Photohastings, formerly the Photo hub group, is a grass-roots association of professional, semi-professional and involved photographers. Our membership has a broad spread in age-range and interests from academics to those with technical mastery. In 2010 and 2012 we were allied to the Brighton Photo Fringe as BPFHastings. Following two successful BPF festivals we launched Photohastings as an annual photo season in October 2014 with over thirty shows or events staged over a six week period mid-October to late November. Photohastings continues to support photographers in our part of the South East with shows and the critically acclaimed Photology talks.
The group was set up in 2009 by Andrew Moran with Grace Lau, with Cathryn Kemp and Alex Brattell extending the Phg remit by developing Photohastings in 2013. We promote professional development opportunities in the Hastings and St Leonard area. Our mission is to grow these opportunities regionally and nationally.
Please visit the Photohastings website: www.photohastings.org
In this most difficult year, with lockdown and closedowns Photohastings has managed to collaborate and to show work; which we saw as a great victory over adversity. Where it is true that Robin Hutt fostered the online Instagram exhibition–’Outside-In’, and the Runway group developed an ‘individuals-based’ physical-into-virtual project that also appeared on Instagram, we staged the ‘physical’ Ph group show, “We Baked All Our Own Bread, (one mischief always leads to another)” . Thanks to the foresight and belief in the creative process by Ph members the show happened and was a critical success. Ph members also collaborated with the ‘Dirty Old Gallery’ in their open call; ‘work about work’ an eclectic photographic show. Brian Rybolt and Jean Davey-Winter staged ‘Two Worlds’ at the Arts Forum; a mixed media show. ‘Human Gatherings’ was an exhibition based on collective actions by groups of people. The participating photographers searched their archives for images representing activities denied to us in this Pandemic year. Sadly one of our shows fell victim to lockdown, ‘In The Beginning’ by Jeremy Llewellyn-Jones had to re-schedule for later, in 2021.
In this year’s photo-season I have co-ordinated twelve events alongside of the Photohastings committee. Five photographic shows, two book events, one with the bookshop at Hastings Contemporary, the other an event organised by Silver Hill press. There were four Photology talks by academic practitioners curated and arranged by Alex Brattell. One exhibition on seafront poster sites by Mary-Beth Haas and four shows alternating at the Arts forum in St Leonard-on-Sea.
Please see the Photohastings website for details. www.photohastings.org
Apart from my work with the Photohastings committee as co-chair, I work on visual presentations as a creative contribution to the photo-season.
Radical Architecture: Immediate Past
In the 2018 Photohastings photo- season, I collaborated with Alexandra Drawbridge of SOLARIS in an open competition for all Ph members to enter. Nigel Green was the successful entrant with his Europe-wide project in which he captures images from the period of Modern and Post-modern architecture.
The show ran throughout the month of November in the SOLARIS gallery space. The images on show were printed by Alexandra, working closely with Nigel, not only with regard to the tonal range and colour values of the work but experimenting with curating the proportions of the work in the showing space; harmonising the images in the space itself as production progressed.
Nigel’s new work was taken from an ongoing series of architectural and topographic photographs, a long-term focus, on the legacy of utopian modernism. The photographs were taken in the U.K, Belgium, Serbia, Poland and France. They largely document buildings from the 1960s and 1970s. The work reflects diversity in architectural experimentation driven by the ideological aspirations of social and collective thinking. The architecture reflects local or vernacular concerns and it coalesces around a shared set of societal principles, so radically different from those of the present.
Nigel states that, “The buildings and sites that I photograph function as indicators of an uncompleted project, the future oriented goals of a utopian and socially committed thinking, which as Owen Hatherley states, represents a moment of social democracy”.
This year I also collaborated with the Marybeth Haas show entitled ‘Wild Hastings’. This took place in the democratic space of the overbridge in Hastings Railway Station. There were four contributing photographers including me; Marybeth Haas, Rose Biela and Ian Grant. Each photographer presented work seated in a ‘natural’ subject area and used differing production methods.
Showing work in an unpretentious and non-hierarchical setting was important too Marybeth’s creational approach; she has shown in this space before but this was her first foray into organising a group show.
