A powerful outdoor photography exhibition which explores the idea of the ‘North’ opened in Aberdeen this week.
The exhibition, which features the work of 25 amateur and professional photographers from all over the northern hemisphere, is the result of an open call submission which took place as part of the Develop North photographic festival in October last year, organised by Gray’s School of Art.
More than 500 submissions were received as part of the open call, with the winning entries now on display in St Nicholas’ Street until Sunday, July 17.
The brief was to explore ‘The Experience of North’ and what that means to individuals, whether it was a response to current political, social or cultural landscapes, or perhaps a poetic, conceptual or critical perception of what it is to experience the ‘North’.
A panel of experts from Gray’s School of Art anonymously selected the 25 finalists who will feature in the exhibition.
Technical Services Officer at the art school, Fiona Stephen, played a key role in organising Develop North, and said: “Entrants were able to interpret the brief as they wished, whatever form that took, and we received a very interesting, diverse selection of work from all over the north as part of the open call which was fantastic.
“It was great to see that level of engagement, not only from people living in the north of Scotland but also from England, Ireland, Finland, Iceland and Sweden among others.
“It is the first time that we have done an open call as part of the Develop North project and we are thrilled to have received such a strong response.”
Fiona praised the help of Aberdeen City Council, and festival partners Metro Imaging, Street Level Photo Works, Ilford Photo and Harman Technology Ltd, in promoting the open call widely to ensure such a positive response.
Develop North received funding through the city council’s Cultural Awards programme to enable them to host the exhibition.
She added: “What we want to do with the outdoor exhibition, and Develop North more widely, is raise the profile of contemporary photography within the area, democratising contemporary photography and bringing it out onto the streets, making it accessible to all.
“Hopefully this event will offer people in the north-east the opportunity to experience some really interesting photography in a very public setting and to get them to think about what the ‘North’ means to them.”
Develop North is a major new bi-annual photographic festival launched in 2015 by Gray’s School of Art in partnership with Metro Imaging, Street Level Photo Works, Ilford Photo and Harman Technology Ltd.
Jenny RushCommunications Officer | Design and Technology