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LOOK/15 photography festival in Liverpool focuses on the theme of exchange, encompassing issues of cultural diversity, migration, story-telling and memory, with the city of Liverpool and its global and local significance at the heart of the programme. Here are the must-see exhibitions at this year’s LOOK/15 festival in the heart of the city, which explores a variety of cultures and themes. The festival hosts the photography of amateurs and professionals, building a strong community relationship with the art which makes it very personal.
G20 Double Take by Billy Macrae is another stunning exhibition on show at the Open Eye Gallery. Billy’s unique technique exposes the violence from the street protests in 2009. The visual contrasts produced by his photographs are easy to appreciate and would otherwise be hard to imagine. Billy clearly knows how to produce clean photography and his work is bursting with visual excitement as well as relevant context for the festival.
Richard Ross‘ is, arguably, the most powerful display of photographs on show at the festival. Juvenile In Justice is displayed in its own encapsulating room in the Open Eye Gallery which completely absorbs you in his work. The exhibition is a collection of photographs of young juvenile in various facilities around America. The strong colours in his work bounce off the white walls of the room, forcing you to engage in the tragic story behind each image. Richard hides their faces to add a mystical element to his work and the clever curation of the exhibition leaves you in silence, surrounded by misunderstood juveniles.
Helen Marshall’s Project Tobong is arguably the most eye-catching material at LOOK/15. The exhibition evolves around the last remaining nomadic theatre troupe in Indonesia and Marshall brings together the hilarious facial expressions and eccentric fashion of the ancient Asian dancers, and the modern urban environment. This results in a bizarre series of photographs that grab hold of your imagination and force a smile to arise. There is also a degree of melancholy brought round by the dying art form of the dancers which engages you with Helen’s work.
Student Kiera Daley has used the remains of broken Barbie dolls to create a mutilation scene and a separate kinky bedroom display. The effects are dramatic and it represents a small snapshot of her mind. The work reflects her viewpoint on the new trend of radical feminism and how she spends her life in the comfort of her bed. The imagination and subject of her work fits with the spirit of LOOK/15.
This showcase of award winning photography is hung in St George’s Hall and has heavy emphasis on the theme of women. Julia Fullerton-Batten’s work is very mysterious and hosts a very powerful appearance. The artwork is all hung facing each other down a long, narrow corridor and the curation of the photography allows each piece to feed off the energy of others.
This collection of work by Max Pinckers explores honour killings in India caused by the restrictions of love and marriage in the country. Max uses newspaper cuttings and striking photography to expose the tragic consequences of love to create a powerful real life story. The Love Commandos are a group of guys that aim to save young couples who have fallen in love from honour killing and Max’s photographs deliver a deeply emotional portrayal of modern society in India. St George’s Hall provides an almost spooky presence to the beautifully tragic story behind the work.
‘Social portraiture’ is the theme behind Louis Quail‘s work at the Open Eye Gallery and his ability to catch momentary facial expressions allows his work to connect with the audience. Louis focuses on American office workers to suggest a lack of identity in their small cubicle. This creates a powerful message and together with the clarity of the photographs, allow us to explore the emotions of the office workers.