The Urban Photo Fest 2017 featured a variety of exhibitions, events and activities across Deptford, New Cross and Greenwich as well as a talk by Roger Ballen and conference at Tate Britain. One of the highlights of the festival for me was No Maps For What We Know which is on at 310 NXRD Galley, New Cross Road SE14 6AF (12pm-8pm) until the 17th of November.
This exhibition was curated by Sarah Ainsle and features artists from The Gate Room Members. "Who are the Gate Room Members?" you ask. Well...The Gate Darkroom are a a group of emerging artists who, for the last 6 years, have been running a not-for-profit photographic darkroom as a community interest company. They hang their hats at Thames-Side Studios, Harrington Way, Warspite Road, SE18, 5NR.
The photo above is by Henry Palmer entitled Part-Time Geography (2013) it's a silver Gelatin print. It's one of a series of photographs on temporary landscapes and topography along the South bank of the Thames, tracking the physical apparition of redevelopment. To be honest I liked all the artists in the show and wish I had j-pegs of everyone's work. Ioana Marinca's Map of pain and recovery was made in response to the recent attack in London Bridge. David Whiting's "You Are Here" series of photos of Park Maps was impressive. I also liked the work inspired by the Thames such as Pathways by Tony Jacobs and a series of collaged images called Low Tide by Molly Behagg.The press release features the following quote:
"When does one need a map, if not when in unfamiliar territory or a foreign land? The photographers of the Gate Darkroom are going through a buoyant transition, having recently moved into their new home by the river, in Woolwich. Between the Iris shipwreck and the plastic moulding factory they are navigating a new territory, listening to the river, and searching for light. Memories will help them remember where they came from, and clues found on the way will lead them into an unknown landscape. Elements of information appear and disappear; names are edited out, new lines are marked and realities shift They will explore processes of mapping, shared experience, contours, boundaries, pathways, and inhabiting the urban edgelands."For more info visit:
Text by Harry Pye 2017