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Community Photography in the 1970s

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Community Photography in the 1970s

Thursday, 27 September, 2018

6.30 – 8.30pm, Four Corners Gallery


Our central concern in photography is not ‘Is it art?’ but, ‘Who is it for?’

Jo Spence, ‘The Politics of Photography’, Camerawork Issue 1 (1976)

In her famous 1976 article first published in Camerawork magazine, Jo Spence articulated an emerging concept: community photography. Working against the power relations inherent in the medium, community photographers sought to provide an alternative to stereotyped, mass-produced images, fed to consumers by a small elite. Photography could instead be used as a tool for social change, enabling people to gain autonomy in the representation of their own lives.

But how did community photography work in practice?

Join us for a lively discussion with Judy Harrison, Janine Wiedel and Philip Wolmouth, three documentary photographers whose work engages with issues of community and representation.


Judy Harrison is a photographic artist, writer, curator and lecturer. Her work is held in collections including the V & A, London and West Midlands Arts. She was Founder and Director of Mount Pleasant Photography Workshop, Southampton, a significant community photography organisation, from 1977 - 1992. She was a leading member of FORMAT Women’s Picture Agency, London from 1984 - 2003 and has been a contributing member of Photofusion Picture Library, London since 2003. She is a Principal Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth, and is currently working on projects around areas of migration, journeys and personal histories within photography.

Janine Wiedel is an American documentary photographer and visual anthropologist based in London who has been covering issues of social concern since the late 1960s. Her career has mainly focused on groups struggling to survive on the edges of mainstream society. These projects have become major studies, books and exhibitions, and have fed into Wiedel’s extensive archive and  photolibrary which contains a unique collection of stock images covering a wide range of social issues including: education, protest, youth, alternative lifestyles, multicultural communities, drugs and social exclusion.

Philip Wolmuth is a photojournalist and writer. He has reported extensively on social, economic and political issues in Britain and abroad. In 1976 he set up Photoworks Westminster (formerly North Paddington Community Darkroom), a pioneering community photography project.  The project was influential in the community photography movement of the 1970s which saw a convergence of political and artistic concerns whilst drawing on the economic and political upheavals of the decade.

Places are free but booking is essential. Register here. 

Posted on 3rd August 2018 at 12:00am

TAGS: community, community photography, social, political, documentary, 1970s

Photomontage Then and Now

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Photomontage then and now

Thursday, 20 September, 2018

6.30 – 8.30pm, Four Corners Gallery

Collaged pictures or political weapons?

Acclaimed artists Peter Kennard and Loraine Leeson will be joining us in the gallery along with writer David Evans to discuss all things photomontage. We will be exploring the history, techniques and effects of photomontage, from darkroom collages to digital manipulation.

A fantastic event for anybody interested in the art of protest, radical culture or community activism. 


Peter Kennard has been a photomontage artist since the 1960s. Seeking to reflect his involvement in the anti-Vietnam War movement, he turned from painting to photomontage to better address his political views. He is best known for the images he created for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) in the 1970s–80s including a détournement of John Constable's ‘Hay Wain’ called ‘Haywain with Cruise Missiles’, first published in Camerawork Issue 19. Kennard has work in the public collections of several major museums and The Arts Council of England. He is also a Senior Research Reader in Photography, Art and the Public Domain at the Royal College of Art.  

Loraine Leeson has worked with communities through visual arts for over thirty years. She is particularly known for her work in support of the campaigning communities of London’s Docklands in the 1980’s, and her later use of digital media and the Internet to explore collective creativity. Her 1970s photomontage work in support of East London health campaigns was exhibited at the ICA last year. Loraine is the director of arts charity cSPACE at the University of East London and also runs courses in Art and Social Practice at Middlesex University. Recent publications include Art: Process: Change: inside a socially situated practice (2017)

David Evans is a writer, curator and critic. He worked with Jo Spence and Terry Dennett on Photography / Politics (1979). His publications include Photomontage: a political weapon (1987) with Sylvia Gohl,  John Heartfield: AIZ / VI 1930-38 (1992), Appropriation (2009) and Critical Dictionary (2011). He is currently working on a new book called Uncreative Camera: an introduction to image appropriation.

Places are free but booking is essential. Register here. 

Posted on 2nd August 2018 at 12:00am

TAGS: photomontage, protest, community, activism, politics, art

Half Moon Photography Workshop: the inside story


Sat, July 21, 2018

3:00 – 5:00pm, Four Corners Gallery

Join early members Mike Goldwater, Paul Trevor and Jenny Matthews for a discussion about the history of the Half Moon Photography Workshop, touring exhibitions and the radical magazine Camerawork.

Places are free but booking is essential.  Book your place here

Posted on 4th July 2018 at 12:00am

TAGS: talk, camerawork, halfmoon photography workshop, photography, collectives, 1970s, half moon gallery, ron mccormick, jenny matthews, mike goldwater, paul trevor

Press release: Welcome to our new Archive website!

0000099_HalfMoonCamerawork_Poster_Women Work in Hackney

Here is where you can download our official press release.

Posted on 5th June 2018 at 12:00am

Radical Visions symposium

Join us on Thursday 28 June for a half-day symposium event in collaboration with Birkbeck University, Radical Visions: the cultural politics of Camerawork 1972-1985.

Posted on 2nd May 2018 at 12:00am

TAGS: symposium, film, photography