First Light at Castlefield Gallery New Art Space: Warrington

Posted on 20 April 2021

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

In 2020, final year students have had to forgo the experience of the 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 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, from a number of new graduates put forward, to take part in a series of online talks, a publication, and an exhibition at Castlefield Gallery New Art Space: Warrington. 

The First Light exhibition will open on 22 May ‘21 showcasing all the works by the selected graduates, curated by Mario Popham (Waterside’s Visual Arts Coordinator) and Polly Palmirini (Museum of Half Truths).  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 pop-up exhibition will be installed from the 17 April in the window display of the venue providing a preview of the upcoming exhibition.

A series of talks, hosted by Open Eye Gallery, will take place via Zoom for free between 16 March and 8 June, and 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 publication will be produced by Open Eye’s Laura Robertson – a special First Light edition of Tilt (Open Eye Gallery’s in-house zine) – featuring thirteen commissioned pieces of new writing that responds 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