The resource images for the final pieces of my work were captured on a sunny day in July on the walk that runs from the end of Tackleway to Barley Lane on Hastings’ East Hill. The leafy lane has the semblance of being ‘wild’, though it is set in an environment created by the actions of people, of walkers, over many years. I have great affection for this green passage, it is a brief respite from the visual arrest and intervention of roads, traffic and architecture. The method of construction that I engaged with in making the images, gave them a technical or scientific appearance. It was my intention to make the patterned, ‘fractals’ from the outset. I deliberately did not want to make a ‘straight’ representation of the place but to intone that even the most ‘wild’ of places in our natural environment is in an altered state, a construct.
The 2017 Photohastings photo-season included the work of twenty-five photographic practitioners. The photo-season ran from mid September through to the end of November. The Photology talks, (organised by Alex Brattell), included Simon Barker, photographic curator at Tate Britain, photographer Brian Griffin, online journalist Barry W. Hughes and academics and curators David Company and Alice Maude Roxby.
At the Alma Haser show, ‘Broken in Half but Beautiful’ at the Trinity 7 gallery, the work on show was being exhibited for the first time, an honour for the Photohastings photo-season. Her method is to break the zero degree of depth of the photograph, applying 3Dimensional images to the surface as an extension of a photograph’s ability to intrigue and fascinate us. In this project Alma recorded monozygotic twins and worked with the idea of the intricacies of intertwined biology. As much as we are intricately connected to our parents, these twins extend that process by one more stage.
The work was presented as jigsaw puzzles, whereby each alternate puzzle piece was exchanged with it’s twin, creating a representation of the connectivity between the subjects. In a folded-card section of the show Alma created 3D ‘biological’ mobiles using both twins in each piece. This was supplemented by a series of images where the image of one twin was overprinted by the other showing the anomaly that two such similar faces can present, it appeared that the artist was using the same face overprinted upon itself.
The 2016 Photohastings photo-season included the work of thirty four photographers showing over a period stretching from October through November.
‘Pierdom’ – 2016 photo-season – Photographs from Simon Roberts’ project which was a publication and a touring external exhibition. I was proud to be able to coordinate images from Simon’s iconic survey of Britain’s seaside piers on Hastings pier itself. he show had just arrived back in England from Holland and we were able to put the work up in the autumn at the head of the pier. This timing was perfect as the shooting of the images themselves and been executed at that time of year. The environment perfectly mirrored the atmosphere portrayed in the pictures; very satisfying.
‘I AM A NORMAN’ 2016 Ph photo-season – Following, are images from a recent project, which I coordinated and completed with the photographer Nigel Green. The work was shown in Clear Channel bus shelters in Hastings town centre and Hastings railway station. We thank Clear Channel and South Eastern rail for their kind cooperation in helping us to show this work in non-elitist spaces. The work was produced in response to the ROOT1066 festival, celebrating 950 years since the Battle of Hastings.
We identified the names of William the Conqueror’s compatriots in the Battle itself and sent out a call for anyone with relevant Norman surnames. These 15 images stem from the call. For more information please visit: http://www.iamanorman.wordpress.com
The images and text in Hastings railway station:
The year of the Observer Building
In the 2015 photo-season Photohastings collaborated with the Observer Building, a disused newspaper office and printworks, arranged through Ph member Alex Brattell. We showed a major group show, an exhibition of M.A students work from the University of Gloucester and a pop-up show.
The following pop-up show featured Sharon Haward’s homage to Eileen Gray and my homage to James Clerk Maxwell, the producer of the first colour photograph in 1861.
ARTS in ROMNEY MARSH 2015 photo-season – collaboration with PhotoHastings:
As a trustee of Arts in Romney Marsh, Cathryn Kemp has liaised with Susan Churchill to promote a collaboration between AiRM and PH. Work by photographers, Georgie Scott and Martin Everett will be shown in two of the contributing AiRM churches.
This year was curated by Catherine Kemp in alliance with the Photohastings committee.
PIERDOM at the Jerwood: Cathryn Kemp, PH coordinator and curator, has liaised with the Jerwood gallery in Hastings old town to bring about the siting of Simon Roberts’ image of Hastings Pier from his touring show, ‘Pierdom’. Cathryn has liaised with Jerwood’s Victoria Howarth not only to bring this image to the town’s premier showing space but collaborated with Bea Rapley from ‘The Pier Trust’. Together with Grace Lau and photographer John Cole, they organised a talks event and shooting project for several interested groups.
Following an introduction, a talk by Simon Roberts and a workshop by Grace Lau, John Cole took the group down to the pier to allow the group ‘first dibs’ at photographing the newly reconstructed space.
