The second biennial FLOW Photofest opens next week with the theme of this year’s festival being ‘Borders’.
The month-long international festival celebrates photography in all its forms with over 20 exhibitions taking place at galleries across the Highlands and Islands.
FLOW Photofest is a biennial international photography festival, held across the Highlands and Islands, which first ran through September 2017.
FLOW aims to present new and recent work by Scottish and international photographers, to examine and explore the perspective of the North, and to promote new cultural collaborations to facilitate public engagement with, and participation in, photography.
Work by exhibiting artists from Alaska, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Poland and Scotland connects the festivals aims of exploring the perspective of the North. Flow also promotes new cultural collaborations which facilitate public engagement with, and participation in, photography.
The festivals theme, Borders acknowledges our shifting political and personal boundaries and how photography is also evolving as an art medium and document. It addresses cultural, social, territorial, geographical, political, sexual, racial and psychological phenomena.
In addition to exhibitions there will be artist-led workshops in collaboration with the new Inverness Darkroom on cyanotypes, pinholes and bookmaking, and Highland Print Studio will run photogravure workshops. There are a series of photography related talks over the first weekend of the festival and portfolio reviews for committed photographers and photo-based artists at all levels.
In conjunction with Eden Court there is a small film festival which will show films related to photography including the first showing of the biopic , ‘Mapplethorpe’. All of the exhibitions are free to the public as are the talks and portfolio reviews, however space for these is limited.
Amongst the artists exhibiting work at this years festival is Michael Flomen, a self-taught Canadian artist. He uses camera-less techniques to collaborate with nature focusing on various forms of water, firefly light, wind, and other natural phenomena are the inspiration for his picture making.
Russian artist, Jana Romanova’s work, Waiting captures young Russian couples, inhabitants of Saint Petersburg and Moscow, sleeping in their bedrooms. They’re preparing to become parents in a few months, and the camera documents both their poses and also the details of their interiors.
Jeff J Mitchell is a multi-award winning staff photographer for Getty Images based in Scotland and has travelled extensively, covering major news events both nationally and internationally. In 2015 Jeff spent most of the summer covering the migrant crises, as people came through Serbia before boarding trains in Croatia to be transported onto the Slovenian border.
Elena Chernyshova is a Russian documentary photographer, self taught she developed a passion for visual language during her studies in architecture. Her work, Days of Night – Nights of Day is a documentary project about daily life of the inhabitants of Norilsk, a mining city north of the arctic circle.
Forres based artist Hannah Laycock specialises in portrait and fine-art photography currently inspired by her diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2013. Her subtle, contemplative and sensuous work on MS contributes to illness narratives that come in various forms in contemporary culture: from memoirs to performance art.
Matt Sillars, FLOW director and chair, said: ‘FLOW Photofest 2019 is a tremendous opportunity for people in the local area to see a range of quality, contemporary photography by international and Scottish photographers, including four Scottish premiers by photographers from Canada, Poland and Russia.’
FLOW director, Roddy MacKenzie added: ‘We’re really excited to present a diverse range of photographers with work that is challenging, accessible, surreal, abstract and humorous”. “There is content that includes stories of intimacy in everyday life while others focus on familiar global issues.’
Flow director, Paul Campbell, “It’s great to see the 2nd festival coming to life, as a voluntary organisation we’re grateful for the support from funders and the general public across the North and beyond”.
This year’s festival will take place in September 2019 with the official opening on 6 September; however exhibitions will begin before this, notably Micheal Flomen, Jana Romanova and Hannah Laycock (Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, 31 August).
Visit https://flowphotofest.co.uk/ for more details.