Photo50 is London Art Fair’s annual exhibition of contemporary photography, providing a critical forum for examining some of the most distinctive elements of current photographic practice. Guest curated every year, it highlights a timely theme in current photography and adds a space and context to the photography presented by galleries at the Fair.
Who's looking at the family, now?
Who’s looking at the family, now? was our 2019 exhibition curated by Tim Clark that engaged with some fundamental questions about family life, its dynamics and complexity, represented by a group of contemporary photographers and artists working in the UK and internationally. 2019 marked the twenty-five years since British curator Val Williams’ seminal exhibition, Who’s looking at the family? which opened at the Barbican in 1994, offering the opportunity to consider the multifarious changes, both to notions of the family and photography, that have taken place during this time.
Ranging from documentary modes and found photography to conceptual approaches to the medium, and bringing together forms of construction or performative acts as well as sculptural interventions. The exhibited works meditate on what might constitute, or in some cases deconstruct, a family photograph. Many demonstrate the way images embark on a journey from a point of origin in the private sphere to enter the public gaze. Furthermore, boundaries between internal and external worlds become blurred to create part-spectacle, part socio-historical testimonies that provide windows onto issues of class, race and identity.
Exhibitors in Who’s looking at the family, now?, were acclaimed British Artists, David Moore and Léonie Hampton. Alongside, works by artists on display for the first time in London, included Mexico-city based Mariela Sancari, Thai-born artist Alba Zari, Iranian Amak Mahmoodian and Lebohang Kganye from South Africa. EXHIBITING ARTISTS: Poulomi Basu | Thom Bridge | Jonny Briggs | Matt Finn | Léonie Hampton | Lebohang Kganye | Erik Kessels | Louis Quail | Amak Mahmoodian | David Moore | Trish Morrissey | Mariela Sancari | Mar Sáez | Alba Zari
Poulomi Basu (Calcutta, 1983) is a storyteller, artist and activist. Raised by her mother in Calcutta, India, Basu has since been based between New Delhi, India and London, UK. Her work has become known for documenting the role of women in isolated communities and conflict zones and more generally for advocating for the rights of women. Basu is co-founder and director of Just Another Photo Festival, a festival that democratizes photography by taking photography to the people and forging new audiences. Winner, in 2018, of the Photographic Museum of Humanity Grant. www.poulomibasu.com
Thom Bridge (Reading, UK, 1987) is a Swedish British artist who organises, curates and teaches. Working between Sweden and the UK, he exhibits internationally. He is the founder and coordinator of Field/s, a forum of thirteen artists, photographers and curators that are joined every month by an invited guest. Set up with funding from Artquest and The Photographers’ Gallery, Field/s aims to encourage transnational, intergenerational and cross-disciplinary discussions between arts professionals and is now hosted by Gasworks. www.thombridge.com
Jonny Briggs (London, 1985) received his BA in Fine Art from the Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2008 and his MA in Fine Art from The Royal College of Art in 2011. Briggs’ fragmented childhood memories form the impetus for his photographs, as he explores the constructed notion of family, and tries to re-imagine the nature of those ties and boundaries from new perspectives. Briggs is the winner of Foam Talent (2014), Saatchi New Sensations (2011), the Conran Award (2011), the Lumi Honorary Art Award (2011), the Ovenden Contemporary Award (2009), the NESTA Creative Sparks Award (2009), the Compello Art & Saatchi Photography Award (2008), and the Arts Leadership Award (2006). www.jonnybriggs.com
Matthew Finn (Leeds, 1971) works on subjects about people that are important in his life, making images of students who he worked with in various art colleges in England and a collaboration with his mother who he photographed within her home environment for over 27 years. Finn has a Degree in Photography from Derby University and an MA degree from Westminster University in Photographic Studies. He was the recipient of the Jerwood/ Photoworks Awards in 2015 where his work, Mother, was seen in exhibitions at the Jerwood Space, London, the Impressions Gallery Bradford and The Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool. Finn is also a patron of the Hull International Photography Festival (HiP). www.mattfinn.com
Léonie Hampton (London, 1978) lives and works in Devon, UK. After graduating in Art History from University College London and SOAS in 2000, she continued her studies in Photography at the London College of Communication. She has since exhibited in solo and group shows around the world, with successive photo-based projects funded by Wellcome Trust and the British Council. In 2011, her award-winning 184-page book In the Shadow of Things was published by Contrasto (Italy). Hampton is a part-time teacher for MA Documentary Photography at London College of Communication and co-founded and runs Still/Moving, a not-for-profit organisation hosting film and photography workshops and seminars. www.leoniehampton.com
Lebohang Kganye (Katlehong, South Africa, 1990) is an artist living and working in Johannesburg. Kganye received her introduction to photography at the Market Photo Workshop in 2009 and completed the Advanced Photography Programme in 2011 and Fine Arts studies at the University of Johannesburg in 2016. Kganye was awarded the Jury Prize at the Bamako Encounters Biennale of African Photography in 2015, the CAP Prize 2016 in Basel and the award for the Sasol New Signatures Competition 2017. Kganye’s work forms part of several private and public collections, most notably the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pennsylvania and the Walther Collection in Ulm. www.lebohangkganye.co.za
