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SHIFTS, Professional Development and Research Programme

  • Dates:2021-2022
  • Status:Ongoing

A professional development and research programme for the photographers in the North East, delivered 2021-2022.

Yiannis (2016) © Panos Kokkinias.

Photography in the 21st Century Museum - Symposium.

Yiannis (2016) © Panos Kokkinias. Archival inkjet, 80 x 122 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Xippas Gallery, Paris, Geneva, Montevideo.

The SHIFTS project offered a series of talks and peer discussions, workshops and symposiums, exploring the shifting landscape for the production of meaningful photographic work and the ways in which relationships with audience are evolving. As we move into a period of recovery and repositioning beyond Covid, we explored how photographers can adapt to changing contexts whilst looking forward, considering new opportunities and sharing strategies for developing resilience.

Symposiums delivered in 2021/2:
Photography, Environment, Action with speakers T.J. Demos, Michele Allen, Shahidul Alam, Edd Carr, Hannah Fletcher and Sabina Sallis, produced by Amanda Ritson of NEPN with photographic artist and researcher Marjolaine Ryley.
Photography in the 21st Century Museum, with speakers Matteo Balduzzi, Marta Weiss, Thomas Seelig and Alexandra Moschovi produced to coincide with the publication of Alexandra Moschovi’s monograph A Gust of Photo-Philia: Photography in the Art Museum.

Talks delivered in 2021/2: Shahidul Alam, Laia Abril, Mark Neville, Kuba Ryniewicz

Workshops offered in 2021/22 include:
Recognising Your Assets with Dr Susanne Burns
Soil Chromatography with Hannah Fletcher
Preparing for a Practice-based PhD delivered in partnership with Creative Fuse
InDesign for Photo Publishing and Collaborative Publication Making with Folium Publishing.
Defining Your Why delivered by Mortal Fools.
Effective Websites for Photographers with photography consultant Zoe Whishaw.Ethics in Photography with Savannah Dodds of the Photography Ethics Centre and Arpita Shah.
Lightroom with Clive Jackson – 2 day workshop bespoke for D/deaf photographers from Sunderland’s Click Click Club.
B&W Darkroom Processing with Stephen Turner, bespoke for D/deaf photographers from Sunderland’s Click Click Club.

Our partnership with Animated Ecologies granted access to over 30 workshops for 10 photographers in the North East region (and staff and students at the Northern Centre of Photography), connecting them to an international storytelling project relating to the climate emergency.

24 Project/Practice Surgeries were held with Amanda Ritson of NEPN for individual photographers to support project development, fund-raising, partnership, sustainable development. 

3 Social events for photographers to share work in development, network and support the community of practice were programmed, including a DYCP focus session with Arts Council England and successful applicant Nat Wilkins and ‘Flex your social muscle’ skills sharing event with Victoria Doyle.  

Photographer Social 'Flex and Stretch' facilitated by Victoria Doyle, Pop Recs May 2022

Photographer Social 'Flex and Stretch' May 2022

In late 2021, NEPN invited applications from NE-based photographers for a new SHIFTS Professional Development Programme. The programme aimed to support photographers who wish to explore new areas of research and development, or new ways of making and sustaining their practice. This scheme aimed not be prescriptive; but to listen to the needs of applicants and to support individuals to progress in relation to their own needs. Bursaries were awarded without expectation of artistic output, allowing investment in photographers for their own development.

The four photographers selected by a panel made up of photographers Joanne Coates, Ingrid Pollard, Kuba Ryniewicz and NEPN are: Will Creswick, Paul Alexander Knox, Lorna MacKay and Simone Jimena Rudolphi.


Image by Paul Alexander Knox, one of four selected photographers for the SHIFTS Professional Development Programme.

Image from the Pop Recs Ltd archive © Paul Alexander Knox

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