Channel / 23 Dec 2020

December Newsletter

Reflections on a Momentous Year

The Place I Call Home, London, March 2020

As 2020 draws to a close, I would like to take a moment to celebrate the achievements of the Ffotogallery team, artists, creative producers and our many partners and supporters worldwide.

Despite the challenges of the global pandemic, this year we exhibited The Place I Call Home in London, Edinburgh, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with accompanying print and online resources. The Many Voices, One Nation exhibition travelled from Aberystwyth to Merthyr, and when lockdown prevented the show opening at Galerie Caernafon in May, we presented the work of the six commissioned Wales-based artists on our virtual platform

In late January we held the Coal Cultures weekend of talks, screenings, and exhibitions that illuminate the nature of the world created by coal and look forward to the prospect of a post-carbon world. We were delighted to present Jeremy Deller’s iconic film The Battle of Orgreave, David Severn’s The Pit of Nations – Portraits of Black British Coal Miners and Richard Jones’ The Coal Face.

As part of the Creative Europe project A Woman’s Work, Ffotogallery presented Work to Be Done, an exhibition curated by Finnish duo Whack ‘n’ Bite displaying works by five Nordic artists challenging the stereotypes of gender, home & the workplace. A virtual tour of the physical exhibition can be viewed here Our partners in Ireland and Lithuania have continued to host A Woman’s Work exhibitions, book launches and symposia throughout 2020, combining physical and virtual means of participation for artists and audiences to overcome the challenges of social distancing and restrictions on public gatherings and international travel.

During lockdown, the Ffotogallery team compiled a weekly digest of creative activities and online resources for people to enjoy from home. Through our partnership with Chennai Photo Biennale, we were able to co-commission three Indian and two Wales-based photographers to make new work to be presented at Diffusion in Autumn 2021 and at Chennai in December. We have been supporting many other UK and international artists and photographers in the development of projects that will come to fruition in 2021/22.

In September, we invited photography professionals from around Wales to nominate photographers, students and artists whose work offers insights into contemporary life, representing the breadth of Welsh talent that deserves wider exposure. Twelve artists from diverse backgrounds were selected from across Wales, reflecting a wide range of subjects and different approaches to photography. After making improvements to our gallery and facilities to ensure they were safe for staff and visitors, we briefly re-opened our doors with Many Voices, One Nation 2, an exhibition that presents a more optimistic view of our nation’s future. As soon as the current lockdown ends, we look forward to welcoming visitors back to Ffotogallery to view the show and access our library and facilities.

Periods of uncertainty can provide the momentum for positive change. Few could have predicted the events of 2020, and even less so the scale of impact this global health crisis has had on all our lives. The pandemic has revealed the vulnerability and fragility of our cultural ecosystems, and it has also shown how important culture is to our lives and identities. Culture anchors us in the present and allows us to imagine the future. The crisis has certainly demonstrated the opportunities afforded by digital technologies for artists and producers to connect in new ways with audiences across the world.

Our vision is for everyone to be able to enjoy transformational experiences through photography and lens-based media, and we are excited about continuing to pursue that goal in the new year.

David Drake

Director, Ffotogallery

21 December 2020

Many Voices, One Nation 2 Continues Online

Our latest exhibition Many Voices, One Nation 2 can now be accessed online via this interactive virtual tour. Whilst travelling through the virtual gallery you can read more about the artists’ work, watch all the video pieces and now listen to recorded interviews with the artists who were able to join us for the exhibition opening earlier in December. You can also access these interviews separately here.

As soon as the current lockdown ends, we look forward to welcoming visitors back to Ffotogallery to view the show in person and access our library and facilities

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A Woman’s Work

© Clare Gallagher

The A Woman’s Work project continues at Gallery of Photography, Ireland with a new exhibition featuring Clare Gallagher and Csilla Klenyánszki on show until 23rd January 2021. The exhibition features Gallagher’s series The Second Shift and Klenyánszki’s Pillars of Home. Although made long before the COVID-19 pandemic the projects take on a new resonance in light of our changed relationship to domestic space, revealing it as both a place of refuge and a territory marked by unexpected tensions. Both artists’ publications are available to purchase online and in the gallery’s bookshop.

*Check their website for details before travelling.

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December Featured Artist

© Miriam O'Connor

On the theme of A Woman’s Work, this month’s featured artist is Miriam O’Connor whose project Tomorrow is Sunday has just been published as a book by Gallery of Photography, Ireland (available to buy here).

Tomorrow is Sunday engages with O’ Connor’s return to the family farm following the death of her brother in 2013. Developed throughout this intervening period, the work reflects on the day-to-day demands of farming life and contemplates photography's role in communicating the magnitude of this life-changing event.

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