Two years ago, Brighton-based photographer Joan Alexander was awarded the Danny Wilson Memorial Prize for her ‘Shadow Dial Studies’ work while exhibiting a long side the two other members of ‘Blind Field Collective’; Luke AR Hamblin and Louise Maher. ‘Shadow Dial Studies’ was exhibited as an installation with a mixture of still and moving image, which studied the physicality of light and its relationship with time.
This year Joan Alexander is returning in a collective exhibition under the title ‘A Natural Process’ collective but also with a solo show. After sharing studio with Alison Stolwood and Martin Seeds the artists, who regularly discuss ideas and critique each others work “gradually found a nice resonance” between their works. They “found fresh connections and new things in our working process” says Alexander. The idea of there being a link between their works was inspiration for the trio to exhibit together. “We thought we should curate pieces that would sit well together and expand the meaning of the work, by being part of one show, so it seemed like a good idea to show during the Fringe and we decided to go for ‘A Natural Process’ as the title of our show.”
Joan Alexander will be showing work from two bodies of work at the festival this year. One, named ‘Shadow Map Portraits’ will be a series of shadow tracings “drawn from architectural details on the Embassy Court rooftop during sunrise and solar noon.” The Embassy Court roof terrace will aptly be the face for the exhibition, creating a connection between art piece and exhibit space through shared subject matter. (17-24 OCT)
Joan will also exhibit a new body of work, Cinders – a combination of moving image and hand-printed black and white images. Portraying loss and past time through metaphors of shadows and cinders “it draws on Derrida’s writing about memory, mourning and death, in ‘Athens Still Remains’.” Speaking to Alexander she mentions: “I began Cinders so I could work with the physicality of absence, looking at what is past (burnt) in its presence (cinders).”
‘A Natural Process’ have completed their instal at Vantage Point and will be showing there throughout Brighton Photo Fringe (04 OCT–02 NOV)
– Written by Guy Gunstone
Paul Jackson used to be a part-time photogrpahy student studying short courses in London. He went on to assist an underwater photographer in Brighton just before becoming a professional photographer himself and founding Legacy Film.
Legacy Film provides a platform and voice in film for African and Caribbean diaspora communities who get limited space in the mainstream media. “There is a broader spectrum of things going on, that’s what we’re about — giving voices to those from diasporas rather than having traditional White European voices telling those stories” says Paul Jackson.
The project was born in January 2010 when Jackson met other like-minded people, who had a passion to deliver a specific range of films to a wider audience. With Jackson being part of Brighton & Hove’s Black History Month committee, he projected a theme of creating a lasting Legacy of events and relationships, that would not only last during the annual observance but all-year-round.
Through funding from ScreenSouth, the opportunity was given to put on a small film festival that October. Legacy Film now run regular pop-up cinemas every six weeks to reach a wider audience and educate Brighton on the African and Caribbean diaspora. Their next screening will be at The Blue Man, Brighton on 22nd October (film & times TBC).
Since establishing Legacy Film the feedback has been positive from audiences of all backgrounds. “We will have people who come from African and Caribbean backgrounds and people who come from Anglo-European backgrounds or other European backgrounds as well who are interested in what we do.” There is a need for a platform to screen movies of African and Caribbean diaspora explains Luke. “People from African and Caribbean backgrounds come for cultural reasons because they don’t get to see many of these films anywhere else. It would be nice to be at the stage where there wasn’t a need to have a separate film organisation for “Black film”, but until there is more on screen that is telling these stories, and it’s a bit more even, then Legacy Film has to be there.”
African and Caribbean diaspora is a subject that Paul Jackson feels strongly about. “My partner is from Birmingham, but her family is from the Caribbean, and we have a daughter together who is mixed. It [diaspora] affects my family and my community. I see first-hand how things are stereotyped, pigeonholed and people’s perceptions. I’m involved on moral grounds but also because of family, friends and my community.”
