The Hidden Power of the Archive
14 April - 6 May 2023

A New Power:
Photography in Britain 1800 - 1850

1 Feb - 7 May 2023
Weston Library, Bodleian Libraries

Can you imagine a world without photography? Explore how the world changed forever in the early days of this incredible invention.

Natural Magic: Experiments in Photography

17 March – 4 June 2023

Transept, Weston Library, Bodleian Libraries

Discover the processes of the chemical experimenters responsible for the invention of photography. Using everything from gold and iron to ground-up vegetables, explore how artists have experimented with a surprising array of things to create a photograph.

Bright Sparks: Photography and the Talbot Archive

17 March – 18th June 2023

Treasury Gallery, Weston Library, Bodleian Libraries

Explore the legacy of the British inventor of photography, William Henry Fox Talbot, and how his images still influence photographers today. This exhibition puts this 180-year-old archive in conversation with contemporary artists from around the world.

Exhibition & Events
Ania Ready: I Also Fight Windmills

Exhibition now closed

Rona Painting Gallery

A visual response to the literary archive of the feminist writer Sophie Gaudier-Brzeska (1872-1925). Through enactment and staging Ready brings to life a story about displacement in the West, loss, creativity, loneliness, a disempowering sense of guilt and social exclusion. She explores human fragility through the performative aspect of photography. 

Meet the Artist in the gallery: 26 April lunchtime; all day 29 April

Exhibition & Event
Anne Howeson: Feet of Angels

Exhibition now closed

Carey Blyth Gallery

Anne Howeson uses Fox Talbot photography as a springboard to other worlds, transcending time and dimension. Whether pastoral and quiet, or politically charged and pithy, her drawings are complex, laced with moments from beyond that soften the grit of reality.  The overall effect is unsettling, suggesting an unearthly presence.

Exhibition & Events
A series of artist-led Exhibition Tours, and In Conversation events

27 April, 15:00 tour
27 April, 18:00 - 20:00 Talk: Aliki Braine in conversation with Martin Barne
4 May, 15:00 tour
4 May, 18:00 Talk: Aliki Braine in conversation with Professor Jane Garnett

Meakin + Parsons x Hannah Payne
16 North Parade Ave, OX2 6LX

A series of artist-led Exhibition Tours, and In-Conversation events, will take place on Thursdays at the gallery during Photo Oxford Festival.

Join artist Aliki Braine for an exhibition tour at the gallery of her solo exhibition Into The Woods, including a tour of the Ashmolean to see the historical paintings which have inspired the artists' practice.

Into the Woods is a solo exhibition of photography by contemporary artist Aliki Braine, curated by Rodrigo Orrantia.

Exhibition & Event
Bernice Mulenga: The Makings Of You

4 April - 14 May 2023

Tues - Sat 10.00 - 17.00, Sun 12.00 - 17.00

Modern Art Oxford cafe space
30 Pembroke St, OX1 1BP

A peak inside Bernice Mulenga’s life - a vitrine display of retrospective works varying from hand made prints from #friendsonfilm to club posters, records, letters and more. This presentation takes a very intimate and personal look into the bonds, thoughts and feelings the artists shares with themselves and others.


27 April: 18.30 - 22.00, MAO Late

Diverse Oxford

14 April - 6 May 2023 (excludes 1 May)

Mon - Fri, 9.00 - 17.00
The Glass Tank Gallery
Abercrombie Building, Oxford Brookes University, Gipsy Lane, OX3 0BP

Oxford Brookes University students aim to capture and celebrate Oxford’s diversity, as well as diverse forms of telling these stories. The exhibition explores ways to re-create the archive by providing a space for marginalised (hi)stories. Students worked with archival artefacts and in collaboration with participants to develop and curate the exhibition.

Jenny Matthews: Losing Freedom - A tribute to Afghan Women

14 April - 31 May 2023

Daily 9.00 - 12.00, for other times please call Gees 01865 553540

Gees Gallery, 61-63 Banbury Rd, OX2 6PE

Entrance through Gees Restaurant and Bar

Jenny has since 1982 been documenting social issues in Britain and abroad. Her archive portraits of Afghan Women are printed on linen with added embroidery to hide their faces in recognition of their recent loss of freedom. Exhibition and associated community workshop supported by The Arts Society Oxford.

