Photo50

PHOTO50: NO PLACE IS AN ISLAND

The latest edition of Photo50, No Place is an Island, curated by Rodrigo Orrantia, presents works by British and UK-based artists responding to the idea of an island. Echoing John Donne’s celebrated book No Man is an Island, the exhibition explores what it means to be an island and its multiple possibilities towards the future.

The title of the exhibition also alludes to the idea that contemporary photography is not an island or an isolated medium, and the selected artists will showcase photography as part of a wider practice, pushing and redefining its boundaries through sculpture, performance, moving image and sound.

This exhibition also celebrates 10 years since the seminal Photo50 show entitled The New Alchemists, curated by Rodrigo’s mentor and friend Sue Steward, who passed away in 2017. No Place Is An Island references Steward’s work and ideas, bringing them to the present by looking at how photographic art has evolved in the last decade. The exhibition connects a generation of established and mid-career artists, with emerging practices working around the same interests and, in most cases, directly inspired by artists in the show.

Esther Teichmann, Heavy the Sea, 2018, Installation view © Esther Teichmann. Courtesy of Flowers Gallery
Esther Teichmann, Heavy the Sea, 2018, Installation view © Esther Teichmann. Courtesy of Flowers Gallery

Several of the works in No Place is An Island focus on the theme of our relationship to landscape, and suggest new ways of understanding how we perceive and interact with our surroundings.

Aliki Braine, Where Two Seas Meet, Skagen #2 [Detail] 2018. Image Courtesy of the Artist
Aliki Braine, Where Two Seas Meet, Skagen #2 [Detail] 2018. Image Courtesy of the Artist
Sarah Pickering, Landmine [Detail], 2005. Image Courtesy of the Artist
Sarah Pickering, Landmine [Detail], 2005. Image Courtesy of the Artist
Eva Stenram, New Meridians 3 [Detail], 2019. Image Courtesy of the Artist
Eva Stenram, New Meridians 3 [Detail], 2019. Image Courtesy of the Artist

2022 EXHIBITING ARTISTS

John MacLean | Eva Stenram | Dafna Talmor| Martin Seeds | Tom Hunter | Tom Lovelace | Andy Sewell | Aliki Braines | Esther Teichmann | Bindi Vora | Shepherd Manyika | Alexander Mourant | Sarah Pickering | Hannah Hughes 

The works in this show connect with the topical issues of our time, but also to a universal narrative, the journey to an idealised place. I’d like to start conversations about what it means to be an island, and how we construct it in our minds. No Place Is An Island talks about connectivity, about the fact nothing exists in isolation, it is merely a fiction, a fantasy.Rodrigo Orratoria

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Rodrigo Orrantia, photographed by Manuel Vazquez

Rodrigo Orrantia is an independent curator, interested in expanded practices of photography also working with sculpture, performance and localised installation. 

Orrantia believes that exhibitions and publications are devices for experimentation and debate, where curators can work with artists from the outset of the project in a collaborative way. He is particularly interested in the connections between photography, geography and place, especially the topical relationship between nature and humans in the geologic time of the Anthropocene.

Following this interest, in 2017 he was awarded Format Festival’s Habitat Award for an exhibition project entitled Modern Ornithologies, an experimental installation featuring a selection of photo books and films placed within the collection of Pickford’s House Museum in Derby. In 2020 he was the winner of the Landskrona Foto Festival Open Call, with an exhibition project entitled The State of Things, another experimental installation, this time inviting five artists to respond to the architecture and history of this Swedish town. 

Orrantia believes that contemporary photographic practices interested in the materiality of the medium could also be interested in its history, and certainly in its many adjacent worlds, from printmaking through to sculpture, film and video, and live performance.

PHOTOGRAPHY FOCUS DAY AT LONDON ART FAIR 2022

London Art Fair’s Photography Focus Day, Friday 21 January 2022, will feature a day of talks and tours led by practitioners and experts. Full details of London Art Fair’s Talks Programme will be announced in November. 

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Photo50 at London Art Fair 2022 is kindly supported by Genesis Imaging.

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ABOUT PHOTO50

Photo50 is London Art Fair’s annual exhibition of contemporary photography, providing a critical forum for examining some of the most distinguishing elements of current photographic practice.

Guest curated each year, it highlights a timely theme in current photography and adds a space and context to the photography presented by galleries at the Fair.

