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Offline Newsletter #001
Let's discuss photography more
And we’re off!…
Welcome to the first Offline Journal Newsletter - published online every first and third Sunday each month to offer the wider photography community an opportunity to provide feedback on content I’m including (or excluding) in the printed Journal and allow photographers to engage in discussions on various themes I might offer up.
Newsletter Issues will vary: some long, some short and some in the form of discussion threads. Some will be a bit more experimental. I’d value your input and views.
Let's discuss photography more
The rancour that one finds now in discussions of photography is complex in origin. In part the ill will can be traced to the fact that photographic criticism is currently mostly the province of the young, some of whom have not yet often enough made fools of themselves to be cautious or suffered enough to be charitable. And there is the frustrating nature of the medium itself: it is harder in photography than in painting to establish a recognisable style; this leads to desperate efforts to establish a style at any cost and in turn to the creation of technically accomplished but otherwise empty pictures that anger those who must write about them.
Robert Adams - ‘Beauty in Photography’, 1981, Aperture Foundation
Many would agree we need more substance over style in photography today.
Good photography takes time. Or does it? Discuss.
In my parting PROGREDIOR* editor piece in Offline Journal’s first issue I echoed some of Robert Adams’ observation (and frustration) on the need for more informed debate and critique on photography. It seems appropriate to repeat an excerpt here as a reminder of the aims and aspirations for both the printed Offline Journal and this online Newsletter going forward…
I feel we need more conversations, talks and, sometimes, heated but friendly and constructive debates on the work created in Wales - who's making it, their approach, how it's progressing, who is showing or publishing it and the choices of what we, the photography community making work, are presented with in exhibitions curated in the larger galleries.
Photographers can be a lonely and sometimes timid bunch - especially the talented ones - but many recognise the need to push themselves to find the confidence to speak about their work in public talks or show openings. Collectively, Wales can also find a voice and confidence to critically discuss and show photography made in and of here - contemporary and past. If we don't, there's a danger that those paid to manage photography on our behalf, but are so often not photographers, will talk louder and spoon feed us their taste without challenge.
If you would like to discuss, write about or submit photography to any future issues of this new adventure that is Offline: Photography in Wales, email: email@example.com
Exhibiting Photography in Wales
The ‘On the Wall’ article examining the availability of independent photography galleries around Wales created some interest and hopefully highlighted need for more and, importantly, the fragility of the spaces available back in October 2018.
Good photography in Wales deserves to be shown more and wider. But independent galleries and those running them need support, encouragement and funding. A series of follow-up articles are now underway and will appear in future Issues of Offline Journal.
If you know of new photography gallery spaces in your area of Wales, please get in touch and provide some basic details.
Above: The ‘On the Wall’ article spread in Offline Journal #001, October 2018
One impressive new space sympathetic to showing new photography in South Wales is CULTVR Lab located in a large industrial unit on Penarth Road in Cardiff. As the image below (opening of Gareth Phillips’ ‘NH5’ India project) illustrates, the space can accommodate images on large walls in addition to installations for more creative exhibition curation.
Above: ‘NH5’ exhibition by photographer Gareth Phillips, Cardiff 2020
* Progredior - Latin verb: advance
Announced in advance of Offline Journal Issue #003 - Offline Essays are a series of new writing on contemporary photography that will form a unique set over time. A different 4-page Offline Essay is included with each subscription issue (2 per year) and then available separately to non-subscribers six months later.
April 2020 will see Offline Journal #004 published and its accompanying Offline Essay supplement for subscribers is complete!
If you feel you have a potential Offline Essay in you tamping to get out - get in touch and we can discuss further. Drop an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m excited to confirm the first Offline Essay supplement written by Daniel Meadows that accompanied Issue #003 of Offline Journal for subscribers will now be available for anyone to purchase from 1 April 2020.
‘The Daniel Meadows Archive in nine people’ will be available for just £2.00 per copy plus £1.50 post and packing via www.offline.wales from 1 April.
Offline Journal Newsletter is published every first and third Sunday each month to offer the wider photography community an opportunity to discuss photography in, from and of Wales.
Back Issues of and Subscriptions to the printed Offline Journal available via www.offline.wales
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(Thanks again either way! - Brian)