Belfast Exposed Photography is Northern Ireland’s principal gallery of contemporary photography. The gallery was founded in 1983 and showcases world renowned national and international artists through exhibitions, commissions and publications. This month it will host an exhibition by the world renowned photographer Martin Parr. In addition to the main gallery Belfast Exposed has the Futures Gallery which profiles young and emerging artists.
Belfast Exposed also undertakes community engagement and photography projects across Northern Ireland in partnership with local charities, community groups and training organisation addressing issues such as homelessness, dementia, exclusion whilst increasing access to visual arts education and creating opportunities for learning and training.
The organization also holds one of Belfast’s most extensive archives of community images taken by local photographers, artists, journalists, community groups and individuals during the years of conflict and the decades since, charting the restructuring and rebuilding of local communities.
Belfast Exposed is one of the major providers of professional photography training in Northern Ireland. Courses are offered from basic grounding in digital image taking through to the production of Photobooks and Exhibitions for early career artists. Courses cover all skills levels and offer something for everyone. They are open to individuals, schools and to businesses. It offers one of the most extensive range of photobooks, with both rare and popular works for sale or order in the Contemporary Gallery.
WELCOME TO BELFAST
14 October – 23 December 2016
Belfast Exposed will present this newly commissioned body of work by world renowned photographer, Martin Parr.
Since the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, Northern Ireland has witnessed a dramatic economic resurgence. The tourism industry has flourished, bringing large-scale investment and unprecedented numbers of overseas visitors to the city. In recent years the tourist industry has been predominantly shaped by two historical narratives; the legacy of the Titanic, the ill fated ship that was built in the Belfast docks and the ‘Troubles’, a 40 year period of violent conflict whose resonances can still be keenly felt throughout Northern Ireland.
In 2012, the new Titanic Belfast Centre opened its doors, attracting 800,000 visitors in its first year. This staggering flow of tourists to the city has been propelled by the recent upsurge in cruise liners now docking into Belfast. Many of these boats let loose over 3,000 tourists a day and often there are as many as three boats a week. Elsewhere in the city, more grass roots industries have developed with the rise of ‘Troubles Tours’ taking in some of the key locations and political murals from the bloody days of the conflict. Belfast Exposed have commissioned Martin Parr to document this burgeoning revival of tourism in Belfast.
Martin Parr is one of the best-known documentary photographers of his generation. With over 90 books of his own published, and another 30 edited by Parr, his photographic legacy is already established.
Parr also acts as a curator and editor. He has curated two photography festivals, Arles in 2004 and Brighton Biennial in 2010. More recently Parr curated the Barbican exhibition, Strange and Familiar. Parr has been a member of the Magnum agency since 1994 and is currently its president. In 2013 Parr was appointed the visiting Professor of Photography at the University of Ulster. Parr’s work has been collected by major museums, from the Tate, the Pompidou and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Belfast Exposed provides exhibition and project space for young and emerging artists offering them support in producing new work, building an audience and market whilst mentoring them through the business pitfalls of the early stages career of their career. The programme called Belfast Exposed Futures is dedicated to supporting new photographic talent in Northern Ireland and over the last 18 months has provided local and international platforms for young artists to launch themselves into the art world.
Tracy Elliott, Director of Belfast Exposed, describes the Futures Programme as “an innovative and group breaking programme dedicated to providing opportunities for young talented photographic artists working in, or from Northern Ireland, to develop their practice and produce new and exciting work”.