First Light at Castlefield Gallery New Art Space: Warrington

22 May 2021 — 4 July 2021

Celebrating northern photo graduates of 2020, the exciting new project will comprises a series of online talks and a northern photography graduate exhibition at Castlefield Gallery New Art Space: Warrington.

The First Light exhibition is open to the public at Castlefield Gallery New Art Spaces: Warrington (24 Sankey Street – former Marks & Spencer, Golden Square, Warrington WA1 1TD from Saturday 22 May –  until Sunday 4 July 2021.

In 2020, final year students had to forgo the experience of their degree show – the culminating event of three years of study. In partnership with Open Eye Gallery, Castlefield Gallery and Creative Industries Trafford, Waterside will be providing the opportunity for graduates from thirteen universities across the north of England to take part in the First Light project.  

A panel of industry professionals have selected a student from each of the participating universities, to take part in a series of online talks, a publication, and an exhibition at Castlefield Gallery New Art Spaces: Warrington. 

Curated by Mario Popham (Waterside’s Visual Arts Coordinator) and Polly Palmirini (Museum of Half Truths), the First Light exhibition showcases work by the selected graduates.  Castlefield Gallery New Art Spaces: Warrington has been selected as the venue for the exhibition, with generous support from Culture Warrington and Warrington Council. 

A series of talks, hosted by Open Eye Gallery on Zoom for free between 16 March and 8 June will bring together the photographers, writers and educators who are central to this project. Chaired by Open Eye’s writer-in-residence Laura Robertson and exhibition Curator Mario Popham, they will discuss the ideas and inspiration behind the images, the potential for collaboration across disciplines, the relationship between the image and the word, and the role educators play in the early development of artistic practice.  

A special First Light edition of Tilt (Open Eye Gallery’s in-house zine) will be produced by Laura Robertson – featuring thirteen commissioned pieces of new writing which respond to the selected photographic works. Written by twelve 2020 graduates, who have been nominated by diverse writing programmes and undergraduate degrees from across the north-west – including Writing on the Wall (WoW) literature organisation – this ambitious, interdisciplinary and contemporary arts publication features texts that range from poetry and flash fiction to traditional journalism.

Address: Castlefield Gallery New Art Spaces: Warrington, 24 Sankey Street (former Marks & Spencer), Golden Square, Warrington WA1 1TD


Image: Kayleigh Cleminson