International Festival of Photography launches in Highlands

A NEW festival is set to bring work by acclaimed photographers to the north of Scotland.

Festival of Photography to launch in Inverness. Pic: Neil Hanna/TSPL
Festival of Photography to launch in Inverness. Pic: Neil Hanna/TSPL

The Flow Photofest, which opens in Inverness on 2 September, is to take over nine venues across the north, with more to be announced.

The event will present a programme of exhibitions and events featuring work by over 40 photographers from, or working in, the the Highlands, from Scotland, Norway, Finland, Iceland and beyond.

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Festival founder and organiser Matt Sillars said: “Flow festival will give the people of the Highlands a unique opportunity to experience work by internationally acclaimed photographers.

“When we invited these award-winning artists to exhibit here in the North of Scotland we didn’t know what to expect. We are overwhelmed by the positive response we received and really excited to welcome such incredible talent to the area.”

Another organiser, Roddy McKenzie, added, “Although you might not know the names of these photographers, we encourage everyone in the area to go to see the exhibitions to discover something unexpected and exciting.

“Flow really is an exceptionally exciting event with the potential to grow into an internationally renowned festival attracting people from across the world to the North of Scotland.”

Festival highlights include:

* Acclaimed Icelandic photographer Ragnar Axelsson has traveled throughout the Arctic for almost three decades taking pictures of people and place. This will be the first time his series of works, ‘Faces of the North’ have been exhibited in Scotland.

* The world premiere of ‘Faroe Islands’, work exploring the population decline among women, by Andrea Gjestvang a multi award winning Norwegian photographer based between Oslo and Berlin.

*From Iceland, Sigga Ella presents ‘First and foremost I am’, a critically acclaimed series of 21 portraits of people who all have Down’s Syndrome. Sigga will also talk about her work at an event on 2nd September.

* Kieran Dodds, a photographer known internationally for his research-driven photo stories and portraiture, will present new works as part of his ongoing series ‘Gingers’.

* Evija Laivina, born in Latvia now living in Inverness and studying Contemporary Art Practice at the University of Highlands and Islands, will be exhibiting photographs from her series ‘Beauty Warriors’ that received a LensCulture Student Spotlight Award 2017.

* Dominique Gais is a French artist who spent time in Ullapool earlier this year. The work exhibited is in response to the environment surrounding Rhue and the collaboration between her and Landscape painter James Hawkins.

Paul Campbell, another of the festival founders, said: “To complement the exhibitions, there is a programme of free events. On the 2nd and 3rd of September at Eden Court, exhibiting photographers will discuss their work and there is an opportunity to hear about Inverness’ own internationally renowned, multi-award winning artist-photographer, Andrew Paterson, whose studio was based in Inverness between 1895-1980.”

“There is also a small film festival dedicated to photography at Eden Court Theatre, portfolio review sessions for photographers and workshops.”