Interviewing Nigel Shafran is a circuitous, informal affair. Meeting him at his North London home, I immediately recognise Ruth, his partner and the subject of many of his photographs. I also meet his son Lev, who, though somewhat older, is also still easily discernible from his father’s pictures. The interview takes place in the kitchen familiar from Flowers for ____. Every now and then a friend calls round or phones, with plans made to throw a boomerang around in the park that afternoon, or play ping pong in the evening. Lev occasionally interjects from the living room with his take on the interview process, or on “nattering on about photography” as he puts it. “Sorry. Oh my God!” says Shafran, as the phone rings for the second time. “No worries,” I say. “You’re a busy man.” “A busy family man!” he replies. It doesn’t always make for an easy interview, but it feels appropriate for a photographer who focuses on the everyday, the domestic and the personal.
When he joined Tate Modern in 2009 he was Tate’s very first photography curator – but now Simon Baker is on the move, succeeding Jean-Luc Monterosso as the director of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris. Monterosso, who founded the MEP back in 1996, will leave the institution on 31 March. The news comes just weeks after Shoair Mavlian, assistant curator at Tate Modern, announced she was leaving the institution to become Photoworks’ new director. In October 2017 Kate Bush joined Tate Britain as its adjunct curator of photography, however, responsible for “researching and building the collection of British photography and curating exhibitions and displays”. In September 2017, Tate announced that it had acquired Martin Parr’s 12,000-strong photobook collection, making it one of the leading institutional collectors in this field.
“I’m thrilled to be given the opportunity to lead an organisation I have admired for so many years,” says Shoair Mavlian of her new role, director of Photoworks. “I look forward to working with the team, developing partnerships and supporting artists at local, national and international levels to connect new audiences with photography.”
Inspired by personal identity, the natural world, and the fear of dying, the three young artists in this year’s Jerwood/Photoworks Awards exhibition are presenting very different work. Picked out as winners in January 2017, all three have received a year of mentoring on their work from industry specialists such as photographer Mitch Epstein, publisher Michael Mack, and gallerist Maureen Paley. They each also received a bursary of £5000 and access to a production fund of another £5000, to make new work which goes on show in London’s Jerwood Space from 17 January-11 March then tours to Bradford and Belfast.
“I like to think that I’ve been giving myself time to find my own way of taking pictures – which of course means making a lot of mistakes, blowing a lot of resources and being very confused,” says fast-rising star Albert Elm
The emerging photographers each win £5000 to research a new project plus £5000 to develop it
The seventh installment of the Brighton Photo Biennial will take place throughout the month of October, hosting a series of talks, exhibitions and events, which hope to entertain and inspire both industry professionals as well as non-specialist audiences and lovers of photography. The festival will take over some of Brighton’s notable culture hubs, indoors and out; including the Fabrica building and the University of Brighton Grand Parade. This year’s theme, Beyond the Bias – Reshaping Image, seeks to debate the role that photography plays in the politics of identity, through the vehicle of fashion, style, gender and sexuality. Three core exhibitions will lie at the centre of the biennial. Ewen Spencer, who graduated from the University of Brighton in 1997, will take over Fabrica with a Photoworks commission, for which he plans to track London’s youth along the route of this summer’s notorious Notting Hill Carnival. In line with the festive spirit, the images mounted on large billboards will be shown alongside projection of Spencer’s archive and a contemporary music soundtrack. Olivia Arthur and Bharat …
Photoworks, the organisation behind the Brighton Photo Biennial, has announced the lineup of exhibitions and events for the sixth edition, which takes place from 04 October to 02 November. The announcement was made last night at The Photographers’ Gallery in London, where a packed audience of industry professionals eagerly awaited the news. The last edition, BPB12, focused on the ‘politics of space’, and this time the focus is on collaboration and community. There is no single curator, but rather an emphasis on partnerships. “We felt there was a current vibe around people working together – partly through necessity, and also through the generosity of shared expertise,” Photoworks director Celia Davies told BJP last night. “Choosing a single curator didn’t feel like quite the right thing for this Biennial.” More than 45 photographers, artists, and collectives will showcase work, both commissioned and received through open call, across a range of venues in Brighton and nearby Hove and Eastbourne. [bjp_ad_slot] At the centre of the packed programme is Simon Faithfull’s Reef, a commissioned project that will see a boat towed out to sea and sunk off the coast of Portland in Dorset. Cameras …