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Study event: Format19 festival

Derby 15-17 March

Your guides on these visits will be OCA tutors Derek Trillo and Helen Warburton. Spread over three days you could choose one or two days, but would get more from the weekend and a greater sense of community and cohesion with fellow students the more days you can attend.

Friday 15 March 2019

The conference day

Day One at The University of Derby fully embraces the Format Festival 2019 Opening Weekend programme by attending a specially curated, intensive, daylong conference held at the University of Derby. Comprised of back-to-back talks and panel discussions, the event aims to explore the theme of Format 2019 – FOREVER/NOW. Conferences are a useful platform to hear directly from artists and researchers about varying approaches and new developments in the sector. Tickets are £36 for students, including refreshments and a buffet lunch. https://formatfestival.com/about/
Details of the conference and how to book can be found here.
Evening (6:30pm onwards):
As a part of the conference, all attendees are invited to the launch of the exhibitions at the University of Derby. This will allow us to get a sneak preview of displays in what is often the largest venue of the festival and discuss them as a group. We’ll then make our way back into the centre of Derby for a late supper and discussion of the day’s topics and experiences. The centre of Derby is a 30 minute walk / 20 minute walk/bus / 10 minute drive from the University.
Objectives

  • The visit aims to help you:
    gain a personal perspective on the range of work discussed in the conference and the exhibitions on display
    reflect on the experience and to think about your own potential
  • network with other OCA students, event audiences and participants of the festival

Saturday 16 March 2019

Book & exhibition day

Image © Charlotte Jopling/Format Festival

Day two starts with the photobook fair at Derby Museum & Art Gallery on The Wardwick, DE1 1BS: http://www.rps.org/news/2018/december/format19-photobook-market
A short practical session will show samples of less conventional approaches to bookmaking: Derek and Helen will illustrate how they can enhance and influence the content and perception of a book, to reinforce the images’ message. Of interest to all artists (not just photographers), we will handle a wide variety of formats to demonstrate how they contextualise the images, dictate their sequencing, and see how the physical materiality of the artworks enriches their presentation.
There will then be an opportunity to explore the book fair to seek further examples and to reflect on how the more creative approaches fulfil these criteria. We suggest that you may want to take some of these ideas to influence your own thoughts on the presentation of prints, books and/or exhibitions. A reflection in your learning log could be a good way to develop ideas on how taking a step back from the images – seeing the physical form, sequence and additional contextual material – can alter the viewers’ perception of a project. It’s something many of us struggle with, while tied to computers and virtual images.
We will continue with visits to several exhibitions, starting with the retrospective of Derbyshire photographer Maurice Broomfield at Derby Museum and Art Gallery on the Strand (DE1 1BS) Note this is directly behind the Wardwick gallery. A summary of his career is here:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/culture-obituaries/8049036/Maurice-Broomfield.html
Objectives:

  • From the worked examples and the photobook fair: we suggest that you may want to take some of these ideas to influence your own thoughts on the presentation of prints, books and/or exhibitions. A reflection in your learning log could be a good way to develop ideas on how taking a step back from the images – seeing the physical form, sequence and additional contextual material – can alter the viewers’ perception of a project. It’s something many of us struggle with, while tied to computers and virtual images.
  • From Broomfield’s exhibition: consider how the use of lighting on location was used to direct the viewer’s attention to Broomfield’s chosen subject, and his use of shade excluded anything he considered distracting within the frame. Reflect on whether this (cinematic) approach lies closer to advertising than reportage, within a tradition of industrial images captured on site.
  • Network with other OCA students.

Sunday 17 March 2019

Work-in-progress day

© John Sutton CC BY_SA

Day Three is an informal, group work-in-progress crit held in the morning at QUAD, one of the hub venues for the festival. There is no itinerary in the afternoon, allowing time to explore the QUAD exhibitions and other shows across the city. Bring works in progress with you and sound out your ideas with fellow students and tutors.
The work-in-progress crit is a great opportunity for you to sound out your work in front of an ‘audience’. The role of the tutor at these meetings is to support and motivate critical development of the work and discussion, rather than to substitute your own tutor’s involvement.
It can be a nerve-wracking prospect to present your work to others – naturally – but the experience is as rewarding and creatively nourishing as it is challenging. The fruitfulness of these sessions is very much dependent on participants’ interest in each others’ work and readiness to reciprocate supportive feedback.
You will each have equal time allocated for presentation and discussion of your work. Physical materials such as work prints, contact sheets, sketchbooks, book dummies are recommended.
For more about the exhibitions you’ll see at QUAD: https://formatfestival.com/venue/quad-extra/
QUAD is a 16 minute walk from Derby Midland Train Station
Register your interest in attending by completing the booking form. There is a £10 booking fee for this event however we will waive this for students booking the conference on Friday. Please just let us know when you have booked onto the conference via studyevents@oca.ac.uk
Full joining instructions will be disseminated to attendees. Do please let us know if you have any mobility issues as we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
Featured Image: Maria Sturm, “You Don’t Look Native to Me”, https://formatfestival.com/whats-on/you-dont-look-native-to-me/#1

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Posted by author: Derek Trillo
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