Curated Tour of Brighton Photo Fringe 2020

By Vera Hadzhiyska


As Brighton Photo Fringe is nearing its end, I wanted to take the time and present a curated selection of artists’ work. This year the Fringe has more than 180 online and in-venue exhibitions. There is a huge diversity of fantastic works to immerse yourself in.  I have selected 28 exhibitions to pique your interest. Have a look at these talented artists and find out more about their work.

Following Photo Fringe’s initiative of creating Trails of exhibitions for viewers to follow and explore, I have grouped the selected works in four separate Trails: Covid Response, Identity and Belonging, Nature /Humanity / Technology, and Motherhood.

I hope you enjoy this curated tour of Brighton Photo Fringe2020.

© The Rights to all images belong to their respective authors. 

Trail: Covid Response

Artists have unique ways of responding to unusual circumstances and the global pandemic has certainly provided plenty of food for thought. The artists presented here have produced work in response to the global pandemic and the difficulties it created. Their responses have been diverse, and encompassing wide issues. 

Pryzma Collective - Nothing and Everything Happened

Artists Amanda Gordon, Zara Pears, Ola Teper and David West

Pryzma Collective take a look at the imperceptible in relation to our psyche by exploring the subtlety and hidden depths of trauma. They highlight the invisible threat of the virus by examining our bodily fluids and their contaminating potential. 

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Aaron Yeandle - PPE-19/COLEWORT-19

Aaron Yeandle turns our attention to personal protective wear by tracing its historical use in the past. His portraits provide a sense of playfulness and ease, much needed in these difficult times. 

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Hara Sklika - The grass is greener on the other side

Imposed lockdown inspired several performative responses to life as we had never experienced before. Hara Sklika shows a new side of herself and her imagined reality by taking one self-portrait for each day spent in lockdown in Greece. 

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Quetzal Maucci - While Searching for Each Other

Quetzal Maucci bridges the distance between people with her collaborative project "Route of Isolation", inviting strangers to share their own experience of the pandemic and respond to each other through art. A parcel traveling from one isolated household to another, bringing people emotionally closer together when we need to stay physically further apart.

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Hayley Lohn - Daydream Translations

Hayley Lohn immerses us in a dreamland with stunning ethereal photographs, visualising her own and her friend’s dreams which were amplified by the unusual change to daily routine imposed by the lockdown.

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Mitchell Moreno - PANDEMANIAC

Mitchell Moreno steers out attention towards mental health and the impact of the pandemic on out emotional wellbeing and human need for connection. He uses performance and elaborate colours and textures to create a heightened and distorted sense of reality. 

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Trail: Identity and Belonging

From personal, national and cultural identity to the immigrant experiences of belonging and alienation, home and family. The artists presented here use a multitude of approaches to present their own, and their communities’ intricate identities and experiences. They question prejudices and break stereotypes.

Elisa Moris Vai - National Narrative

Stirred to action by 18th century paintings or wealthy slave owners, Elisa Moris Vai questions the legitimacy of that wealth, and looks at the position of the living descendants of enslaved people, in current French society. 

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Federico Estol - Shine Heroes

Shoe shiners in Bolivia have become quite the social phenomenon, yet their profession is still regarded with contempt. It is so frowned upon that shoe shiners resort to wearing ski-masks in order to hide their identity from family and strangers, whilst on the job. Federico Estol collaborates with sixty shoe shiners to fight against the social discrimination they face. 

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Julien Bonnin - Relics

Julien Bonnin looks at the politics behind preservation and dissemination of archival images. He re-enacts memories and creates fictional scenarios in order to investigate the narratives surrounding images and mythology of War. His work questions the stereotypes related to history and cultural appropriation in the Middle East.

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Paula Gortázar - The Rope

How is our identity formed? Is it shaped by our forever shifting memories and circumstances? Paula Gortázar takes us through fictional constructs, where memories and traumas are erased and reformed by our incessant stream of conscience. Her photographs fill the gaps between the ‘real’ and the imagined in the creation of personal narratives.

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Gil Mualem-Doron - Present Absentees 

Gil Mualem-Doron depicts the issue of “Present Absentees” or Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s) Palestinians in Israel. He took photos of local residents against the background of historical photos of Al-Lajoun – a nearby village where they or their ancestors were born. His project explores the politically tense past and present of the region.

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Shaista Chishty - It's No Life For Any Woman 

Identifying as a British Muslim woman of Pakistani Origin, Shaista Chishty interrogates the highly stereotyped and problematic portrayal of Muslim women in the Western world. Using collage, news archives and cyanotypes, she creates a ‘blueprint’ of images that embody everything she find problematic about the way we are accustomed to seeing Muslim women portrayed.

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Rehab Eldalil - The Longing Of The Stranger Whose Path Has Been Broken 

Rehab Eldalil reconnects to her Bedouin roots by explores notions of home and belonging in Egypt. Her practice is focused on collaboration with the local Bedouin community to depict a contemporary portrayal of the Bedou’ identity via traditional mediums such as poetry, sound and embroidery.

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Hussina Raja - ROOTS

Can immigrants ever truly belong? Hussina Raja turns the camera on her personal experience as a second-generation South Asian Brit. In the film ROOTS she questions what it means to be 'British' through the immigrant experience of adapting one’s identity to the adoptive country’s cultural norms and values.  

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Zula Rabikowska - Citizens of Nowhere 

Inspired by the 2016 Brexit referendum, the film “Citizens of Nowhere” focuses on the immigrant experience of Polish-born photographer Zula Rabikowska and her family, in the UK. Her use of analogue photography, stop motion film and constant shift between languages enhances the viewer’s experience of displacement and reflects the author’s dual sense of belonging.

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Tommy Kha - At Home, I'm a Tourist 

“At Home, I'm a Tourist” is a selection of works by photographer Tommy Kha, showcasing his continued mapping of Asian Diaspora in the American South. He utilises family archives, costumes and theatrical approach to stage eye-catching photographs which look at how Otherness is imaged and represented in the canon of photographic histories.

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Trail: Nature / Humanity /Technology

The works in this trail delve into the intricate and often fragile relationships between nature and humanity, humanity and technology, technology and nature. Sometimes between all three. The artists selected here offer a broad spectrum of perspectives on Nature / Humanity / Technology.  

Shiori Akiba - SEAMLESS 

Shiori Akiba’s photographs immerse the naked human body into the natural world. She questions the negative connotations associated with nudity in Japanese society and asks us to reclaim “nudity” as the most natural way of being, for we were all born naked.

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Nadja Ellinger - Path of Pins 

Nadja Ellinger is taking us on a mysterious journey through the woodlands of Germany, inspired by the Little Red Riding Hood fairytale. Her interactive virtual show opens a door for the viewer to immerse themselves in the work and become a co-author of the story unfolding and shifting before their eyes.

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Pippa Healy - The Lake

Pippa Healy takes us on a meditative walk to Lake Altaussee in Austria. Taking apart her images through the analogue process of photographing and later using printmaking techniques to layer them back together acts as a metaphor for the human consciousness and the depths we need to go through to deal with our own thoughts.  The deconstruction and reconstruction of the photographs give the work depth and suggest a hidden meaning, shrouded in mystery by the lake. 

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Jamie Tilley - does a cow know when a storm is coming? 

Mixing performance, sculpture and landscape photography, Jamie Tilley invited us to consider the independent relationship between nature and technology, and how humanity fits in this equation. 

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Casey Moore - Ghost in the Machine 

Casey Moore questions the future of AI and humanity’s relationship to it by collaborating with a machine to create art. He yields the creative control over the final result of the images, hence in “Ghost in the Machine”, technology becomes a co-creator of the artwork.

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Cecilia Di Paolo - Made To Be Loved 

Join Cecilia Di Paolo’s fictional character doll ‘Abigail’ in imagining the future of love, society and technology. She takes us on a journey through the shifting boundaries of love and sexuality as a result of contemporary technology. 

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Denis Serrano - Edmundo 

Denis Serrano’s work introduces us to her uncle Edmundo who uses technology as a therapeutic creative act to deal with his schizophrenia. Denis’s use of electronic in the photographs creates a beautiful metaphor, allowing an intimate glimpse into the intricacies of living with a mental health condition. 

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Cristiano Volk - Laissez-faire 

Cristiano Volk’s vibrant photographs plunge us into an illusory dream of a society in desperate search for balance between comfort, conformism, disease and isolation. 

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David Kendall - Disappearing into Night 

David Kendall captures the urban landscapes of Doha (Qatar) and its incessant destruction and redevelopment to reveal new connections between people, architecture and digital infrastructure.

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Trail: Motherhood

This trail presents three different perspectives on motherhood beginning with Denise Felkin who is going to remind us that motherhood is a complex choice. Her project “Mum’s Not he Words” documents women who do not have children and their reflections on what this means to them as individuals. Moving our gaze to Jocelyn Allen who will take us on a journey of pregnancy during a global pandemic through her intimate and witty diary. And finally, Clodagn Moreland immersing herself into the urban landscape of Dublin Port in order to process the loss of her role as a full-time mother, after her youngest daughter leaves the family nest. 

Denise Felkin - Mum's Not the Word 

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Jocelyn Allen - Waiting For Things In A Time When You Rarely Wait For Things 

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Clodagh Moreland - What They Leave Behind 

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Using Format