COMMISSIONS

 

Bristol Photo Festival is committed to develop an ongoing commissioning programme for international and local artists to produce new work about relevant topics for the city of Bristol and beyond . These commission will result in publications, exhibitions and public installations. For this inaugural edition the projects commissioned are: 

 

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Growing Spaces    by     Chris Hoare

 

‘Growing Spaces’ is a study of urban land cultivation in Bristol, seen through the experiences of the cities’ diverse inhabitants. It is an on-going work, unfolding at a time when land is in demand and there is an almost  unquenchable thirst for people to have a green space to call their own. Allotments have been around since the 1800’s, but are currently going through a renaissance, particularly in Bristol where many allotments have twice as many people on the waiting lists as they do plots. With such a demand and accessibility becoming a problem, many are commandeering and rejuvenating dead urban space for the benefit of themselves and the surrounding community, for the value it’ often only fully realised through the process of growing.

Working in a slow and methodical way during the coming seasonal changes, Bristol born photographer, Chris Hoare, aims to represent these themes to show the nuances and inherent beauty that draws people in to these routines of growing.

The work will be published this Spring by our partners RRB Photobooks.

 

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The Georgian House by     Lebohang Kganye

 

South African artist, Lebohang Kganye has been commissioned to create new work to be displayed in the Georgian House Museum as part of Bristol Photo Festival. Kganye’s practice explores a familial archive that is concerned with layered and temporal storytelling. While her work may resonate with a particularly South African experience; it critically engages with oral tradition as form and memory as a tangible source material.

For this commission, Kganye draws upon the museum’s context as a site-specific encounter creating a three-channel video installation titled Dipina tsa Kganya. The word dipina, means ‘songs,’ in the artist’s mother language of seSotho, while the word kganya, meaning light, form part of the etymology of the artist’s last name: Kganye. The work references the artist’s traditional family clan origins, passed down through the southern African practice of ‘praise-singing’.

 

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The Georgian House by Lebohang Knganye

 

The Living Room Archive is a collaborative project that aims to collect photographs about this particular domestic space using creative citizen participation, through mail-art and digital tools. This ongoing collective imaginary will help us to reflect and analyse the sociological, psychological, anthropological and cultural importance of this domestic space as well as helping us to imagine a new future.

 

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The Georgian House by Lebohang Knganye

 

Lebohang Kganye is an artist living and working in Johannesburg. Although primarily a photographer, Kganye’s photography often incorporates her interest in sculpture and performance. Kganye’s work has explored themes of personal history and ancestry whilst resonating with the history of South Africa and apartheid. Using Three-dimensional, photographic collage, she employs narrative to tell stories of home, refuge and family members. She has never met some of these ancestors, yet gains familiarity with them through the retelling of their stories.

Clearly adept at visually weaving complicated narratives, Kganye will pull on The Georgian House Museums’s own histories. The museum provides visitors with the opportunity to discover what a Bristol sugar plantation and slave owner’s home might have looked like around 1790. It’s eleven rooms spread over four floors are used to reveal what life was like above and below stairs, from the kitchen in the basement where servants  prepared meals to the elegant formal rooms above. Using themes of people, home, family, ancestry, slave-trade, and social hierarchy that are particular to this historically rich structure we draw closer to the inhabitants, their stories and the social complexities of the house. Through Kganye’s personal and contemporary lens we find out about these intimate stories whilst also learning more about the wider story of Georgian Bristol as a whole.

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BLUEPRINT : Housing & Wellbeing by    Jessie Edwards-Thomas

 

In collaboration with the Arnolfini and supported by Golden Key, Bristol Photo Festival offered a commission opportunity for a Bristol-based artist, or artist collective, to work together on a short project that uses photography to explore ideas around housing and wellbeing.

Jessie uses her relationship between the photographer and the sitter to investigate the individual’s need for belonging within the construct of society. Her practice utilises the what-ifs of fiction and imagination to explore said themes of power, symbols, societal structures and connection through storytelling.

 

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We Are Still Here

 

“We Are Still Here: Stories from the HIV and AIDs Community” seeks to explore how visual representations of living spaces offer an insight into the lived experiences and mental wellbeing of people in the HIV/Aids community in the UK. 

The project is a collaboration between Dr Adrian Flint (University of Bristol, SPAIS), Mareike Günsche (Photographer at Aspectus and State University of Arts in Ulan Bator, Mongolia) and Martin Burns (Writer, HIV/AIDS activist and equality advocate).

This commission has been produced in collaboration with the Brigstow Institute (University of Bristol). 

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Bringing the War Home II

 

“Bringing the War Home II” will seek to expand the current understandings of war, and what makes war possible through a perspective from home. Bringing the War Home II involves, Dr Elspeth Van Veeren (University of Bristol, SPAIS), Dr Miriam Snellgrove (Stirling University), Edmund Clark (Photographer, University of Arts London), and Olu Osinoiki (Photographer at Olumedia).

This commission has been produced in collaboration with the Brigstow Institute (University of Bristol).