Exhibition & Event
Jermaine Francis: A Pleasant Land

14 - 30 April 2023
Fri, Sat, Sun 14.00 - 16.00

Pembroke College JCR Art Gallery, OX1 1QN

Wheelchair accessible. Not accessible for mobility scooters

In this newly commissioned body of work, photographer and artist, Jermaine Francis has worked with the Pembroke College JCR Art Collection and the Pembroke College archives to address the absence of the Black voice in the traditional representations of the English Pastoral.

Francis interrogates the idea of the Pastoral Landscape as a space of neutrality - politically & ideologically - where the relationship to the Black presence is alien due to its historical absence.

Purchase a print by Jermaine Francis in the Photo Oxford Limited Edition Print Sale

Talk: (RSVP Required)
Friday 5 May 2023 | 17:30 start with gallery open for 30-45 mins after
Pembroke College, Pichette Gallery

Exhibition & Event
Kazem Hakimi & Henry Underhill: Portraits from Oxford - Archives old and new

14 April - date TBC 

Mon - Thurs 15.00 - 19.00,
Sat 10.00 - 16.00

Pegasus Theatre
Magdalen Road, OX4 1RE

Portraits of Oxford citizens, taken a century apart. Henry Underhill, a grocer on the High Street, photographed people at leisure in Oxford c1900. Kazem Hakimi, owner of the well-loved chip shop on Iffley Road, takes similarly candid photos of his customers c2000. Exhibition created in partnership with the Museum of Oxford. Exhibition at Pegasus curated by Sarah Mossop.

Exhibition & Event
From our archives

Exhibition now closed

Magdalen Art Space

10 Magdalen Road Studio artists explore the latent power of archives activated and transformed through making art. Themes embrace family, language, landscape, disability and secrets; art-transformations feature photography, lithography, painting, sculpture, moving image and 3D printing.

Exhibition & Events

Live from the Moon, curated by Geoffrey Batchen and Carys Owen

14 April - 6 May 2023
Thurs - Sun 12.00 - 17.00
The Barn, St John’s College
St Giles, OX1 3JP (opposite St Giles war memorial)

A  selection from a personal archive of gelatin silver photographs sent out as press prints by NASA in the 1960s and ‘70s to publicise the American agency’s efforts to land men on the moon.

26 April: Public talk, Geoffrey Batchen with Daniel Molland 17:00-18:00
3 May: Public talk, Carys Owen with Sarah Hill 17:00-18:00

Marilyn Stafford: Street Stories

Exhibition now closed

Zuleika Gallery

Celebrating the life and work of an extraordinary 20th century photographer. Marilyn (1925 – 2023) brought the energy and truth of daily life into her practice encompassing street photography, fashion, portraiture, and social reportage. With a special focus on her representation of women and children, this exhibition reveals the joy she found sharing the stories of others, often in the context of life on the street.

Exhibition & Events
Mirja Maria Thiel: Portrait of an Artist as an Old Man

13 May - 1 July 2023

John Radcliffe Hospital, main building, ground floor

Mirja Maria Thiel tells the life of Fritz Dressler (1937-2020), a professional photographer and university professor, who lived with Alzheimer’s in the final years of his life. Photographed over more than two years, the black and white series is committed to the emotional reality of the charismatic protagonist, including  images taken by Fritz himself. Supported by The Arts Society Oxford.


26 April, 10.30 - 12.00 Dementia Cafe with Dementia Oxfordshire (drop-in)

Photo Oxford 2023 Open Call

Winners’ exhibition

4 April - 14 May

Tuesday to Saturday 10.00 - 17.00,

Sunday 12.00 - 17.00canv

The Yard, Modern Art Oxford
30 Pembroke St, OX1 1BP
& online: Photo Oxford Website

Following a three month global search for the best new photography, the Photo Oxford 2023 Open Call generated over 800 entries from all over the world. We asked photographers to address the Festival theme of the ‘Archive’ by curating ‘personal inventories of experience.’

Exhibition & Events
Pictures from the Garden

19 April - 6 May 2023

Monday – Friday: 10:00-16:00, Saturday: 12:00-16:00. Closed on 1 May.

The North Wall
South Parade, Oxford, OX2 7JN

The work of 7 photographers - Siân Davey, Matthew Finn, Nik Roche, Alex Schneideman, Jem Southam, Alys Tomlinson and Vanessa Winship -in response to Paddy Summerfield’s seminal 2014 book, ‘Mother and Father’. Accompanied by a new book published by Dewi Lewis.

