Over this time, artists and communities have come together to explore how photography can be used as a tool for self-expression, reflection and resilience in what is becoming an ever increasingly isolated world. What has come from these various collaborations is a testament to the fact that with creativity comes purpose, belonging and a space to create new conversations about the people and places around us.
Gallery 1 presents work by local photography collective, Clickmoor, based in MyClubmoor. The group were supported by artists Emma Case and Katherine Monaghan to develop their own photographic skills and identity. The work offers a glimpse into each member’s journey through this process, both practically and emotionally.
Also on display in Gallery 1 is the project Haven, a collaboration by photographer Stephanie Wynne and Wirral Women, who have produced work relating to themes of safety, focusing on the places that sustain us during difficult and isolated times. The work is intentionally three dimensional and tactile, as a direct response to the virtual 2D spaces we have spent much of the past two years within.
Gallery 2 showcases work by recent graduates from our joint MA in Socially Engaged Photography with the University of Salford. Featured graduates are Gerard Francis, Rachel Mason, Lāsma Poiša and her collective Snappy Valley, and Andy Yates. These four photographers’ works reflect the diversity of practice coming from the next generation of socially engaged practitioners.
Just Between Friends is a project developed and produced by artists Robert Parkinson and Gary Bratchford and a community group in Castlefields, Runcorn, recently established as the Phoenix Amateur Photography Group (PAP). The project is a cross-site exhibition split across Gallery 3, our external gallery walls, and four public realm installations in Runcorn. The project reflects how relationships are developed and formed through the acts of conversation, walking and photography, and how each one of these actions interacts with and informs the other. The cross-site nature of the project creates a further exchange between site and gallery, and to better reconcile the relationship between community and institution, city and suburb.
Collective Matters reflects ideas of what we love, what inspires us, what frustrates us, and ultimately what makes us human. With this, we want to know what matters to you. We welcome you to engage with our dedicated space in Gallery 2 as well as our online programme to continue these conversations through interactive sessions, pop-up showcases, talks and workshops. In this respect, this show is not the final product, but simply part of the journey. We explore, we learn and we share. With this comes growth for our communities, our artists, for us as a gallery and for you, our audience. Collectively, we are community.