Channel / 5 Apr 2024

Ffoto Cymru 2024: Theme and Commissions Announcement

Ffotogallery is excited to present Ffoto Cymru - Wales International Festival of Photography, debuting in venues across the country in October 2024. Building on the successes of five editions of Diffusion Festival, audiences are invited to engage with photography in new and meaningful ways through a programme of exhibitions, commissions, conversations, public installations and events.

The theme What You See is What You Get? is intended as a provocation, an invitation to question the literal translation of visual information. Do we really get what we see? Or is it more complicated than that? What You See Is What You Get? explores how we see, understand and use images, how they shape our identities and culture, from historical archives to AI and modern technologies.

At the core of the festival is the commissioning of four female Welsh / Wales-based photographic artists - Ada Marino, Adéọlá Dewis, Holly Davey and Jessie Edwards-Thomas - who have been invited to respond to the festival theme whilst investigating both public and private archives in Wales (Glamorgan Archives, Amgueddfa Cymru’s photographic archive, Cyfarthfa Castle Museum & Art Gallery collection and Ffotogallery’s own archive).

A further two commissions, announced earlier this year, will be included in the festival programme, supported by the British Council’s Biennials Connect grant. The grant enables a new collaboration with the Foto Féminas network which provides a platform to increase the visibility of Latin American and Caribbean female/non-binary photographers. Luiza Possamai Kons from Brazil and Julieta Anaut from Argentina have been invited to showcase new work in Wales during the festival, following a series of online artist professional development sessions hosted by Ffotogallery over the coming months.

Alongside the above commissions will be a series of connected curated exhibitions and engagement programmes with co-produced community workshops. The full programme will be announced in the months leading up to the festival, which takes place from 1 - 31 October 2024. Details on how to get involved in the festival will be announced soon.

About the artists

Ada Marino is an Italian visual artist based in Wales. Working at the intersection between photography and installation, her practice focuses on past events of her subjects, their memories and traumas that re-emerge and manifest as a form of cynical surrealism. Marino’s practice analyses and interprets the contradictory forces that shape society, inviting viewers to perceive the world through a different lens exposing the intricacies of the human condition which lead to confront with uncomfortable truths, and challenging conventional notions of beauty and ugliness to provoke a reconsideration of our preconceptions.

Adéọlá Dewis is a Trinbagonian artist based in Wales. Rooted in ritual, carnival, masquerade aesthetics, her work is interested in the ways in which diaspora people perform fragments – how we express identity and belonging through memory, re-imagination, creolisation, transformation, re-presentation and the making of sacred spaces. Her practice involves drawing, painting, performance art, spoken word and writing.

Holly Davey is a visual artist based in Cardiff, Wales. Central to her practice are ideas surrounding absence, place & the body. Working predominantly with collections and archives - with a focus on marginalised women’s voices within these spaces - she produces installation works that include photography, sculpture, text, video and performance.

Jessie Edwards-Thomas is a visual artist based in Britain. She originates from Snowdonia, North Wales. Her artistic practice explores the idea of the individual and the individual’s placement within society. Themes of belonging, alienation and structural interrogation are key to her practice. Her practice utilises the what-ifs of fiction and imagination to explore themes of power, symbols, societal structures and connection through storytelling.

Julieta Anaut is an Argentinian, award-winning visual artist from Rio Negro, Patagonia. She is a graduate from Instituto Universitario Patagónico de las Artes (LUPA) and a Specialist in Combined Artistic Languages at Universidad Nacional de las Artes (UNA). Her visual and audio-visual works have been exhibited in museums, cultural venues, and film festivals across the globe.

Luiza Possamai Kons is a photographic artist from Assis Chateaubriand in the western region of Paraná, Brazil. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (2017) , and a Master’s Degree in Arts from Universidade Estadual do Paraná (2021), and currently a PhD student in History from the Federal University of Paraná. She uses photography as a political tool that reflects human relationships and its connections.

Ffoto Cymru is a biennial photography festival delivered by Ffotogallery, with the generous support of various funders, partners and individuals. Following five editions of Diffusion Festival, Ffoto Cymru aims to raise the profile of photography in Wales and further afield by engaging with the public through a series of exhibitions, public installations and online activities.