Purchase prints by exhibiting artists in the Photo Oxford Limited Edition Print Sale

Pictures from the Garden:
Visit and book launch

22 April 2023
Book Launch & Signing 12.30-14.30
North Wall Arts Centre ♿
South Parade, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7JN

Celebrating the publishing of Pictures from the Garden with an informal panel discussion and Q&A with Dewi Lewis, Alex Schneideman and as many of the photographers as can be there. Signed copies of Pictures from the Garden will be available as well as signed and rare copies of Paddy Summerfield’s previous publications.

Garden Visit 2.45: Following the launch, join us for a short walk through North Oxford to the the garden that was the scene for both Paddy Summerfield’s seminal book, Mother and Father and the new book, Pictures from the Garden - also published by Dewi Lewis. Visitors will be able to freely explore the garden.

Our garden group will gather at North Wall and then set off at 14.45 prompt. The visit will last approximately 1.5 hours.

Places are limited so please RSVP to Nicola Laird

Purchase prints by exhibiting artists in the Photo Oxford Limited Edition Print Sale

Reflecting Oxford - A Transient Catalogue

21 April - 27 May
Tues – Sat 10:00 – 16:00
The Old Fire Station ♿
40 George St, OX1 2AQ

Crisis artists with lived experience of homelessness, worked with staff and volunteers at Crisis Skylight Oxford as part of a weekly photography session, to observe and catalogue personal views of Oxford.

The artists observed and reflected upon the different architectural and natural landscapes of their city, paying particular interest to the various ways the city is reflected in the surfaces around us. The work you see is presented anonymously and collectively to reflect the process that has taken place.

With many thanks to Photo Oxford and The Old Fire Station, the staff and volunteers that have helped to create, curate, and install the exhibition, and to the artists themselves for creating and sharing this work.

Exhibition & Event
Rory Carnegie in partnership with Fusion Arts: Autoportraits 1992-1996

Exhibition now closed

Fusion Arts Creative Space

A selection of images from the artist’s ongoing Autoportrait project. The images made between 1992 and 1994 explore authorship, power and the perception of power.

Complemented by images from Sirkhane DARKROOM: A selection of photographs created and printed by participants at the Sirkhane Darkroom; a not for profit organisation in southern Turkey, working close to the border with Syria, that brings joy and creativity to children and young people affected by conflict and disaster.

Shane Balkowitsch: Collaborating with the Past - Native American Portraiture

31 March 2023 - 3 March 2024
Mon 12.00 - 17.00, Tues - Sun & Bank Holiday Mon 10.00 - 17.00
Pitt Rivers Museum
Display case on first floor landing
Parks Rd, OX1 3PW

The first UK exhibition of American ambrotypist Shane Balkowitsch's work shows a selection of photographs from a recent acquisition by the Pitt Rivers Museum. Balkowitsch set out to create one thousand portraits of Native American people using this historical wet plate photographic process, and to collaborate closely with each sitter on their photographs.

Exhibition & Event
Wendy Aldiss: My Father’s Things

14 April - 6 May 2023
Thurs - Sun 12.00 - 17.00
Medieval Barn behind the Old Bank Hotel Magpie Lane, OX1 4BJ

A photographic archive of Wendy Aldiss’s father’s possessions taken after his death. Brian Aldiss was a famous author living in Oxford.  The exhibition features his desk and bookcase strewn with photographs, and other images of his belongings both everyday and unique. Curated by Laura Noble.

Exhibition & Event
Ye Bing: Archiving the Archive: a Photographic Record

17 April – 17 June (Excl. 1 May)
Mon - Fri, 9:00 - 17:00
Maison Française d’Oxford
2-10 Norham Rd, OX2 6UD

Inspired by the Encyclopédie and Que sais-je?, two radically different and important editorial collections in France, this photographic project uses photographs, books, documents, and objects of daily use in the Maison Française d’Oxford archives to reveal the circulation of knowledge.

25 April: 17.30 - 19.00, book in advance for the Private View with cheese & wine

Women & the Photobook: Pop-up library & rare book reading room visit

15 April: Pop-up library and rare book tour of photobooks by women, Weston Library 12:00 – 16:00, sold out

25 - 6 May: Pop-up library
Old Fire Station 10:00 – 16:00

This pop-up library, inspired by the recent publication, What They saw: Historical Photobooks by Women, 1843-1999, explores the diversity of photographic books created by women. 

Outdoor Exhibition
YouthLab: Camera Club: Look a Little Closer 

Exhibition now closed
Outdoor exhibition, Broad Street (East End).

Budding young photographers aged 12 – 17  worked with artist Elina Medley to create and curate their first exhibition. Inspired by the Festival theme and their own digital archives, their work echoes their online stories and seeks to capture overlooked and undiscovered moments in real life.

