah Pickering, Helen McGhie, Othello De’Souza-Hartley and Julian Germain as well as curators including George Vasey and Charlie Gregory.
You can find speaker Bios HERE.

Thursday 28 June, 6.30-9.00pm.
Photographer Talk by Hannah Starkey at Hope Street Xchange, followed by preview of the John Kippin exhibition ‘Based on a True Story, Works 1984-2018′ and book launch at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art (free transport provided).

Friday 29 June 2018, 9.30-6pm.
Photographer talks; panel discussions offering photographer/curator perspectives on topics including:  balancing personal and commissioned projects;  building a community of practice; sustaining a creative practice.

Venue: Hope Street Xchange, Sunderland.

Advance registration is requested.  Please click here to book.

Attendance costs £20 (including both days) which is highly subsidised by the Higher Education Academy, NEPN and University of Sunderland Development Trust.

NEPN is the recipient of a national award in recognition of its work in connecting pedagogy and professional practice, engaging students of the Northern Centre of Photography with the photographic and wider cultural sector and NEPN’s offer.  The Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence was awarded by the Higher Education Academy.

For information or any queries please email:  nepn@sunderland.ac.uk

 

 

Photographer Talk: Wendy McMurdo

Wendy McMurdo will be giving a talk about her practice on Wednesday 25 April as part of our new project Observe. Experiment. Archive which will explore the links between photography, science and technology.   The talk starts at 6.30pm in the Lecture Theatre and will be followed by a Q&A and informal conversation in the Library.

Mining Institute (Lecture Theatre), Neville Hall, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SE.   Please book HERE.

Wendy McMurdo was born in Edinburgh where she initially trained as a painter.  She left the UK in the mid 1980s for the Pratt Institute, New York.  While studying there, she turned to photography and on returning to the UK, began to work for the first time with this medium. After completing an MA at Goldsmiths College, London, she was awarded a two-year fellowship by The Henry Moore Foundation.  These two years were to prove critical in her development and in 1993 she produced her first major solo exhibition In a Shaded Place. Working for the first time with the computer, she produced a series that explored the intersection between autographic photography and the digital image.

The rapid proliferation of computers in schools provided the context for the development of her next body of work that looked directly at the influence of computers on early years education. Working closely with local schools, she explored the role of the child within the school, the growth of the Internet and the development of networked play. In related projects, she shadowed school parties on educational visits to various local museums, a process which evolved naturally from photographing in the classroom. From this, she produced series of works that explored the ways in which children related to the museum and its objects in a world of increasing simulation.

Wendy’s work has been shown throughout Europe in exhibitions such as The Anagrammatical Body: The Body and its Photographic Condition curated by Christa Steinle and Peter Weibel for ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany; Uncanny, curated by Urs Stahel for the Fotomuseum Wintherthur and Only Make Believe curated by Marina Warner for Compton Verney, Warwickshire, UK. In 2017, her project Indeterminate Objects (classrooms) was commissioned for The Photographers’ Gallery Media Wall in London.

In 2014 a mid-career retrospective exhibition of her work Digital Play was included as part of Generation –  25 years of contemporary art in Scotland, a nationwide programme of exhibitions and events celebrating the last 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland. This comprehensive exhibition brought together works from several of her film and photography projects.  In 2015 she was awarded a PhD by publication by the University of Westminster for her work exploring the relationship of children and photography to the computer.

https://wendymcmurdo.com/

Please note that disabled access to the Lecture Theatre is gained at the rear of the building and it is best to telephone the Mining Institute ahead on (0191) 232 2201.

 

 

Images:

Indeterminate Objects (classrooms) - Production still, 2017
From Skaters, 2009

 

 

Observe. Experiment. Archive

 

NEPN is pleased to announce a new project for 2018/19, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and by the University of Sunderland.

Observe. Experiment. Archive. will explore the relationship between contemporary photographic practice, science, technology, health and wellbeing, through a series of talks, screenings, seminars and new commission opportunities, culminating in the presentation of new photographic works in Sunderland.  Programme partners for the project include Royal Horticultural Society, Kielder Observatory and Sunderland Living Lab, as well as cultural partners Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, Breeze Creatives.

Photography emerged from the creative innovations and networks of knowledge pioneered by 19th century scientists. Ever since, its history has been enmeshed with scientific and technological endeavour; through science and photography we explore the world and communicate our understandings.  Key developments in each discipline have often been concurrent, from the harnessing of chemical processes and techniques by Victorian photographic entrepreneurs, to the shared exploration of the mysteries of light, the development of artificial light and the use of lenses as a means of mediating and examining experience.  In our digital present, extensive communities of practice exist around both scientific and photographic endeavours, which now incorporate a spectrum of citizen, amateur and professional approaches. A democratization of knowledge and tools has enabled the rise of citizen science, citizen journalism and shared creative expression of lived experience.

Our first event is a Photographer Talk with Wendy McMurdo on 25 April 2018, more information about this and the programme to be announced in Spring.

 

   

Dark Skies/Blue Skies: Call for Proposals

Artist Call for Proposals, 21.02.18

The Cultural Spring and NEPN invite proposals from a lead artist, collective or arts organisation for an innovative participatory project with and for the people of Sunderland.
The commission is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.  Please download the full brief Dark Skies Blue Skies Call for Proposals

Main Purpose and Aims

The project will see high-quality photographic artists working with community members to imagine and give creative form to future-facing aspirations through publicly sited artworks and/or publications. The project aims to create confident cultural activists who recognise their own creative potential.

The project is inspired by the creative and scientific desire to explore the world and understand our place in it, and by the wish to imaginatively explore the future. We are particularly keen to receive innovative proposals that fuse currents of creativity shared by science, technology and photography. Proposals could incorporate a journey through early traditional photographic process as a means to record and imagine the world (photo-grams, cyanotypes, stereo-grams) as well as contemporary photographic technologies such as mobile phones with which we share and communicate our lived experiences.

This commission will be developed through community consultation, using a collaborative methodology and shared sense of ownership of the project. We will commission an artist(s) for whom social engagement is integral to their approach.

Project outcomes should be:

  • Innovative and ambitious in scope
  • of the highest artistic quality
  • Relevant, diverse and inclusive for the communities of Sunderland

Additionally, they should:

  • Raise aspiration and represent the experiences and future hopes of Sunderland residents
  • Increase the profile of culture, specifically photography, locally, nationally and internationally.

Commission Details

Dates:
May 2018 – November 2018 (7 months), with the final public event/s in November 2018

Commission Fee: The Lead Artist/Organisation fee for this commission is up to £25,000 (expected to be at least 70 days, inclusive of VAT and expenses (travel/accommodation)).

Deadline for proposals: Monday 26 March, 5pm. 

Please download the full Dark Skies/Blue Skies Call for Proposals here.