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Joseph Swan and Photography in Sunderland

Andy Martin, Tintype installation at the Athenaeum Building.

Tins of Sunderland by Andy Martin at the Athenaeum Building, Sunderland

  • Dates:February 2017
  • Status:Archived

A co-curated event celebrating Joseph Swan.

Video by Nat Wilkins

NEPN and Breeze Creatives co-curated an event with a difference about Joseph Swan and Photography in Sunderland in February 2017 at at the Athenaeum Building, Sunderland.

The event included demonstrations, installations, talks and a Victorian ‘selfie-station.’

Artist Karolina Maciagowska demonstrated her new work with the collodion process and was commissioned to make new photographs on glass of Swan’s Sunderland.

Lucy Carolan and Richard Glynn invited the audience to experience their Lostness Cycles: kinetic, interactive photographic works that investigate crossovers between digital and traditional practices. A new work was commissioned by NEPN which explored Swan’s 360 degree view of the city.

An exhibition of photographer Andy Martin’s Tins of Sunderland showcased his collodion practice with images created on a Mawson and Swan camera dated from 1880-1890s.

Architecture and design historian Michael Johnson gave a talk about the history of The Athenaeum Building and Fawcett Street.

NEPN Programme Manager and Senior Lecturer at the Northern Centre of Photography at University of Sunderland, Carol McKay, gave an insight into Swan’s influences and early life in photography and Paul Cordes, Founder of the Newcastle Photography Festival, spoke about Joseph Swan’s many photographic patents and the processes that inspired him.

‘Most people know Joseph Swan as the inventor of the incandescent light bulb. But he was also a photography entrepreneur and businessman, with connections far and wide. We’re celebrating this story in Sunderland, the town where he was born and grew up and where he encountered photography for the first time.’

Supported by Sunderland BID.