I’ve spent the past week trying to make The Newcastle Photography Festival run smoothly. I wasn’t alone, of course! I was assisting festival organiser Paul and his right hand man, Trevor. I was their left hand lady.
We did our job and earned our beers last night. The mix of talks, hands-on workshops and demos, an exhibition plus music, poetry and a Victorian Magic Lantern Show worked. Hoorah! Last night’s closing event consisted of two talks. The first was photographer Sheila Masson showing and talking about her controverisal photos of America first seen in an exhibition called Milk and Honey: Beyond the American Utopia
The second talk was friend of the festival Jack Lowe who talked about his work, The Lifeboat Station Project. Jack is visiting every RNLI station around the British Isles to photograph stations and crew. He is using the wet plate collodion process used in Victorian times, including Roger Fenton in the Crimean War.
Jack drives around the British Isles in a decommissioned ambulance which doubles as his dark room. After almost two years he is 30% of the way through his project. What began as a five year project will now run until 2020.
Jack is an engaging speaker and the photos he produces are works of art and pieces of history. It was wonderful to hear him, meet his friends and family and Neena, the ambulance! Thanks to all the volunteers, speakers and attendees of the festival plus the venues and our donors: the RSA plus some very generous souls who live in the local area. Thanks for supporting a local festival.