News & Events

The ‘Month of Photography’ comes to an end. Did you come?

Well, that was exhausting!   Although most of the installations have now disappeared you can still catch the following:

Precious Little Diamond at The NewBridge Project until 6 December 2013
Paul Alexander Knox and Ciara Leeming at Side Gallery until 21 December 2013.
Michele Allen ‘Forgotten Fruit’ at Arts Centre Washington until 4 January 2014.
Louise Taylor  at Durham Art Gallery until 12 January 2014.
Sarah Pickering at Durham Art Gallery until 12 January 2014.
Damien Wootten ’Coastal Retreats’ at Woodhorn Museum until 2 February 2014.
John Kippin ‘Ships that Pass’ at National Glass Centre until 23 February 2014.
‘You are the company in which you keep’ at Sunderland Museum until 23 February 2014.
Brenda Burrell ‘Fern Street Postcards’ at Sunderland Museum until 23 February 2014.


If you attended we’d be really grateful for your feedback. Please complete this (very short) questionnaire here:


Image Credit: Juliet Chenery-Robson installation at the Old Fire Station, photographed by Michael Daglish.



Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina – Deleting Memory opening at Pop Recs Ltd


14 November 5-7pm
Venue: Pop Recs Ltd, 51 Fawcett Street, Sunderland, SR1 1RS.

Join us this Thursday for the opening of  ’Deleting Memory’ an exhibition of work created by Tita Salina, Irwan Ahmett and 10 residents of Sunderland.  Tita and Irwan will introduce the project and also launch a small urban game for Sunderland! Free refreshments, all welcome and booking is not required.

In their new project Deleting Memory commissioned for The Social: encountering photography, Indonesian-based artists Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina set out to explore the relationship between the city and its citizens. Using photography as their primary device, they seek to uncover and playfully intervene in everyday patterns of memory. As visitors to Sunderland, they have invited 10 residents to work with them in a process of swapping and deleting photographic memories of the city.

Exhibition runs 15 Nov-24 Nov.

Supported by the Ford Foundation and NEPN.

Image credit: Tita Salina and Irwan Ahmett, concept image for Deleting Memory



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Mark Henderson – Steels Social Club Residency Social Morning

The Concert Room

15 November 11am-1pm
Venue: Steels Social Club concert room, 1 Peacock St W, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear SR4 6LQ

Join us this Friday for a presentation of findings as part of Mark Hendersons residency at Steels Social Club.

Working with both photography and video the exploration Mark has created a series of images and video interviews featuring a wide and varied cross section of the community that have a cultural/social connection to the space, to provide an insight into the lives that have been played out within the room.

Artist Talk: Gayle Chong Kwan


12 November 6-8pm
Venue: HM Bark Endeavour, Castlegate Quay, Riverside, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 1BZ

Join artist Gayle Chong Kwan aboard the Endeavour to find out more about Arripare an exciting new commission located on Castlegate Shopping Centre in Stockton-on-Tees. The talk is a free event but booking is required. The installation of Arripare marks the launch of the biennial REFOCUS Castlegate mima Photography Prize. For more information please visit

Book your free ticket online at or Tel: 01642 526466

ReFOCUS final logo


Thursday 14 November, 7.00-9.00pm.

Independent (Lounge), 27-28 Holmeside, Sunderland SR1 3JE

Join us for an informal social in the pub including viewing inspirational work from international photography festivals including Photo Quai, Noorderlicht and Singapore International Photography Festival.

Free event, no booking required.

Image credit: Haley Austin’s ‘You are the Company in Which You Keep’ photographed by Karolina Maciagowska.

‘Nobody told us about it’: Socialising photo-history

Not Our Class Newsletter-1

Not Our Class, issue #1, 2012. Edited by Louise Shelley and published by Studio Voltaire

Friday 8 November 2013, 1.30-5.00pm.  Book HERE

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, City Library and Arts Centre, Fawcett Street, Sunderland, SR1 1RE

Panel discussion convened by Laura Guy, PhD Candidate, Manchester School of Art with support from NEPN. Speakers include Noni Stacey (PhD Candidate at Photography and the Archive Research Centre at LCC), Louise Shelley (The Showroom) and Matthew Hearn (independent researcher and curator)

 This seminar invites speakers and audience to engage with the cultural legacy of the British photography practices, organisations and collectives who aligned themselves with left political movements throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

The event responds to the issues that Terry Dennett and Jo Spence characterised in their 1986 account of the Photography Workshop:

‘One of the ironies of the Left and women’s movement must surely be this: that groups which are set up and do innovative work usually split into differing political segments; these segments then go on and found new dynasties, or just fade away. In time, the original differences, cracks, fissures and explosions come to be neatly laundered over, erased from the memory of those involved because they are too painful, not fully known to those who came later because ‘nobody told us about it’ and, finally, mythologised through the accounts of others writing about them from the outside.’

