I have just come back from a fabulous weekend in Liverpool where Redeye organised the National Photography Symposium (NPS3) at the Bluecoat coinciding with the launch of Look11 the first Liverpool photography festival. It was an absolutely amazing weekend with very inspiring speakers and photographers and an astounding amount of great photography shows all around the city.
It has been so overwhelming that today I am just trying to catch up with some news, digest some of the information and look through some of the great publications I brought back. My feet are aching and I have a need for a foot rub (anyone willing?).
Look11 is on for another 6 weeks and I urge you to look at the website to see what is on. Below I have only listed the very few shows that I managed to see. This is not a deliberate exclusion of others, purely time constraints. To list all that is on would be madness and besides it is great to discover yourself what is on where. Anyway one of the few shows that I did see was Excavating Utopia: Park Road at St George's Hall. This was put together by one of the Redeye Lightbox groups. I loved the set-up, the fabulous wall paper by Leila Romaya and Paul McCann and the well designed catalogue.
On Friday night the Bluecoat organised a hog roast to entertain the visitors of Look11 launch and Lightnight. I tweeted this and in about 5 minutes I had every hog roast restaurant in the UK following me on Twitter. No doubt they'll unfollow me soon when they realise I am not in the catering business!
There is a very good exhibition at the Bluecoat Confined that had chillingly good images. Well done to Sara-Jayne Parsons for putting this together. The show is on until 10 July.
Also at the Bluecoat was an installation by Sharon Mutch (see below) who is not only one of the Excavating Utopia photographers but also photographer in residence at the Bluecoat.
As I spent most of my time directing people to various lectures and shows I didn't really get the chance to listen to many of the presentations but I did hear the lovely David Moore who spoke about his work in the Confined show at the Bluecoat as well as some of his other work. Totally fascinating. A list of his books is available here.
I also had the pleasure to listen to the delightful John Stoddart. Not only does he take brilliant shots of A list celebrities, he is also utterly charming and very funny. His road to stardom did not come easy and it was refreshing to hear about his early career.
As I met and heard so many wonderful photographers I am kind of embarrassed to put up these snapshots from my phone. Forgive me I am not a photographer, but I would like to shout about those who are and I hope that many of you will get to Liverpool to see the wonderful shows that are up as part of Look11.
I am now going to have a quiet moment with some of my new books Is Britain Great? 2 by Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale from The Caravan Gallery and Still Life Killing Time by Edmund Clark.
For reviews from NPS3 please see the following so far: