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.
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.
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.
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.
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.