Oxfordshire photographers take their place alongside national and international photographers at Photo Oxford Festival
9 November 2020
Photo Oxford 2020 continues until 16 November 2020. Although indoor exhibitions have had to close prematurely, online and outdoor exhibits are still available to view. The third Photo Oxford festival celebrates the theme Women and Photography: Ways of Seeing and Being Seen. We explore the achievements and challenges for women, behind and in front of the lens: problems of representation, of women as photographers, collectors and curators.
The Festival is produced by local charity Photography Oxford, to bring international and national photography to Oxford, and to engage the local and wider community in the art of photography, old and new.
The full programme for the Festival has included photography from around the world, as well as including images by Oxfordshire-based photographers.
The Oxford Photographers Group (OPG) submitted their images in response to the Fes- tival theme for selection by photography curator Katy Barron. The selected photographs are exhibited in a virtual gallery on the Festival website. The photographers exhibiting are Wendy Aldiss, Thomas Capon, Kirk Ellingham, Paul Freestone, Kazem Hakimi, Rob Judges, Thomas Nicolaou, Martin Stott, Paddy Summerfield, Patricia Baker-Cassidy.
Patricia Baker-Cassidy, group coordinator, commented: ‘OPG is an informal collective, meeting fairly regularly (until Covid struck). The Festival theme generated group discus- sion – even some dissent! What emerged was an exciting mosaic of individual responses, all sharing a humane vision, many created in collaboration with the subjects. The on-line exhibition shows that compassion and generosity.’
The Photo Oxford Open Call exhibition was on display at OVADA Gallery and is now available in a virtual gallery through the Photo Oxford and OVADA websites. Over 1,000 photographs were submitted by photographers from all over the world. Those on exhibi- tion are the top 20 images selected by crowd vote and another 20 selected by an expert panel of judges. Among those are photos by Oxfordshire photographers Caroline Sey- mour, Claire Francis and Pip Bacon.
Photographer Caroline Seymour said: ‘I was delighted that my photograph had been in- cluded in the top ten of the competition, and that I therefore had the opportunity of ex- hibiting it, and meeting two of the judges. I am grateful to the organisers for doing such a good job under difficult circumstances. As an Oxford resident myself, it is wonderful to see the interest in photography generated by this competition and exhibition, and I was glad to have been a part of it. I hope this will continue.’
All of Oxford's 8 twin cities have come together for the first time through a photographic exhibition responding to the Festival theme, curated by two local photographers, Simon Morison-Bowie and Irmgard Hueppe. Highlights are on display in the Covered Market, which remains open for essential shopping. The full selection of the Oxford International Links photographs is available to view online through the Photo Oxford website.
Magdalen Road Studios artists also took part in the Festival, creating an exhibition film exploring use of photography in their practices. Their exhibition film ‘A Dangerous Field; Women, Artists and the Photographic Image’ is available to view through both the Mag- dalen Road Studios and Photo Oxford websites.
Other local photographers who exhibited within the Festival were Paddy Summerfield and Patricia Baker-Cassidy showing ‘Home & Heart’ at The Medieval Barn behind The Old Bank Hotel; and Philippa James’ ‘100 Women of Oxford’ at The North Wall. Fran Monk’s portraits of ‘Strength and Resilience’ remain on display outdoors in St Giles churchyard.
The full Festival programme, as well as interviews, blogs and recordings from theFestival events are available to view and hear through www.photooxford.org