Category Archives: BAF6

Printed Matters: A Photobook Symposium

Back in February this year, Ffotogallery in partnership with Chapter and Third Floor Gallery organised a weekend of publishing related events to coincide with BAF6. This included a Book Launch of Ffotogallery’s recent title, Inside the View by Helen Sear and Printed Matters: A Photobook Symposium. The symposium, chaired by Diane Smyth from the British Journal of Photography, was a huge success, with speakers travelling to Cardiff from as far as Berlin, to raise significant discussion and debate surrounding the triumphs and tribulations of photobook production from a wide range of perspectives, from that of the artist working with an independent publisher, a self-publishing photographic artist to those of a photobook collector, book reviewer, designer and producer.

Here are some shots of how the sessions unfolded…

All photographs (c) Dimitra Kountiou

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Opportunity: Submit for free stalls at Plymouth’s first Artists’ Book Fair

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This September Plymouth will be hosting its first ever International Artists’ Book Fair as a part of Plymouth International Book Festival.

The call is currently ‘out’ for stall holders and absentee table contributors so the team is keen to hear from publishers, artists and makers of all things book-related to take part in this super special event taking place on Saturday 15th September 2012.

Participating in PABF is, like our Book Arts Fayres, free of charge (a cause we believe in!) and therefore is a rare and valuable opportunity to share your works and wares with a new audience, meeting and getting inspired by like-minded makers and initiatives – and a worthwhile excuse for an adventure to Plymouth.

We’re really excited that BAF6 stall holder Oliver Uddy of Antler Press is part of the PABF team – you can get in touch with him here for more information about how to get involved.

Opportunity: Photobook call out still open for shows in Brighton & Helsinki

Brighton-based Photobook Show, who presented and sold a fantastic selection of artist newspapers at BAF6 are still receiving submissions for their recent call for entries.

With an aim to raise the profile of artist-led photobooks, this is a great opportunity for self-publishing artists and photographers with submissions, which can be of all shapes and sizes, stocks and formats, being considered for presentation at the next two Book Shows; C at Create Studios, Brighton, UK from the 17 -19 August 2012 and D at the Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, Finland from 31 Aug – 2 September 2012.

It costs £5 to enter and the cost of postage and the deadline for submissions is the 18 July 2012. Donated books will be added to the ever-increasing Photobook Show Archive in Brighton; a research and development resource available to the public and from which the team regularly draw on a changing selection of works to be exhibited or featured in Photobook Show events, shows and public programmes. If the taster of works already submitted is anything to go by, these shows are definitely worth being a part of.

Interested in entering?

A Day Well Documented…BAF6 is archived

BAF6 has now officially been archived with our epic picture gallery and full line-up. Let these photographs take you back to all the festivities on that sunny Saturday in February…

BAF6 in the sunshine!

The sun sets on BAF6

The pack up begins!…. Ariane and I are busy processing all the many Various Artist stall submissions and sales from the weekend. No rest for the wicked!

TANT

Last night Ffotogallery was the site for ‘TANT 0.1′ – the most recent issue of the dialogical experiment that is TANT.

Rowena Finlayson, co-founder and co-editor, introduced the project in a discussion about self-publishing with Ffotogallery’s FORUM group. She describes TANT as a strongly collaborative process, without an “authoritative editorial stance”, and interestingly something that encourages promiscuity. She sees the project as an “intersection of recorded document and lifestyle” that engages with “reading as a mode of production”. TANT currently exists in physical form as ‘Issue 0′ – 300 A4-size stapled bookets, distributed locally and further afield by a mostly organic distribution process of exchange and chance encounter. But literal exchanges of ideas and active discussion are a crucial part of what TANT is.

Issue 0 begins and ends by asking me a series of simple questions. “Fight or flight?” and “Do you have an ulterior motive?” are examples. The questions are mostly posed in English with a sprinkling of Welsh, Dutch, German, Italian and Japanese. The answer spaces are left blank, inviting the viewer/reader/participant to pen their own replies. Even if some questions are in a language they don’t understand, they can make a wild guess at the meaning or less imaginatively, resort to Google Translate (as I did). I’d even suggest that the reader must participate, must write on the pages, in order to find their own meaning. This is not a publication to step back from and observe at a safe and respectful distance. It requires working with the text and writing on it, mixing your thoughts with its thoughts.

On opening up the zine, I find the questions from the cover are repeated, only this time TANT answers the questions. Intriguingly I discover that TANT itself is a reader and participant in its own dialogical space. And I find the answers – and the questions – actually tell me very little about TANT (or myself). But they open up lines of enquiry, set seed ideas, propose both familiar and curious diametric pairings. One question, ‘Spring or Autumn?’ isn’t really the same as asking ‘Summer or Winter?’. Autumn and Spring, even as accepted concepts, are the in-between stages, neither here nor there, unfixed. Meanwhile, the question ‘Are you in the queue?’ had me automatically stepping away from the conventions of said queue, then hopping back in to avoid being a cliché non-conformist, then hopping back out because, after all, I don’t like waiting in queues. The answers that I write are personal, subjective and always changing. I also doubt any two TANT readers will have matching answers.

Following the questions are the four contributions to this first TANT. Charlotte Greig’s poetic account of waiting for a ferry predictably sent me running to my own memories of waiting for a ferry, of crab sandwiches on piers at dusk, of craning eyes for land in choppy seas, of Alan Warner’s ‘demented land’ and to thoughts of future journeys I might take and future periods of waiting I might share. The photographs that accompany the piece are appropriately ambiguous. Meanwhile Hayley Davies’s ‘conversation with Kay Walkowiak’ is minute but perfectly formed. The minimalist and formal arrangement of trousers and sentences make for a palette cleansing interlude, while thought-provoking at the same time. Sally Brown’s ‘wordless sea shanty’ presents a scrawled musical score and four options of how the reader might want to engage with it. As my musical ability begins and ends with pressing ‘Play’, I was happy to find that the fourth option is ‘do what you want (sea based)’, although I hope that someone, somewhere, began to hum. Giulia Cavaliere writes the closing article, which I read as an emphatic love letter to Milan, the analysis of a personal relationship to something she calls ‘a place-of-all’, accompanied by beautiful photographs.

I kept returning to one of the questions on the first page, ‘Sprinkle or Scatter?’. It seems to provide a way to map the process of TANT. A quick web search helped me explicate the terms. A farmer scatters seed over his field. Then he sprinkles each seedling with water. TANT scatters ideas through a (potentially shape-shifting) physical form distributed over a geographical area. But a simultaneous focus on engaging and creating dialogue will nurture TANT so that it becomes more than the publication of interesting ideas. Instead it forms a rhizomatic network of thinkers and participators in the production of ideas. Yes, I might have taken that metaphor too far, but hey, maybe that was the point.

Tomorrow TANT 0.2 will take place at Ffotogallery’s Book Arts Fayre 6. Come and participate in what is becoming a very interesting discussion!

In Depth: Ibolya Feher

Ibolya Feher‘s ‘Sisters of Sclerder’ is a wonderful series of photographs offering a glimpse into the lives of the Sisters of Sclerder Abbey, a Carmelite Monastery in Cornwall. A product of Feher’s ‘long- term interest in every day life and spirituality’, the images combine warmth with mundanity. Most of the images look as if they’ve been taken at a youth centre, a local church or a neighbours garden, but there’s a warm glow to them that seems otherworldly. I love Feher’s use of light which is reminiscent of religious paintings but never in a heavy-handed way that ruins the relatability and naturalism of the image.

‘As a photographer I was aiming to be non judgmental and my project reflects my personal view of how I saw the Sisters and their life during my visits.’