FORMAT News: Back in the galleries

FORMAT News: Back in the galleries

Following the successful 3D virtual presentation of FORMAT21 International Photography Festival, selected exhibitions will be shown across Derby in the city’s cultural institutions and retail spaces.

If you are in or visiting Derby come and enjoy the face to face experience of seeing some amazing photography from 17th May - 5th September.


  • #massisolationFORMAT: Derby Museum and Art Gallery


The Derby Museum and Art Gallery will host the instagram based project #massisolationFORMAT, inspired by the 1937 Mass Observation project and providing a global visualization of Covid19.

This international response of over 50,000 images from 90 countries has created an immensely important archive of images of life under lockdown; chronicling our common and shared experiences, capturing the tragedy of illness and death, documenting the heroic struggle of working on the frontline and offering the opportunity for creative and surreal expressions of the pandemic across the world.

Visit - 18 May to 27 June 2021


  • Black Country Dada by Brian Griffin: QUAD


The acclaimed autobiography, volume II Black Country Dada by celebrated photographer Brian Griffin, (UK) will be exhibited at QUAD. Griffin achieved early recognition in the 1970s and 1980s, inventing a new photographic style known as Capitalist Realism in which he captured the different workers of society, transforming workplaces into stages and his subjects into actors.

Griffin recounts his student days at Manchester Polytechnic alongside fellow photographers Martin Parr and Daniel Meadows; his arrival on the photography scene in London and developing his signature style of surreal portraits, his move into commercial photography and the audacity of visualising the financial Big Bang in Broadgate; working with Stiff Records and creating some of the 20th century's most iconic album covers, including for Joe Jackson, Siouxsie and Iggy Pop and his move into advertising with Saatchi and Saatchi.
There are some wonderful surprises of less well known but brilliantly made portraits and some amusing personal stories including his 1974 holiday in Moscow where he encountered a military parade and the KGB and his evening with a drunken knife throwing circus act in Rotherhithe, the East London borough he made his home and where he still lives today.

Visit - 19th May to 5th September 2021


  • Here, There & Everywhere: QUAD


Photographs Uzoma Chidumaga Orji
A group exhibition of three emerging artists - Anthony Bila (South Africa), Uzoma Chidumaga Orji (Nigeria) and Sipho Gongxeka (South Africa).

Selected from a pan-African open-call for QUAD and in collaboration with Azu Nwagbogu, the work of each artist includes their visionary projects dealing with complex, socio-political issues; representations of the digital, queer daily life in townships and societal responses to lockdown.

Visit - 19th May to 5th September


  • Famous Internet Sites: QUAD


Photographs by Zou Jingyao 

This exhibition by artist by Zou Jingyao (China) and curated by Luo Dawei (China) was awarded the Lishui/FORMAT Award 2019, selected by Louise Fedotov-Clements and Laura O’Leary as part of FORMAT’s ongoing partnership with Lishui International Photography Festival, China.
The project focuses on reimagining places made famous by the internet as ‘flash mob exhibitions’ created for people to go and take selfies.

Visit 19th May to 5th September


  • COLLABORATION > CONTROL: Derbion Shopping Centre


Left to Right: Photographs by Anna Ehrenstein; Turbine Bagh; Ashfika Rahman; Nida Mehboob
COLLABORATION > CONTROL, winner of the FORMAT21 Open Call Award is an open dialogue about artistic control and co-creation, curated by Vincent Hasselbach (UK)and featuring works by Anna Ehrenstein, (Germany/Albania), Nida Mehboob, (Pakistan), Ashfika Rahman (Bangladesh) and the Turbine Bagh project initiated by Sofia Karim, (UK).

Responding to FORMAT21 theme of CONTROL, it explores engaged collaboration as a potential strategy for both complicating and seeking to overcome photography’s intrinsic position as a tool of power, control and historically, domination.

Visit 18th May to 13th June

FORMAT21 Open Call: Deda

The FORMAT21 Open Call received over 800 submissions from 66 countries and a small selection of the 50 selected projects will be shown at Deda. Exploring the many manifestations of the festival theme – Control, the work of LeiLei, Anouchka Renaud-Eck, Tami Aftab, Juan Orrantia and Heather Agyepong look at the struggle for control in the personal and political spheres.