All buses to Oxford city centre stop on Magdalen Street - 1 minute’s walk from the exhibition. Cycle parking nearby.

Panel discussion
Where is Photographic Publishing Heading in the UK?

29 April 2023, 15:30 - 17:00

Blackwells Bookshop, 48-51 Broad St, OX1 3BQ

£5, book at Blackwell’s Bookshop or online.

Join four leading figures from the world of photographic publishing in the UK for a broad conversation about physical and virtual photographic publication in the UK today.

Online Exhibition
In the blink of an eye – photography’s chronicle of the world

4 April  - 6 May 2023
Alamy website

Since the invention of photography we’ve seen its unstoppable rise and use in news reporting and photojournalism. This exhibition showcases some of Alamy’s most iconic photos of the last 150 years whilst exploring the importance of how the news photos of today will become the archive of tomorrow.

Online Exhibition
Schultüte: A German (Photographic) Tradition

Coming soon to the Photo Oxford website

Collector and curator Philip Grover presents a photographic record of an enduring German tradition, the presentation of a paper cone or Schultüte to mark a child’s first day at school. From cartes de visite to personal prints, this is a record of a century of German and photographic history.

Online Exhibition
A Life in Colour: The Autochromes of Sir Robert Bland Bird Bt.

4 April  - 6 May 2023
Photo Oxford website

Oxford has a long history with colour photography and photographers using colour processes. The rediscovered archive of Robert Bland Bird (1876-1960) of autochrome plates is held by the Royal Photographic Society (RPS). This exhibition presents and discusses his colour photography between c.1915 and 1917.  Selected by Dr Michael Pritchard, RPS Director of Programmes.

Online Talk
Rose Teanby: Detecting Hidden Photographic History in the Bodleian Library, Oxford

25 April, 19:00 - 20:00
Online talk: Listen again until 6 May

Photo historian Rose Teanby investigates an unattributed photograph and other documents in the Bodleian archives linked to photography pioneers Anna Atkins, Constance Talbot and early photo chemist Mary Somerville. Detecting clues, Rose shines a new light on hidden archival treasures. 

Online Talk - cancelled
The Mobile Wunderkammer: Tracing the Ashmolean’s Founding Collections with Bettina von Zwehl


Photographer Bettina von Zwehl shares her research on the Ashmolean’s founding collections, given by Elias Ashmole to the University of Oxford in 1683. Hear how her residency at the Ashmolean has shifted her practice, and brought new perspectives to the Museum’s collections.

Archive Inspiration:
Creative Workshops

16 April, 13.30 – 15.30

Ashmolean Museum

Get behind the scenes at the Museum’s archives. Discover what these historic photographs and artefacts tell us about the truth of the palace of Knossos and the mythical tale of the minotaur. Use playful photographic techniques with artist John Blythe to create imaginative new myths and realities.

Origins of War Photography

29 April, 13.30 - 17.00

Oxford University Department for Continuing Education

How can photographs help us to understand the history of warfare? This afternoon of talks covers the origins of war photography and its early practices, exploring how the invention of the photographic camera in the nineteenth century forged new ways of seeing conflict and its human costs.

Portfolio Reviews

29 April 2023, 9.30 - 13.50

Blackwell’s Oxford, 48-51 Broad St, OX1 3BQ

Charges apply. Book review slots by 3 April

One-on-one portfolio reviews with national photography experts.

Road to Karabakh by Rowan J Curtis & Kirk Ellingham

Exhibition now closed

Garden Room, Trinity College

Projection of images by Kirk Ellingham accompanied by story & words from writer Rowan J Curtis

20 April 11:00 - 17:00
Exhibition, projection & prints

20 April 18:00: Presentation & private view
RSVP: kirk.ellingham@gmail /

23 April from 11:00 - 18:00

All day viewing at the Garden Room. Enter via the college Lodge.

The Not-So Hidden Power of the Archive: Exploration of PRM photo archives, research and response

22 April 2023, 12:30 – 15:00

Free, drop-in event

Clore Balcony, Pitt Rivers Museum

View some of the Museum’s rich photographic archives and hear from curators and students. See a photographic response by artist Thomas Nicolaou to a collection in the archive. Discuss his work with curators and students.* The Festival’s theme directly engages with the research efforts of the PRM to re-frame and re-contextualise its colonial archives

*Regrettably, Thomas is unable to attend this pop-up exhibition event