Now in its third year, the Carlisle Photo Festival, has for the first time invited Street Level Photoworks to show a series of work called ‘Working the Border’.
The group exhibition based upon the Anglo-Scottish border has found an ideal location in Carlisle Railway Station. On the bridge connecting the two platforms, travelers and visitors can discover the work of Sophie Gerrard, Colin McPerson and Andy Wiener to name just a few. The exhibition continues in the platform 4 waiting room, with a series of work by ae phor, ‘Working the Border’, Jo Metson Scott, with ‘The Borderland’ project, shown for the first time alongside ‘Shengland’ and the remarkable ‘Debatable Land’ by Alan Knox. Bursary winners Julie Dawn Dennis and Zuzanna Sikorska also have work located in the railway station. On the opposite hoarding from ‘Working the Border’, Zuzanna’s work, ‘Step Back in Time’ shows a series of photographs of the current Carlisle juxtaposed with archived ones taken at the exact same location, illustrating how cities are in a state of constant change. Julie Dwan Dennis’ work ‘ Safe as Houses’ is shown alongside the exhibition ‘Seeing through a Century’ in the waiting room on platform 3, including Danny Brunetti’s and James Sebright’s great series of work connected to Syria and its recent events.
The festival then takes you to The Citadel, inside the impressive former criminal courts where the community exhibition, ‘Our Carlisle’ shows you an intimate view of the city through photographs of past and present shared by its inhabitants. In the right corner of the room, ‘Possessed’ is an interesting ongoing project by Sarah Faraday questioning the capacity for the camera to capture the emotion invested in the photographed object. A quick trip downstairs from the criminal seats box leads you to the prison where you’ll find the second part of ‘Seeing Through a Century’. Three cells are used a single galleries showing the work of three artists including Michael Daglish’s refreshing ‘Common Land’ series.
After enjoying a little walk through the pedestrian zone, you’ll reach Lonsdale street and the third part of ‘Seeing Through a Century’. The work of five artists are shown over two floors, including striking black and white photographs of North Wales in the 1980s by Stephen Clarke. You’ll discover the mysterious Star City through Mitch Karunaratne’s work and China’s construction frenzy with Robert Battersby. Also, a very interesting series by Walter Menzies and also Sean Dooley’s ‘After life’ series, portraying stuffed specimens of animal species, extinct or under serious threat.
(Left : from he series ‘Holiday-ed in North Wales’ by Stephen Clarke, Right: ‘Made in China’ by Robert Battersby)
The festival also invites you to discover ‘Work in Progress’ by the BA (Hons) Photography students at the University of Cumbria, showing a distinctive range of work.
Carlisle Photo Festival brought us a very enjoyable and eclectic selection of works by emerging and more established artists in surprising environment across the city. We hope to return next year.