Photo Fringe, the biennial Sussex-based festival championing photographers and lens-based artists, continues to amaze (and sometimes shock) attendees with its refreshing take on contemporary photography. Now in its ninth incarnation, the festival has embraced ‘the new normal’ by arranging exhibitions and presentations both online and in-venue, with pop-up events and outdoor installations joining those in more traditional spaces across the South Coast.
Festival organisers describe TAKE/MAKE as a ‘call to action’, with many events designed to encourage artists (and their audiences) to use photography as a tool for instigating positive change. As such, themes range from protests and climate change, to family dramas and the intimacy of conversations held over a cup of tea.
Naturally, the impact of Covid-19 is well documented here, but each artist has adopted a highly individual and creative approach to the topic. Despite the ever-changing rules and regulations, Photo Fringe has welcomed more exhibitors than ever before this year – over 180 in total. Each artist has embraced uncertainty and experimentation to produce a festival like no other.
To find out more visit www.photofringe.org, @photofringe, #photofringe2020.
Here are some of our highlights
Seasick by Aindreas Philip Scholz
Disarmingly beautiful cyanotypes exploring the visible, psychological and ecological impact of marine plastic debris. Scholz even used seawater to develop the prints.
Eleven by Torz Dallison
The transition fromprimary to secondary school can be challenging but with so many rites of passage cancelled this year the class of 2020 have felt it more than most. These beautiful portraits capture the vulnerability of children tipping into adulthood.
Conversations Over Tea by Richard Mark Rawlins
A series of performative, intimate portraits of people of British Afro-Caribbean heritage sipping tea, while chatting to the artist, and helping us to examine our similarities and differences.
North/South by the Landing Collective
Artists Bethan Clarke and Epha J. Roe explore the connection between human culture and nature. The techniques they use often incorporate physical elements of the land such as flowers, plants and soil.
Edmundo by Denis Serrano
The infinite creativity of Serrano’s uncle, who lives with schizophrenia, is evident in this project. For most of his life, Edmundo has transformed electronic devices into new creations that seem to express his state of mind.
Doings of the Sunbeam: Photographs of a Victorian Voyage by Annie Brassey
Produced by Sarah French, a researcher at the University of Sussex and Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, this exhibition sheds light on the life of Brassey, a Victorian travel writer and collector.
Our City, by Brighton and Hove Camera Club
Beach-based exhibition featuring images from 48 members of this thriving (and historic) photography club. Everything from Punch and Judy to sweeping hills and modern architecture makes an appearance.
Knocked ‘em in the Old Kent Road by Alexander Christie
Working with community group Action OKR, Christie, and fellow photographer Carmel King, have created a fascinating visual map of this socially diverse part of London.
Lockdown. Informal Portraits of This Time by JJ. Waller
A selection of touching, and hugely revealing, portraits taken from Waller’s eighth book. The inhabitants of Brighton & Hove are shot through windows, doorways and letterboxes – separate and yet undeniably untied.
To the Ends of the Earth by Hannah Scott
The endless dance between sea, horizon and sky is captured beautifully in this short film, which combines stills and moving images taken by Scott on board a cargo ship, tall ship and yacht.
My Last Roll of Film by John Gerrard Fowler
Postmodernstreet photography shot almost entirely on a single roll of film. The subdued 1960s colours and relaxed compositions give the images an air of John Hinde’s Butlin’s postcards.
Journey to the Edge of the Room by Natalia Ershova
We’ve all been housebound to some extent this year, but Ershova’s wonderful project celebrates men and women who live like this when there isn’t a global pandemic raging outside.
Two Lives, Boundless Love by Sneha Soodamani
Moving visual and textural records describing Soodamani’s touching relationship with her parents, and her struggle to be in two places at once during the pandemic.
Aren’t We Lucky by George Gammer
When Gammer photographed footpaths close to home during lockdown, they soon became metaphors for the limited distance we could travel, and our uncertain future.
Wasteland by Louise McCurdy and Alex Bamford
A shopping trolley found buried in Brighton is filled with plastic waste and taken on a journey to beaches, hills, rivers and forests. The juxtaposition is a reminder of the environmental consequences of our throwaway culture.
The Happenings by Philip Sinden. A big fan of ‘slow working’ Sinden used a 5×4 camera and rooted himself to the spot waiting for the perfect moment to release the shutter. His images show a wonderful understanding of light, form and colour.
Breathe by Mark Monk-Terry
Having developed respiratory issues in 2018, Monk-Terry wondered if his condition might have been caused by the dust, microbes and plant spores he encountered in the woodland he was photographing. These images explore his thoughts.
Reanimate by Jo Stapleton
Created during the Covid-19 lockdown, this fascinating series features items found around the house, such as Stapleton’s ‘imposter dress’ – an unworn impulse purchase – shot using a variety of photographic techniques.
The Legacies by Tony Mak
A landscape survey project focusing on Stratford, and looking at how we situate ourselves in a new city. Is it merely a place we live in as transients, or is it possible to set down roots and become more than just an outsider?
Southern Lights – Night Landscapes Around Floodlit Football Grounds by Ian Hughes. For the last 15 years, Hughes has photographed the landscape surrounding football grounds, lit like beacons for evening matches. The resulting pictures resemble Hollywood film sets.
Visit 2020.photofringe.org to see these and many more exhibitions.