This year at Brighton Photo Fringe, Paul Jackson and his team have curating an event — Who Is Oscar? “We’re showing a documentary film on Oscar Micheaux and a silent made and independently produced by Micheaux. By funding given through The Arts Council we gave commissioned a local Tanzanian musician, Saidi Jumanne Kanda to perform a live soundtrack to accompany the film. He [Micheaux] is celebrated as the first African-American to make a full feature length film in 1919 which was a time of huge racial divide and throughout his lifetime he made over forty films and wrote seven novels but not that many people know about him.”
The event Who is Oscar? will take place Sunday 5th October, 3-6pm at Phoenix Brighton.
– Written by Guy Gunstone
Clare Bennett is a photographer, writer and one of this years Brighton Photo Fringe Emerging Curators. Currently studying an MA in Documentary Photography & Photojournalism at Westminster University, Bennett is also Assistant Front of House Manager at The Foundling Museum, London and Creative Director of the photography magazine - ‘Jaunt’.
She has been featured in Hotshoe, i-D, Grazia and the Telegraph and recently she assisted David Campany with the curation of ‘Walker Evans: The Magazine Work at MOCAK’ at the Krakow Photomonth Festival 2014.
Guy Gunstone spoke to Clare Bennett about her recent Trainee Curator position at Brighton Photo Fringe.
GG: What does being part of the programme involve and what have the preparations been running up to the festival?
CB: Being part of the BPF curatorial programme involves the selection of works for the Collectives and Open14 show. Then to select images from the shortlist for the projection at the Regency Town House and for the festival banners to grab the people of Brighton’s attention. Writing press releases, researching Peter Watkin’s practise and assisting in the selection of work displayed to ordering materials, painting and prepping the space at Vantage Point for the Collectives and assisting in the build at both locations.
GG: What is it like to have Daniel C. Bright as your mentor and what happens in the workshops with him?
CB: Having Daniel as a mentor has been really great. Our workshops have been very insightful with lots of conversations and helpful advice about the industry and guidance for our ideas for Open14 at Regency Town House.
GG: Why did you turn to curating and what made you decide to apply for the BPF trainee curator programme?
CB: I don’t think I suddenly turned to curating, it’s always been an area that I’ve had interest in. I had just been concentrating more on my own work before realising that I was equally excited about other photographer’s work and wanted to create shows around their ideas. I have so much to learn, so the BPF Trainee Curator Programme offered me the opportunity to push forward in my career.
GG: Which emerging photographer has caught your eye as somebody to look out for?
CB: There are so many but recently Rosaline Shahnavaz whom is a graduate of LCC caught my eye. Her project ‘Far Near Distance’ is really interesting. The project is around her cousin Sahar who lives a very confined life due to having strict parents in Iran. The project is portraits of Sahar on her own and the landscapes of the Alborz Mountains that surround her home, yet she has never been to see them. The work is very moving and touches on topics around social media and the representation of women in Iranian culture.
– Written by Guy Gunstone
– Photography by Emma Uwejoma
This year Brighton Photo Fringe brings you BPF14, the sixth edition of one of the largest and most inclusive photography festivals in the UK. An established month-long platform, Brighton Photo Fringe supports photographers to self-organise exhibitions across the city of Brighton & Hove and along the South East coast.
The BPF14 events programme will include over 80 exhibitions and events, including pop-up displays, panel discussions, workshops, talks, guided tours, participatory events and a book fair. Underpinning and supporting this eclectic selection of exhibitions permeating the city this October, Brighton Photo Fringe are working closely with partners Metro Imaging, London’s most trusted and reliable pro lab, and Miniclick to deliver a number of events. For a full list of partners, exhibitions and events visit our website.
The first photo is from the lip of the volcanic Mt Bromo in Java Indonesia. The second is a view from a waterhole in Yosemite National Park in The United States. Photographs by Matt Lief Anderson