Channel / 15 Dec 2021

2021 Round Up

2021 Round Up
© Kamila J Photography

As 2021 draws to a close, we would like to take a moment to celebrate the achievements of the Ffotogallery team, artists, creative producers and our many partners and supporters worldwide.

This has been a year of new arrivals. In January we welcomed Cynthia Sitei to the team, our Creative Producer, and Cath Cains, Learning and Engagement Manager, joined us in June. Liz Hewson, our Production Coordinator, has been on Maternity Leave this year and Baby Ivy arrived in July. In the Autumn eight talented young creatives joined us to work on Diffusion 2021, with support from Creative and Cultural Skills and the UK Government’s Kickstart scheme.

During the months we were still in lockdown, we delivered a series of online events focusing on Photography and a Woman’s Work, Photography and Wellbeing and Photography and Africa. We published A Woman’s Work, a book arising out of our two-year Creative Europe project, and Many Voices, One Nation which features 20 outstanding new projects by culturally diverse artists and photographers practising in Wales. We also worked on two important digital collaborations, Imagining the Nation State with Chennai Photo Biennale which involved jointly commissioning three Indian and two Welsh artists to make new work addressing themes of nationhood and identity, and Where’s My Space? with youth activism organisation PAWA254in Kenya with whom we co-designed and developed a unique virtual space for visual storytelling, working with emerging Kenyan and Welsh artists and creatives.

The gallery re-opened to the public in May, with a series of exhibitions deferred due to the pandemic – Many Voices, One Nation 2, Suzie Larke’s Unseen, Zillah BowesGreen Dark and Maryam Wahid’s Motherland. We toured new editions of Mike Perry’s Land/Sea to Thelma Hulbert Gallery in Devon and Oriel y Parc in St Davids. The eleventh edition of The Place I Call Home was presented at the Madina Art Center in Saudi Arabia. The More Than a Number exhibition at Ffotogallery, and accompanying publication, features 12 exceptional artists from across Africa. Hilary Powell was commissioned to undertake a residency programme at Tata’s Trostre Tin Works in Llanelli, and the resulting work will be show at Ffotogallery and Swansea Waterfront Museum in 2022. In September, we presented a new edition of Michal Iwanowski’s Go Home Polish at Fotosommer in Stuttgart, as part of the Wales-Germany 2021 initiative.

Our premises at Fanny Street have hosted many wonderful community events and engagement projects, as well as regular artist talks, symposia, film screenings and exhibitions. Combined with our outreach work in Cardiff, Newport, St David’s and Llanelli we have reached thousands of individuals of all ages and from all walks of life.

The energy and excitement generated by the above fed into a highly successful fifth biennial edition of Diffusion: Wales International Festival of Photography, which took place in October in multiple venues and sites in Cardiff and Newport with a plethora of presentations by Wales-based artists and photographers, and by work by others from five continents. We chose the theme Turning Point for this edition of the festival, and it did feel this was a pivotal moment after the stresses and hardships of 2020. We look forward to what new projects 2022 will bring in terms of building on this momentum, and the arrival of a new Director as after nearly 13 years at the helm David Drake stands down at the end of this month.

Seasonal Best Wishes, from the Ffotogallery Team

December 2021