Festival shows the world class photography on our doorstep

Claire Richardson: The Forgotten People, at Trinity Gallery
Claire Richardson: The Forgotten People, at Trinity Gallery

FOR the second year, Hastings is part of the Brighton Photo Fringe, a biennial festival, which gives talented photographers a chance to shine.

The festival runs until November 17, and here in Hastings there are 20 shows, and several artist talks that form part of the programme.

The Brighton Photo Fringe is an uncurated festival, which means that it is open to anyone who wishes to participate.

Together with Brighton Photo Biennial 2012, a curated photography festival, which runs in parallel, it is the largest photography event in the UK.

Hastings’ participation in the festival is coordinated by Photo hub group, a collective of photographers, led by Andrew Moran and Grace Lau, with support from Arts Council England of £40,000.

Andrew said that by affiliating with a larger festival, the aim was to raise awareness of the photographic community in Hastings, and to give photographers opportunities to show their work.

He added: “The idea was to aid the photographic community, as Hastings is so rich in terms of talent, and to try to increase opportunities for young people in the town.”

As well as another festival to add to the town’s packed calendar of cultural offerings, he said that Brighton Photo Fringe was also a professional development opportunity, and a chance to develop a business hub where photography is recognised in the town.

Among the highlights is The Forgotten People, an exhibition by Claire Richardson, at Trinity Gallery, which runs from October 13 to 26.

She recently returned from a trip to Uganda volunteering for the Quicken Trust, which supports orphans in the village of Kabubbu.

Andrew Moran has curated an exhibition of photographs by Robert Wilson “Helmand-Patrol”, selected from a larger project shown at the Hayward Gallery, London, in 2011, which will be at Stade Hall from November 1 to 14.

Quite unusually, at Hastings Arts Forum (36 Marina, St Leonards) there are several weeks purely of photography exhibitions.

There is Waiting to be noticed by Phil Cook, showing until October 24, whose photographs are a study of absence.

Upon Reflection also running until October 24, features the work of Rose Biela, Mel Brewer, Chris Mammone, Mary Morris, Lesley Parkinson and Steve Rutter.

From October 24 to November 7, Hard Graft: Ships, The Land, The Ring, shows the work of Bruce Rae, Malcolm Glover, and John Cole, and also during the same period is Ospedale al Mare by Brian Rybolt.

Referring to the festival’s accessibility, Andrew said: “A lot of people are intimidated by galleries, but there are other venues.”

The work of Parkwood Sixth Form students, “Photo-Motion”, will be displayed on the railings of the seafront crazy golf course from October 20 to November 17, and Eating Out: Rock-a-Nore to St Leonards, by Tim Morris, will be at the Post Office Tea Rooms, in Marina, St Leonards, until October 21.

As well as a wealth of photography exhibitions, there is also a film element to Brighton Photo Fringe Hastings.

Showing at the Electric Palace Cinema will be What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann (October 16), which follows the photographer’s creation of a series revolving around death and decay, and Somewhere to Disappear (November 13), on American Alec Soth’s Broken Manual photography project).

At Hastings Arts Forum on October 30, will be showing Time Zero: the last year of Polaroid film.

For details of the exhibitions visit www.photofringe.org/exhibitions/hastings or www.phghastings.co.uk/2012/09/hastings-st-leonards-fringe-show-details.

Email mail@hastingsphotofringe.com.

A printed guide will be available at venues.