FORTHCOMING EVENT: Between the Tides: Walpole Bay Tidal Pool at 80

OCTOBER 19th at 6.15, CCCU's Broadstairs Campus

To book event click: HERE

Between the Tides: Walpole Bay Tidal Pool at 80 provides a free evening of gathering, exhibition, film screenings and presentations. 



It might seem strange to celebrate a Pool’s anniversary – but throughout the its 80th year filmmakers and photographers have been engaging with the communities who use this extraordinary and extraordinarily democratic place and space and this free event provides an opportunity to gather and share the work produced with the maker’s reflections. 

This event is being hosted by CCCU’s Centre for Research on Communities & Cultures and is supported by the Walpole Bay Swimmers; A Better Cliftonville and Arts Council England.

 

Beneath the Mask: Artists, Archives and A/Gender at the Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury

March 16th 2017

10.00am – 4.00pm

With wonderful support I have organised the forthcoming event: 'Artists, Archives and A/Gender'. It will provide an exciting day of events, exhibitions and spectacle prompted by Claude Cahun's exploration of identities and masking. This one-day event is in partnership with UAL's Photography and the Archive Research Centre's 'Moose on the Loose' 2017 Festival. Contributions from a number of CCCU's centres’ for research include: the Centre for Research on Communities and Cultures; the Intersectional Centre for Inclusion and Social Justice (INCISE); the Centre for Practice-Based Research in the Arts plus the South East Archive of Seaside (SEAS) Photography.

Come and join us.

To book click here: TICKETS

 

10.00am                      Early Arrivals

10.10am                      Curatorial Walk and Talk: Beneath the Mask & Latent

Katie McGown (Director of the Sidney Cooper)

10.40am                      Arrivals & Coffee

11.00am                      Welcome & Introductions by

Dr Karen Shepherdson (Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Communities & Cultures), Katie McGown & Dr Sara Davidmann (Moose on the Loose 2017 Guest Curator / PARC)

11.10am                      The Photographic Techniques of Claude Cahun as Masked Artist,

James Stevenson, (Director of the V&A Photographic Studio, rtd)

11.40am                      Latent A Hidden History: Homosexuality and the Archive,

In Conversation I – Artist Dr Sam Vale (CCCU) with Prof Stephen Maddison (UEL)

12.10pm                      The Blushing Pavilion,

Presentation by independent artist and curator Carlos Maria Romero

12.40pm                      LUNCH with sweet treats curated/sponsored by PARC

1.40pm                      Creative collaborations and bringing “Ken: To be Destroyed” into     publication,

Dr Sara Davidmann and Prof Val Williams (Director of PARC) in conversation with Dr Karen Shepherdson,

 2.10pm                      Older Women Rock! Poetry as provocation and witness

Performance Poet Leah Thorn (ECPD International Research Fellow) with performance and interactions with the Catwalk Artists

 2.45pm                      Fribs, Tribs and a deaf Tyre Smith: a brief history of androgyny,

Prof Chris Mounsey (University of Winchester)

3.15pm                        Responder to the Day

Prof Bee Scherer (Director of INCISE/CCCU) Responder

3.30-4pm                    Close, Conversations & Slow Farewells

Close to Home: Between the Tides at Vortigern Gallery, Margate

Close to Home: Between the Tides was exhibited at the Vortigern Gallery in Margate throughout March-April 2016. It featured my work made at the extraordinary walpole bay tidal pool, sited close to my home on the coastal Isle of Thanet, UK.

This pool, some four acres in size, provides a free and democratic space for people to gather, to swim, to forage and fish. In my practice of working locally, I adapt the traditions and performance of earlier commercial seaside/beach photographers and in doing so locates myself right at the water’s edge. This is slow photography – analogue picture making – which necessitates a relationship between the seabather and the photographer. Through this series I'm attempting to examine how the local can provide rich seams of imagery or produce what neo-romantics such as Vaughan Williams have championed as the ‘vitally parochial’.

Between the Tides at the Festival of Ideas

I was invited to exhibit a selection of the beautiful sea bathers of Walpole Bay and the last whelkman of Broadstairs as part of the Festival of Ideas 2016 at The Creative Edge. The Festival of Ideas, located at Edge Hill University, importantly examines culture, health and society, envisioning ways for communities, arts and healthcare to develop and flourish in times of austerity and inequality. So in February 2016 the images were crated and shipped north to represent and celebrate the Isle of Thanet's coastal communities.

