Symposium: Collecting regions - Photography and a sense of place

RAMM Exeter: 18 September 2019

This one-day symposium at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter invites conversations on photography and photographic collections in the South West and wider UK in relation to aspects of place. Photographs relate to place in various ways including their documenting capacity and the direct inscription of the world on their surface. Therefore, photographs directly inform our imagination of a place. How do collections like this develop? In turn, a specific place can also inspire the work of photographers and photographic artists: the symposium includes a focus on Dartmoor, in particular.

Speakers include Liz Wells (curator, writer and Professor in Photographic Culture at Plymouth University), Garry Fabian Miller (Dartmoor-based photographic artist), Bronwen Colquhoun (Senior Curator of Photography, National Museum Wales), Jo Bradford (Dartmoor-based photographic artist and founder of Green Island Studios), Emma Down (Hidden Histories Project Archivist, Beaford Archive), Catherine Troiano (Curator, National Photography Collections, National Trust), Brendan Barry (Exeter-based photographer, lecturer and educator, founder & director of Positive Light Projects) and Mark Haworth-Booth (former Senior Curator of Photography at the V&A).

The symposium will coincide with a small photography display at RAMM on ‘Rivers, Trees and Landmarks’.

Collecting regions - Photography and a sense of place
Wednesday, 18 September 2019
1000 - 1700
Further information here:


Germany's photographic heritage discussed at ministerial level

It was inspiring to hear this week of a recent high-level meeting convened by the German Minister of State for Culture and Media, Prof. Monika Grütters, at the Berlin Academy of the Arts to discuss Germany's national photographic heritage and explore options for action. In her opening statement at the 1st July meeting the Minister said: "It is in the interest of the general public to preserve the estates of important photographers as a "pictorial memory of our society". If we're not able to do that, cultural heritage of national importance may be irrevocably lost, emphasized Grütters in her statement. "That's why I support a central institution that works to preserve and make accessible the artistic heritage of outstanding German photographers."

Grütters raised various questions she wanted the meeting to address:

- Is it not the task of the federal government to protect artistic photography, the work of important photographers as well as works of literature or music?

- Does the Federal Republic of Germany threaten to lose touch here by international standards?

- Could a photography institute fix this deficit? - ... an institute that systematically collects archives or bequests of contemporary German photographers, that establishes a special library on photography and its history, that facilitates exhibitions and possibly stimulates and realises interdisciplinary and international research projects?

- Are photographic archives cultural property or merchandise? There is no national institution in Germany charged with preserving this artistic heritage and museums and galleries cannot provide a solution as archives are not necessarily part of their remit and they do not have the resources, specialised knowledge and technical facilities to work with this highly sensitive material. At the same time, the art market is increasingly interested in archives and estates, but there is real concern that this cultural heritage - the visual memory of our society - may be left to market forces, exploited economically and fragmented, with much maybe ending up abroad.

 Could a photography institute fix this deficit? - ... an institute that systematically collects archives, bequests or bequests of outstanding German photographers, that establishes a special library on photography and its history, that facilitates exhibitions and possibly stimulates and realizes interdisciplinary and international research projects?

Those attending the meeeting included photographer, photo historian and curator Ute Eskildsen, head of the Photography and New Media Collection at the Pinakothek der Moderne / Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Inka Graeve Ingelmann, Thomas W. Gaethgens, Director Emeritus of the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, the photography conservationist of the Nederlands Fotomuseum, Katrin Pietsch, and Thomas Weski of the Foundation for Photography and Media Art with archives Michael Schmidt.

(Posted 19 July 2019)

In Extremis Images of Landscape is a new exhibition opening at Green Hill Arts in Moretonhampstead on Friday 2nd February 2018 (6.30-8pm). The exhibition, concerned with landscape and understanding our place within it, includes the work of photographer C R Brownridge (1947-2010) and painter Deborah Westmancoat.

C. R. Brownridge was intensely interested in the visual drama of landscape in extremis when high winds, snow, ice or heavy rains had charged a specific landscape with raking light or intense stillness. This interest was underpinned by study of weather and climate change due to global warming. Flooded landscapes became a life long interest as well as a source of enduring concern.

On Friday 23rd February, there is an evening event  - a conversation between artists Susan Derges and Jem Southam and Katy Macleod (6.30-8.30pm). For further details see Green Hill Arts