Wish You Were Here by Heather Agyepong (UK) focuses on the work of Aida Overton Walker, the celebrated African American vaudeville performer who challenged the rigid and problematic narratives of black performers.

The images explore the concepts of ownership, entitlement and mental well-being. Each image is layered with symbolism to illicit a conversation about the boundaries of how we see ourselves both in real and imagined realities.

In her project The Dog’s in the Car Tami Aftab (UK) uses a playful voice to question what she describes as the hushed tones that can surround illness, questions on collaboration and consent, family as subject and the space between documentary and performance.
Ultimately, she explains, it is a story about a father-daughter relationship, and how one family controls their lives dictated by the illness - hydrocephalus and its effect upon the sufferer's identity.

Exhibition prints supported by the Spectrum Imaging Award.

Which are more significant, artworks or art archives, asks Lei Lei, (USA) in A Moment.  Which is more important, the picture or the process of image production, the way an image is viewed or the positioning of the image?

Issues with photography have given way to issues with the image. Lei Lei not only displays artistic nostalgia, but also the constant quest for certainty with regard to history, family and personal identity.

Like Stains of Red Dirt by Juan Orrantia, (South Africa/Colombia) brings together a series of moments that recognize an experience of a particular place.

Combining spontaneous, intuitive and constructed scenes Orrantia focuses on everyday moments, gestures, objects and plants in his home and immediate surroundings in Johannesburg, creating a space of intimacy that questions what we see, and how we choose to see it.

Ardhanarishvara by Anouchka Renaud-Eck (France) explores the alliance between two families forged through marriage. Although traditions may vary across India and between different religions, the search for the wedding partner by the parents remains the same.

The future bride and groom must belong to the same caste and practice the same religion. They must have the same educational background but it is allowed for the groom to have a higher education than the bride.

Visit 17th May to 18th July 2021


  • Warawar Wawa by River Claure: Eagle Market


Warawar Wawa by River Claure (Bolivia) is a re-imagining of Antoine Saint Exupery’s book, Le Petit Prince, visualised through contemporary Andean culture as a critique of the narrative of a folklore imposed and interpreted by foreign observers and influencers, reducing Bolivia and its citizens to mere ethnic signifiers.

Exhibition prints supported by the Genesis Imaging Award.

Visit - 18th May to 13th June 2021


  • Unstable/Sustainable: Small Print


Unstable/Sustainable is a re-invented exhibition from the London Alternative Photography Collective. Originally staged at FORMAT15 the earlier exhibition included a number of photographic works, which gradually changed chemically during the course of the exhibition.
For the 2021 edition of Unstable all exhibited works will be produced using sustainable photographic processes. Within the LAPC’s Sustainable Darkroom research project, they have been working with a number of ephemeral photography processes which are notoriously difficult to fix.

Visit - 17th May to 13th June


East Meets West: Eagle Market

East Meets West is a collaboration between FORMAT, QUAD and GRAIN Projects and is made up of a series of masterclasses for emerging photographers from across the UK. This professional development programme offers photographers a unique opportunity to take part in presentations, portfolio reviews and advice sessions with leading professionals. The experience is immersive and provides an opportunity for practitioners to take the next step in their careers.
Featured artists:
Emily Jones | Mark Hobbs | Nicola Morley | Marley Starskey-Butler | Tamsin Green | Mitchell Moreno | Jacqui Booth | Laura Dicken

Visit - 18th May to 13th June 2021

University of Derby: Graduate Awards: Eagle Market 

From the talented artists in BA (Hons) Photography Graduating Class at the University of Derby – Elin Davies, Jenna Eady and Rosie Lawrence were selected by a panel of judges for a FORMAT Graduate Award due to their distinct work. Elin, Jenna and Rosie are presenting their work in FORMAT21, continuing a legacy of outstanding Graduates from this course exhibiting in FORMAT.
Visit - 18th May to 13th June 2021

FORMAT21: Control Catalogue
With texts by festival director Louise Fedotov-Clements, guest curators Marina Paulenka, W.M. Hunt, Paul Lowe and Jennifer Good, plus extracts from Brian Griffin's book this year's festival catalogue is packed with great images and articles accompanying each of the exhibitions in FORMAT21: Control.

Buy a catalouge


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