PEER FORUM at The Photographers’ Gallery
The 2019 PEER FORUM award at The Photographers’ Gallery has been awarded to Daniel Regan who will be working with artists Antonia Attwood, Roelof Bakker, Zara Carpenter, Diogo Duarte, Grace Jackson, Celine Marchbank, Rikard Österlund, Marie Smith, Paloma Tendero and Naomi Woddis.
Daniel Regan is a photographic artist specialising in complex and difficult emotional experiences. Both his BA and MA in Photography focused on the transformational impact of arts on mental health, building on his own lived experience. Daniel’s work focuses on themes of wellbeing and brokers dialogue around taboo topics such as self-injury, suicide and personal and institutional archives. He regularly exhibits, speaks and facilitates participatory arts projects across fine art, educational and clinical institutions in the UK and worldwide. Daniel is also the Artistic Director of the Free Space Project, a pioneering organisation based within the NHS providing arts and community initiatives in Camden (London).
Antonia Attwood is an UK and international artist, working with moving image and photography. Currently studying her MA in Photography at the Royal College of Art. Antonia’s body of work has developed a focus on illustrating and visually interpreting how mental illness ‘feels’. Using still and moving imagery and sound, it depicts the affects of chemical changes in the brain, and the phenomenology of mental illness. Her work explores how it feels for particular individuals to be vulnerable and overwhelmed by the world living with a medical condition. It is not about communicating a straightforward message, but rather sharing interpretations of experience of altered mind-states.
Roelof Bakker’s practice addresses the ever-increasing speed of life and the often-tragic disposability of memory and the material, employing lens-based media, writing, performance, design and publishing (Negative Press London). Loss and the lived experience are themes that run throughout his work, as in his artist’s book ‘The Spots That Never Went’, a reflection on the devastation of AIDS and the lasting impact on a generation (Highly Commended Finalist of the 2019 Cornish Family Prize for Art and Design Publishing); and in ‘Strong Room’, a collaboration with Jane Wildgoose addressing the loss of the physical experience in the digital world.
Zara Carpenter is a multidisciplinary artist and maker. Her practice explores the body; an often fragile vessel containing the emotional and psychological. She investigates this across various media; print making, sculptural assemblages, photography and performance often using materials of an ephemeral nature. Her current projects deal with the experience of trauma and its effect on the body. Zara has exhibited nationally and internationally and is the Co-Founder of the arts project SICK! Living With Invisible Illness.
Diogo Duarte is a London-based, Portuguese image maker specialising in queer self-portraiture and psychological portraiture. With a background in mental health and bereavement support, his primarily photography-based practice explores themes of queerness, ego, identity and the beautiful dynamic between expression and repression. In 2014, one of Diogo’s portraits was included in a Saatchi Art Online collection, and, in 2018, the series he co-authors with his collaborator Jessica Mitchell – ‘Sour-Puss: The Opera’ – was a finalist at Portugal’s highest-profile Photography Biennial. In the same year, Diogo won a prize in the photography category at the FAPDA Kyoto Award and was one of the winners of Life Framer’s competitions. His work has been widely exhibited, including in the UK, Japan, Italy, Canada and Portugal. More recently, his work was sold at auction at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Canada to support disadvantaged communities in accessing the arts.
Grace Jackson was born in 1993 in Gloucestershire, Jackson uses cameras as an escapism in the fields surrounding her. Graduating in 2015 from London College of Communication, Jackson found how the darkroom could be her peace. Writing her dissertation on making the personal political, Grace was able to find her niche on making work to explore her emotions and explore mental well-being through her photographs. She has exhibited internationally including with Saatchi Art. Her current project called One in Five explores using her own coping mechanism of making the personal political with sexual assault survivors to be able to process and raise awareness.