Bringing together a range of individuals who are attempting to do photo-history ‘from the outside’ (interpretable in the broadest sense), we hope this event will share a number of methodological approaches with a focus on the histories of regional as well as London based practices.

A total snip at £10/£5 concessions, booking HERE.

Photographer and Publisher Talk and Book Launch: Marjolaine Ryley & Taj Forer

Marjolaine Ryley, The Holy Man, from Growing up in the New Age

Marjolaine Ryley, The Holy Man, from Growing up in the New Age

8 November, 7-9pm, Sunderland Minster,  High St West, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear SR1 3ET

Growing up in the New Age
Marjolaine Ryley’s recently published book Growing up in the New Age explores the alternative world of the 1960s and early 1970s counterculture, from communes in the South of France, squatting in South London and ‘free school’ education to the many forays into all things ‘New Age’ set against the backdrop of social and political happenings of the era. Ryley’s autobiographical photographs and texts works have the feel of an Alice in Wonderland psychedelic dream, looking back at the counterculture through the prism of time, recapturing her memories of places, people and events. The work all uses archival imagery to revisit and understand the past, while the new image and text works explore the duality inherent in much of the ‘New Age’ and countercultural philosophies, which hope to create both inner and outer states of Utopia.

Marjolaine will be in conversation with publisher of Growing up in the New Age, Taj Forer from Daylight (NY).
Taj Forer is a photographic artist, publisher and educator. He received his MFA in Photography from UNC-Chapel Hill (where he is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Art) and his BA from Sarah Lawrence College. He is a Cofounder of Daylight, the celebrated international photography publisher. Forer is the author of two books of his own photography, Stone by Stone (Kehrer Verlag, 2011, Heidelberg, Germany) and Threefold Sun (Charta Editions, 2007, Milano, Italy). His photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world and can be found in private and public collections throughout the United States and Europe including those of The J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles, CA), The North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh, NC), The Sir Elton John Collection (London, UK), The Mint Museum of Art (Charlotte, NC) and The Taubman Museum of Art (Roanoke, VA).

This event is free but booking is requested HERE

A selection of work from Growing up in the New Age will be exhibited in Sunderland Minster during the Social.

Marjolaine Ryley and Taj Forer will also be reviewing portfolios on Saturday 9 November, more information HERE

Artist Talk: Harry Hall


Sunderland Minster, 4 November 2013, 5.30-7pm.

Join us for a special event in a yurt in Sunderland Minster when Harry Hall will be discussing his projects The Small Society and Chin-Leaving.
The Small Society will be exhibited on advertising panels in Park Lane/Crowtree Road during The Social.

Chin – Leaving, Harry’s long-term project explores the nomadic communities of the Himalayas.

This event is FREE but there is limited capacity please book here:


Artist Talk: Melanie Manchot

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Northumbria University, Lipman Building, 23 October 2013 2.00pm.

Melanie Manchot will be talking about her work, including making her Great North Run Moving Image Commission film Tracer.   Talk programmed by Great North Run Culture in partnership with NEPN and Northumbria University.
Booking is requested via Great North Run Culture:

Portraits from the series Tracer will be exhibited from 7 October -17 November 2013 on an Adshel at Borough Road, Sunderland, SR1 1PS in the context of the exhibition You Are the Company in Which You Keep


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Image Credit: Melanie Manchot, Tracer – Jak, Apeuro Freerunning

Artist Talk: Ingrid Pollard


Ingrid Pollard, Highgreen Windows

Ingrid Pollard, Highgreen Windows

Artist Talk: Ingrid Pollard will be in conversation with Carol McKay, 21 October 2013, 3.00-4.30pm. Free, all welcome, booking requested HERE.

Regarding the Frame
For some four decades, Ingrid Pollard has been exploring the romanticism of the English landscape and its hidden histories in a practice that has encompassed printmaking and drawing as well as photography. Hers is a measured creativity, one in which she recognises the attraction of pastoral tradition, whilst alluding to its exclusions, contradictions and hidden histories. A British-Guyanese artist, she has continually explored relations of the urban and rural, questioning the nature of belonging, and the practices through which identities are constituted. For some time now she has tested and extended this creative practice whilst artist-in-residence at VARC (Visual Arts in Rural Communities), based for a year in the remote Northumberland hills of Highgreen estate in Tarset. Her approach to artistic research is well suited to such a context, enabling a sustained period of creative fieldwork in which she has observed, walked and talked in and around the locale, often in the company of those who live and work there.  A selection of work produced during her year in Northumberland will be exhibited in the Minster nave.

Sunderland Minster provides the context for a series of talks, slideshow events and exhibitions during The Social 18 October – 16 November. Highlights from two newly completed photographic research projects will be exhibited in the Minster nave.

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