During the last May bank holiday weekend, I took my family for a day-trip to Ipswich. A friend had told me about a visual arts festival, PhotoEast, that sounded really interesting. The international photography festival is a biennial event in Suffolk that brings together world-class photographers to showcase the best of contemporary photography and photojournalism.
Belonging, PhotoEast 2018
In 2016 saw the launch of the festival with the theme 'Of Time and Place'. In 2018, the theme of the second festival is Belonging and the focus on the question of what it means to belong to the photographers and viewers coming to visit the festival.
I wandered with my family along Ipswich waterfront to view the photography exhibits that were placed on giant billboards around buildings and public spaces, and also indoor galleries of the Community Cafe, Old Customs House and the University of Suffolk campus. It was engaging to look around at the diverse photographs on display, which varied in subject from landscapes, people and culture. My favourite was 'The Shipping Forecast' exhibition by Magnum photographer, Mark Power. His stark and heavy contrast black and white photographs were inspired by the BBC weather broadcasts around the British Isles. Each photograph was taken from the different locations mentioned in the broadcasts. Although at first glance the individual photographs look rather bleak and isolated, however, presented in a photographic series, they tell a similar story of life in those coastal towns and islands.
We did not attend any of the free photography talks or events run by the festival, but we had a great family day out with the children enjoying the family photography treasure trail. They got a disposable camera each at the end of the trail as part of the fun bank holiday weekend event.
The photographic exhibition along Ipswich waterfront runs until 24 June. There is also an exhibit on the festival theme at the Halesworth Gallery near Southwold from 9-27 June.