 

 

Speaking at Tate Liverpool

I was invited to speak at Edgehill University's Institute for Public Policy and Professional Practice' Arts, Health and Wellbeing Symposium which took place at Tate Liverpool on November 27, 2015. My paper 'Reimagining Place and Space - The seaside as a Site of Community Repair' used the Isle of Thanet as its case study and offered an opportunity to share positive and counter-narratives orbiting the Isle's coastal communities. What proved moving and delightful was that our local stories and local events have clear and impactful resonance at the regional and national level.

 

Speaking at Tate Modern

The Fast Forward: Women in Photography Conference took place at Tate Modern on 6-7 November 2015. What a fantastic two-days of gathering and idea sharing. I had benefited from a week-long instagram 'takeover' of @womeninphoto as a warm up before presenting my paper: Discovering Presence - The Innovative Practices of Women Seaside Photographers. The conference was filmed and once available I will place a link here.

SALT: Festival of the Sea & Environment

I was invited to co-curate SALT: Festival of the Sea & Environment with Allegra Galvin from Folkestone Quarterhouse and Di Dever of Folkestone Fringe. Over four days from 21 - 24 October, 2016, SALT presented talks, walks, sea swims, workshops, foraging, installations, theatre shows, exhibitions and sought to explore the coastal communities and environment.  The Festival was supported by Canterbury Christ Church University, the Quarter House and an award made to me by the Creative Foundation's Festival Fund. (The images for the Festival shown here are a mixture from our Festival photographer, Shaun Vincent and a few  generous snaps taken during the Festival prep'.)

When originally invited to co-curate this timely Festival it was without any hesitation that I said yes. As the co-director for CCCU's Centre for Research on Communities and Cultures and director of the South East Archive of Seaside Photography, I immediately recognised that the collaboration could prove utterly beneficial. This Festival was never simply or crassly about taking knowledge out to this very specific, very beautiful coastal community - rather it was always intended to be a genuine exchange of knowledge(s), understandings, enthusiasms and passions.

Coastal communities matter... Our coastlines, our seas, our marine environment matter and should be high on the national agenda. Salt: Sea & Environment Festival  provided a plethora of ways in which to gather, to discuss and to consider our complex connections with the coast.

We Are Here: The Best Of Us Commission

In 2015 I was commissioned by the extraordinary organisation People United to create a portrait series for the large Big Local / Best of Use project taking part on the Newington housing estate in Ramsgate, Kent, UK. My brief was to identify residents who were valued by the community and recognised as enhancing the lives of others. To begin with I was regarded with suspicion as I wondered about the estate - and why not?  I wasn't known to the residents and  I would be wondering  around, camera bag on shoulder, seemingly asking obscure questions to random passersby. Through attending community events I became less of an intruder and eventually had some beautiful encounters - most tellingly when I asked who was enhancing community life on the estate the same names were coming up time and time again. I had my subjects and now all I needed to do was to convince them to let me photograph them. The bewilderment as I asked to photograph each subject was humbling. Their contributions to the community was never seen by them as 'worthy' or 'doing good deeds' - it is just what they do / what they are.

light waves exhibition

Curators' Steve Ibb and Franny Flowers invited me to submit work to the Light Waves exhibition at Resort Studios in Cliftonville, Margate. The exhibition centered around photography and the abstract - whilst this far from typifies my practice I felt that the earlier series' such as palimpsest and light  fitted the brief. I really value the gallery at Resort' and Ibb & Flowers curated the show (which also included work by Rob Ball, Brian Eno, Jason Evans and Rachel Wilberforce) with terrific sensitivity and welcomed restraint.

Exhibition runs until October 11th 2015. 



AHRC commission a virtual exhibition of early seaside photography

I was delighted to be commissioned by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to curate an online exhibition as part of their 10th anniversary celebrations. Here I explore the earliest forms of seaside photography - the ambrotype and tintype. Accompanying each image is a little text and it provides a start point in thinking how these modest, demotic portraits often provided the first photographic representations of the family at leisure. 

Beyond the View: Reframing Early Commercial Seaside Photography



sea bathers: reflections and responses

EVENT: SEA BATHERS: Reflections & Responses

24th May 2015

An engaging day of events considering how creatives and communities reflect and respond to the sea and sea bathing. Following a morning of talks and presentations at Turner Contemporary, in Margate, there will be an opportunity to view the stunning Walpole Bay Tidal Pool through a yurt transformed into a magical camera obscura; visit the itinerant studio of tintype photographer Rob Ball; meet Dom Bridges and the Margate Sea Bathing Machine prototype and for those hardy enough, join Susie Parr and the Walpole Bay Swimmers for a tidal pool dip.