To discover previous Photo50 exhibitions, click below

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Rodrigo Orrantia, photographed by Manuel Vazquez

Guest curated by Rodrigo Orrantia, No Place is an Island presents a selection of works by British and UK-based artists, interested in questioning the idea of an island and the associated concepts of isolation and isolationism. The selection, especially made for Photo50, focuses on practices expanding the possibilities of photography, especially where the medium overlaps with sculpture and performance. 
 
Echoing John Donne’s celebrated No Man is an Island, this exhibition examines what it means to be an island in the contemporary moment. As we slowly emerge from the covid19 pandemic to a post-Brexit Britain, the topical issues of our day (climate emergency, mass migration, travel and movement restrictions) confront us with the reality of an interconnected world:  no place is really an island, we only make it one in our imagination. 

Rodrigo Orrantia is an art historian and curator, specialised in photography. 

His practice focuses on exhibition and publication projects, and critical writing. He is a regular speaker at Universities in the UK and France, and a reviewer and juror for international photography festivals and awards.

He is currently researching connections between photography, geography and place, with an interest in nature and its relationship with the urban/ manmade/ artificial environment.

In his poignant body of photographic work Hometowns, John MacLean pays homage to the subtle yet important influence of the hometown, particularly in relation to the visual development of artists themselves. Beginning with a simple idea that he quickly jotted down in a notebook several years ago –“Photograph the hometowns of your heroes” –MacLean has explored and photographed more than twenty cities, towns and neighborhoods around the world where a number of his artistic heroes spent their childhood, such as Bridget Riley, James Turrell and Wassily Kandinsky. MacLean’s project searched for the everyday places that served as the most basic visual experiences and foundations for those artists who have inspired him, and for his own creative inspiration.

PHOTO50: LONDON ART FAIR 2020

OCCUPY THE VOID

Occupy The Void, was the 14th edition of Photo50 for London Art Fair 2020, guest curated by Laura Noble. The space presented ten female photographers aged over 50. The exhibition explored the vast pool of talented living female photographers aged over 50 and the cultural ‘space’ that they inhabit. 

Through the work of ten contemporary female artists working in the UK and internationally, the exhibition interrogated the physical, psychological and ephemeral nature of space and our experience of existing within it, both during our lives and after death.

The exhibition reflected on the variety of photographic formats in 2D and 3D, and the diverse traditional and non-traditional materials employed in photography today.

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Samantha Brown, from the series Botany of Silence, 2015 – 2019, Inkjet print © Samantha Brown
Samantha Brown, from the series Botany of Silence, 2015 – 2019, Inkjet print © Samantha Brown
Danielle Peck Many Original Features Sunlight From the series Dreamland, C-type Fine Art print mounted on dibond © Danielle Peck
Danielle Peck Many Original Features Sunlight From the series Dreamland, C-type Fine Art print mounted on dibond © Danielle Peck

Occupy the Void was an inclusive exhibition, presenting both established names and artists in the early stages of their careers, all of which were female and over the age of 50.

Although 85% of women studying photography at university are women, only 15% of the industry is female. Thus Noble provided a platform for a diverse group of artists who are commonly underrepresented in the cultural dialogue, and offered them the opportunity to reclaim their space and the void.

Elizabeth Heyert, Sleepers 03, 2003. From the series The Sleepers, Selenium toned gelatin silver print etc. © Elizabeth Heyert
Elizabeth Heyert, Sleepers 03, 2003. From the series The Sleepers, Selenium toned gelatin silver print etc. © Elizabeth Heyert
Rosy Martin, In Situ, 1939-2014. From the series Immersion © Rosy Martin
Rosy Martin, In Situ, 1939-2014. From the series Immersion © Rosy Martin
Sandra Jordan, Hidden Beauty #26, London, 2016. From the series Hidden Beauty © Sandra Jordan
Sandra Jordan, Hidden Beauty #26, London, 2016. From the series Hidden Beauty © Sandra Jordan
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Laura Noble, photographed by ©Chloe Rosser

LAURA NOBLE

Laura Noble is the Director of L A Noble Gallery (LANG) in London.  She is also a curator and author of  The Art Of Collecting Photography. She is a nominator for the global Prix Pictet Prize and also an Ambassador for the Royal Photographic Society’s 100 Heroines project and Docking Station in Amsterdam as well as being a judge on many photographic competitions and residency programmes. Her commitment to photography is paramount.

Photo50 was supported by Photography Focus Day  and took place on Friday 24 of January 2020 with a dedicated programme of talks and tours led by practitioners and experts.

Photo50 at London Ar Fair 2020 was kindly supported by Genesis Imaging.

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