In 2014 Cathryn Kemp and Grace Lau were successful in gaining funding from Arts Council England in support of managing the new PhotoHastings season.
This is our new annual publication: It incorporates the Venue Map, general and specific information with regard to the new photo season.
Our major showcase was the Bob Mazzer exhibition at Baker Mamonova gallery in StLeonard, entitled ‘UNDERGROUND’. Bob first showed this work at the Howard Griffin Gallery in London in the summer of 2014. The Photo hub group were delighted to welcome the show to the PhotoHastings season of photography.
We were also pleased to welcome Nigel Shafran’s show, ‘Work Books 1984 – 2014’ to PhotoHastings. Nigel’s work is held in major collections and his work is exhibited internationally. His work is more normally presented in book format, in collections and as an edited monograph.
Some visitors to Nigel’s show; the interested, the intrigued and the incidental.
PARC contributions in and around PhotoHastings.
2013 – Interim Year
The Phg Autumn Review is a group exhibit, showing a snapshot of where the group is creatively in the interim year between photo biennials.
The following flyers are from the Phg sponsored shows for the 2012 BPBF in Hastings and St Leonard.
below : Catherine Collins of the ‘One and a Half’ gallery with Robert wilson at the Helmand-Patrol show.
FAILURE & SUCCESS
Following are images of a one-man show which took place at Stonesquid Art Space in Old Town, Hastings; curated by Tim Riley and Georgia Elizey. November 2011.
This is the itinerary and invitation for the Interim ‘Non-fringe-year’ shows.
How fantastic, after a great deal of work and collating information, we are awarded a grant from Arts Council England to help fund and promote projects toward the 2012 Brighton Photo Fringe Hastings.
We will be supporting:
1. A photographic project involving disadvantaged young people in our area in making and showing images in the 2012 BPFH. Run by Amanda Jobson and Buzz.
2. A photographic mentoring course run by Martin Everett for all ages, with a view to imbuing confidence in the mentees around the subjects of developing a directional portfolio and showing work in a gallery situation.
3. A photographic project proposed by Louise Kenward, with Bramble Lodge, a psychiatric unit, whereby the participants are given a voice through the camera. The work will culminate in a show directly relating to the project’s goals and an exhibition of this work during the 2012 BPFH.
4. Stuart Griffiths, reportage photographer, and one of the Photo hub group members has signed a book deal with Photoworks Brighton following winning the Fringe Open Prize during the 2010 BPFH. Phg is supporting a book launch in either Hastings or St Leonard.
5. A group-Interim show for our ‘Non-fringe-year’ in conjunction with Brighton Photo Biennial Fringe.
6. A photographic project with a local school that concerns itself with movement in the photographic image. This is particularly poignant in the 2012 Olympics year ‘A year of people in motion recorded photographically’. The subsequent work will be show as a part of their Gold Arts Awards GCSE work.
7. Building a website for Phg which will include its activities and subscriber’s work with links and blog news.
The following work is from a mentoring course run by Grace Lau, one of the organisers of the Photo hub group. The course culminated in an exhibition staged at Hastings Arts Forum in St Leonard-on-Sea in April 2011.
Visitors book comments:
Very good show very well shown. Great work on mentoring etc. Patrick Burton
A very impressive show. Lots of variety. Carly Ralph
A very exciting show. Wonderful to see to much professional work. Makes lots of connections for me in my mind. Well done to all involved. Beatrice Rapley.
Original, thoughtful and imaginative use of the camera, lenses and the environmental focused upon. Very enjoyable and visually beautiful works. P Austin.
Loved the variety of the ‘Anthology’, esp the strong abstractions of Annette Barton and the mysterious mood of Sue Barnes’ wild flowers – beautiful! A-M Ward.
Many, many thanks for a compulsively interesting show! Alan Segal.
BRIGHTON PHOTO BIENNIAL FRINGE 2010
The following images are of shows that the Photo hub group Hastings are running, in the Brighton Photo Biennial Fringe 2010. We feel honoured to be taking part in this international event. Helen Cammock and Woodrow Kernohan of the Brighton photo fringe have been the very epitome of generosity of spirit with their time and attention. We cannot thank them enough.
(You may notice that when you get to the images of the shows, that their accompanying text follows the image).
This is the first item of graphic design for the Photo hub group. It is a flyer for the first collaborative show with SoCo artists.