Celine Marchbank is a photographic artist based in London. Her practice explores everyday life, fascinated by the quiet details of domesticity, with a particular interest in home, family and community. Two past main bodies of work came as a direct response to the death of her mother; Tulip the story of the last year of her mother’s life published by Dewi Lewis in 2016, and ‘A Stranger in my Mother’s Kitchen’ an exploration of the grieving process to be published later this year. These have led Celine into other areas of interest such as illness, health and wellbeing. At present Celine is working on a commission for the CONNECT NHS public arts programme at Brighton Hospital, a partnership between Photoworks, Brighton & Sussex NHS Hospital Trust and Willis Newson, creating a permanent collection of photographic artworks for the new hospital.
Rikard Österlund is a photographer who works with long-term autobiographical projects. His practise is often intuitive, working with a mix of approaches – from snapshots to still life. Photography is a way for him to express what can be difficult to put into words. He is interested in how narrative and emotion can develop through a sequence of images, particularly in the photobook format. His debut book ‘Look, I’m wearing all the colours’ was self-published in 2018. It is an intimate story of his journey as a husband trying to understand his wife’s illness. It was made using photographs taken over a 13 year period. It is part of the Wellcome Collection and was recently selected for photo festivals in Athens and Belfast.
Marie Smith is a film photographer and writer born, living and working in London. Her practice explores juxtapositions that occur in complex, urban landscapes in London and beyond. Marie addresses concerns with identity in relation to memory, architecture and environment, in particular how the geographies and spaces you inhabit shape perspectives and understanding of the self. She also utilises herself as a case study to re-frame and question themes around death and mental health.
Paloma Tendero is a visual artist exploring the physical and psychological relationships that spring from inherited DNA. She was born in Spain, where she graduated with BA(Hons) in Fine Arts at Complutense University, Madrid (2011). Following that, she graduated from MA Photography at London College of Communication. Since then, she has been exhibiting and collaborating with different artists and projects, participating in international exhibitions such as Political Bodies, Padua(2019) HerStory, Vienna(2018) My Mother’s Daughter, London (2017) Her artwork is also part of The Hyman Collection- British Photography. She has been part of Artist in Residencies programs including health and well being through the arts program at FreeSpace in Kentish Town Health Centre, London and KulkurKontak AIR in Vienna 2018.
Naomi Woddis is a photographer, writer and radio show host whose photography includes portraiture and still life. The aim of her work is to be clear, compassionate and honest. She is also interested in opening new dialogues about mental health and chronic invisible illness, living with both conditions herself. Naomi hosts a monthly radio show ‘The Two of Us’ on Reel Rebels Radio where she talks to writers and artists about their work and how it relates to mental health and emotional well-being. Naomi has been Artist-in-Residence at Culpeper Community Garden, Islington and her work has been exhibited at Ovalhouse, The Albany, Lewisham Art House, The Nunnery Gallery (as part of the Shape Open 2013), The Pie Factory, Margate and Free Space Project, Kentish Town.
In 2018 the Peer Forum award at The Photographers’ Gallery was awarded to Rowan Lear who worked with Victoria Louise Doyle, Luci Eldridge, Victoria Fornieles, Dawn M Gaietto, Leanne Bell Gonczarow, Oliver Griffin, Freddy Griffiths, James Hankey, Melanie King, Dafna Talmor , Catherine M Weir , Oliver Raymond-Barker under the group name of Planetary Processing. You can keep updated on the groups ongoing activity by visiting their website.
In 2017 The Photographers’ Gallery hosted a peer mentoring group established by Thom Bridge who worked with artists Andrew Bruce , Emma Ingeborg Bäcklund, Philipp Dorl ,Kim Jakobsen To, Maria Kapajeva , Laura Hensser, Julie Hill , Helen McGhie, Ryan L. Moule, Anja Olofgörs, Martin Seeds and Monica Takvam. The group is continuing working together under the name Field/s
The PEER FORUM 2016 Group selected for The Photographers’ Gallery consisted of: Lewis Bush (Lead artist), Alma Haser, Tim Mitchell, Tina Remiz, Max Colson, Jocelyn Allen, Clare Hewitt, Christopher Bethell, Andrew Youngson and Marcia Chandra.
You can listen to Lewis Bush in conversation with Artquest about his experiences of the PEER FORUM programme below.