Erik Kessels (Amsterdam, 1966) is a photographer, curator, editor, designer and creative director of advertising agency KesselsKramer. Kessels has published over fifty books of collected images, and since 2000 he has been an editor of alternative photography magazine Useful Photography. He has presented numerous exhibitions at Fotografia Europea in Reggio Emilia (2015), Centquatre-Paris (2014), Les Rencontres d’Arles (2014), the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (2013), Pier 24 Photography in San Francisco (2014–15) and the Images – Festival des Arts Visuels in Vevey (2014). In 2010, Kessels was awarded the prestigious Amsterdam Prize of the Arts, and in 2016 he was a finalist for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize for his exhibition Unfinished Father. www.kesselskramer.com
Louis Quail (1967) is a documentary photographer. He has worked extensively for some of the UK’s best known magazines and has been published and worked internationally over a period of many years. Louis increasingly devotes his time to personal, long-term projects. ‘Big Brother’ was selected for the Metro Imaging portfolio review prize at Format17; was series winner of the Renaissance Photography Prize 2017; and has been made into a book (Dewi Lewis Publishing, April 2018). He has twice been a finalist in the National Portrait Gallery’s BP Portrait Award, is held in their permanent collection and lectures and runs workshops there. www.louisquail.com
Amak Mahmoodian (Shiraz, Iran, 1980) is a contemporary Persian artist who lives in Bristol. She graduated from the University of South Wales, Newport in 2015 with a practice-led PhD in photography, where her research question interrogated ‘Double Identity: Images of women in Iran.’ Her body of work Shenasnameh was published as a book in May 2016 and was shortlisted for a number of awards, such as Time Magazine 2016 and Best Author Book Award, Rencontres Arles 2016. In addition, her work has been widely exhibited internationally, including as part of “Catharsis” at Exposed Gallery, Belfast, NI, at Umetnostna Galerija, Slovenia and at the Photographic Centre Northwest, Seattle, USA. www.amakmahmoodian.co.uk
David Moore (Blackburn, 1961) is a London based photographic artist using and interrogating documentary modes. He has worked as a photographer and educator since graduating from West Surrey College of Art and Design, Farnham, in 1988. He has exhibited and published internationally, has work held in many public and private collections, and has published several monographs of his work. His most recent publication, ‘Pictures from the Real World. Colour Photographs from 1987-88’ was published in 2013 to critical acclaim In November 2016, David became Principal Lecturer and Course Leader of the MA Documentary and Photojournalism Course at the University of Westminster. www.davidmoore.uk.com
Trish Morrissey (Dublin, 1967) lives in the UK. Her work is exhibited widely and is in the permanent collection of The Museum of Fine Art, Houston, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, The National Media Museum, Bradford, and the Wilson Centre for Photography, London, and is included in several survey publications, including ‘The Photograph as Contemporary Art’ by Charlotte Cotton, (Thames and Hudson, 2005), ‘Vitamin Ph, Survey of International Contemporary Photography,’ (Phaidon, 2006), ‘Auto Focus: The Self-Portrait in Contemporary Photography’, by Susan Bright (Thames and Hudson, 2010), and Photography and Ireland by Justin Carville (Exposures, 2012). www.trishmorrissey.com
Mar Sáez (Murcia, 1983) graduated in Psychology and Audiovisual Communication and now specialises in Contemporary Photography. After a long time working for the press and media, she now focuses on capturing images that explore issues such as identity and biopolitics, based on first hand experience. In November 2016, she presented her first photobook Vera Y Victoria at Paris Photo with the French publishing house André Frère Éditions, and the photobook DUO-A: On Travelling on the Road with Strangers with the writer Miguel Ángel Hernández (Phree Publishing House). www.pilarserra.com
Mariela Sancari (Buenos Aires, 1976) has lived and worked in Mexico City since 1997. Her work revolves around truth and fiction in images, using personal narratives to explore the scope of photography as a means of representation. Her series Moisés received an Honorable Mention in XI Bienal Monterrey FEMSA and the book of the series was selected by several curators and reviewers as one of the Best Photobooks published in 2015. Sancari is a fellow of Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte FONCA, 2015-2018, and works as a freelance photographer. www.marielasancari.com
Alba Zari (Bangkok, 1987) graduated in cinema criticism at DAMS in Bologna, Italy. She specialised in Visual Design at NABA in Milan and in Documentary Photography at the International Center of Photography in New York. She works as a photographer and is especially committed to projects in the welfare/social sector. Her recent work includes visual research into mental health care centers in Italy since Dr. Basaglia Law (1978), food disorders common in American society, and the unique flora of the Mesr Desert in Iran. www.infoalbazari.com
Tim Clark was our curator of the thirteenth edition of Photo50, our annual exhibition of contemporary photography. Tim Clark is a curator, writer and editor. Since 2008 he has been Editor in Chief and Director at 1000 Words.
Photo 50 Sponsor
Photo50 is supported by Photography Focus Day taking place on the Friday of the Fair with a programme of talks and tours led by practitioners and experts. Photo50 at London Art Fair is kindly supported by Genesis Imaging.