FORMAT was established in 2004 and today it is one of the UK's leading international contemporary festivals of photography and related media. FORMAT, which is organised by QUAD and the University of Derby, co-ordinate a year round programme of international commissions, open calls, residencies, conferences and collaborations in the UK and Internationally as well as their biennale International Photography Festival.
The festival, hosted in over 30 venues across Derby, will launch on 23 March and is the UK's most significant biennale of photography and incorporates some of the cities most beautiful buildings and key landmarks including QUAD, University of Derby, Derby Museum & Art Gallery, Derwent Valley World Heritage Sites the Market Place and other satellite venues. Now in it's eighth edition, it showcases emerging talent alongside established artists and will display work by over 200 international artists and photographers.
The University of Derby will be showcasing work at two of their sites - Markeaton Street and Banks Mill Studios.
The Markeaton Street campus, which is home to the school of arts and the BA Photography course, will be showing work by 18+ FORMAT artists in 'The Street', the focal point at the campus. Jayne Falcolner who organises the event at the Markeaton site comments: "We're delighted to be able to work with QUAD as it's a fantastic opportunity for us to be part of one of the largest photography festivals in the UK and we hope that the exhibition will inspire our current students."
Banks Mill Studios will host work by four recent graduates; they were selected by a panel of FORMAT judges from a large body of talented graduating students. The FORMAT Graduates Award exhibition aims to give these outstanding recent graduates further professional experience in exhibiting their work at one of the most prestigious photography festivals in Europe. Over 100,000 visitors come to FORMAT seeking out the best international photography.
Graduate Award artists showing at Banks Mill are:
Fading Away deals with the symptoms of dementia through the use of old family photographs of my Grandmother, which were taken by my Grandfather. The work aims to communicate the sense of fragility and fading away of the personality of those with the disease. The photographs show how full of life my Grandmother was and how the dementia has allowed the woman that she once was to fade away in front of my family's eyes.
The Jungle is the result of Jackson volunteering and working for a charity supporting migrants living in a make-shift camp near the port of Calais. Using mixed media to illustrate the hardships and desperate circumstances that migrants endure, Jackson also experienced some of the difficulties in the Jungle, having been tear gassed as well as witnessing a devastating fire that swept through part of the camp during the demolition. The book that accompanies this work has also been selected to become part of a community archive project which is being supported by the Universities of Manchester and East Anglia.
Space and Form
Objects and spaces are defamilarized to challenge the usual perceptions of the home as a feminine domain. Reducing the table top arrangement to the cloth that it would sit upon it refers to the feminine vessel that cannot be seen; the traces that are left behind speak of a female presence that might once have occupied the space.
Space and form presents scenes in which objects are freed and removed from their everyday function to speak of something other. Arranged in a way that allows them to adapt to a new aesthetic, and thus reject the natural expectation
Melancholy has a rich history as a concept, and was traditionally linked with Saturn, the god of time, and was seen to confer varying degrees of genius or insanity upon an individual. This work centres on the idea that photography might be an intrinsically melancholic medium by way of the shared signifiers of stillness and silence, shared links with mortality and the idea that they are both transfixed with beauty and the world of things. Following in the tradition of still life where objects are represented as an accumulation of signs, in this work the camera is used as a transformative device to turn subjects from the table top still life – a bottle, flowers, antiquities – into objects of melancholia.
The 2017 edition of FORMAT will explore the theme of HABITAT through varied narratives and imagery that document the world around us. We will share the experiences and stories that coalesce as we negotiate our complex existence, including the flora, fauna, landscapes and the lives within.
HABITAT will look broadly at landscape, environment, mobility, migrations, digital worlds, ideas of home and displacement, conflict and regeneration and all the spaces that we live in including work that considers our short or long term impact on the world locally and internationally.
The exhibition launches on Thursday, 23 March and runs until 23 April 2017. Viewing times at Banks Mill are week days 10am-3pm and it is advised to ring 01332 597866 in advance to guarantee entry. Other times are available by appointment.
The Markeaton Street campus exhibition will open on the following times:
Monday - Thursday, 9am-5pm
Sunday, 12.30pm - 5pm
Easter open Saturday, 15 and Tuesday, 18 April 10am-4pm
Closed Friday, 14 April, Sunday 16 and Monday 17 April
FORMAT is directed by Louise Clements, organised by QUAD and the University of Derby. Supported by Arts Council England, Derby City Council and multiple partners from the UK and international origins.