July Review

July was all about photography festivals. Bookending the month was Les recontres in Arles, France at the front and Rhubarb Rhubarb in Birmingham, UK at the back! There was a bit of time in the middle to do a workshop for Beam at Impressions Gallery, Bradford and further the plans for DM Labs as I hope to be announcing the 10 selected artists in August.

Arles – Les Recontres (The Encounters), 4th – 10th July

Aftermath of the Discovery Award at Les Recontres, Arles.

Arles annual photography festival – Les Recontres – is one of the most fun things you can do and be working at the same time, if you like your networking in the cool shade of a restaurant in a historical town square, in the South of France, that is… The highlight, for me, on the exhibition front had to be ‘Shoot’, one of the considerable number of exhibitions. This being my second portfolio review, much more made sense in the way my work relates to the fine art photography market place! Also a good opportunity to meet up with friends and colleagues.

Me with Adrian, head of photography at Leeds College of Art and Design.
Me with Adrian, head of photography at Leeds College of Art and Design. Photo Dan Dubowitz

Planning for the Unreal, A workshop for BEAM – Impressions Gallery, Bradford 15th July

The ‘Planning for the Unreal’ workshop approaches place-making as a flight of fancy. It asks the participants not to fix or improve a place but to fill it with the wildest ideas they can, creating avenues of unreal space. The vision for Bradford generated by the participating 4 groups at Impressions Gallery in Bradford city centre, came together at the end with a vision of a place unrecognisable to a normal view of cityscape.

“A city centre full of buildings with zip up sides where we travel on water slide through a world of virtual shopping where products projected on to us as we look at them. A city covered with a sky full of rainbows that generated rain drops you can eat!”

Planning 4 unreal

From this and many other fantasies produced by the groups we were able to see a city from a new perspective, unpicking what we cannot loose against what we assume we must keep. It is a new and imaginative way of reconsidering how we start a collaboration and the platforms for future conversation about the places we build.

Rhubarb, Rhubarb – Birmingham 29th – 31st July

Rhubarb, Rhubarb
Bill Kouwenhoen in late night debate with Dan Dubowitz at Rhubarb Rhubarb 2010

After a personal invite to visit Rhubarb Rhubarb by reviewer Mark Foxwell (creative director Genesis Imaging) I got a fantastic opportunity to have an introduction to the Rhubarb team and their event. And am very much looking forward to attending next year.

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