FORMAT13 festival is launched in Derby

chicken workersARTSBEAT PHOTOGRAPHY: The sixth FORMAT International Photography Festival, bringing a month of innovative and inspiring photography to Derbyshire, was launched in spectacular style last night.

With exhibitions and events hosted in venues across Derby FORMAT13: FACTORY is not only be a celebration of the city but also explores how ‘the factory’ continues to be relevant in the digital age through a programme of exhibitions, events, workshops, mass participation and more.

The theme will offer festival visitors a diverse, imaginative, dynamic, poignant and fascinating view on the phenomenon of mechanised production, industry, work and its impact on people’s lives.

The idea for the festival’s theme celebrates Derby’s Unesco World Heritage status as the birthplace of the mass production.

The festival includes more than 80 exhibitions, some major installations and new commissions as well as international work with photography from over 30 countries.

The exhibitions are presented in two stands: FOCUS, which are larger scale exhibitions from established, well-known artists and collectives and EXPOSURE, which is a selection of exhibitions from new and upcoming artists chosen by a submission process.

The venues not only include QUAD, The Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Derby and Deda, but also Derby Market Hall, Westfield, The Chocolate Factory and Silk Mill as well as The Beetroot Tree at Draycott and the John Smedley Mill at Lea Bridge near Matlock.

The programme includes an exciting line-up of exhibitions under the collective theme of FACTORY: Mass Production and will include a new exhibition – Notes Home from the Archive of Modern Conflict; the UK premier of Album Beauty, from the collection of Erik Kessels; a factory survey from the Piece of Cake Collective; a new exhibition featuring an intervention by Melinda Gibson in conjunction with Thomas Sauvin and The Archive of Modern Conflict’s Silvermine collection from Beijing.

Still Waters – a special photography commission of Derbyshire’s public figures by Brian Griffin, one of the UK’s most influential and creative portrait photographers – will be the main exhibition in Gallery One at the city’s museum.

The theme of the festival jointly staged by the University of Derby and QUAD  focuses on several aspects of factories and working life; from automation, work/life balance and the products and impacts of factories.

Through eyes of the greatest image makers of today and tomorrow FORMAT explores the global effects, celebrates the achievements, and discovers the complex relationship between workers and machines throughout time.

FORMAT is now the UK’s largest festival of contemporary photography and one of the most significant and exciting in the international festival calendar.

Derby is being visited by photography enthusiasts from all over the UK and beyond throughout March, with its information point in QUAD.

The venues across the city will hosts exhibitions and events, many of which are free to visit.

Activities for all ages are on offer with everything ranging from professional practice workshops to drop in family fun.

The festival opened with the spectacular Elemental Force event on Cathedral Green yesterday. Despite the rain the firework and light display on the side of the Silk Mill was watched by hundreds of people.

For the latest information there is a chance to sign up for the free e-flyers, for details see the FORMAT website