A month long festival of exhibitions, discussions, screenings, performances, events and celebrations in both physical and virtual spaces and places.


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Rory Duckhouse on f&d cartiers’ Wait and See

F&d cartier’s work explores the alchemic processes of photography using cameraless techniques. Wait and See investigates the chemical process of photography using two fundamental materials, light and photo-sensitive paper.

Black and white photographic papers are exposed to light to begin the chromatic transformation of the paper. Different papers react differently due to their composition and produce an array of differing colour casts and hues.

Throughout the length of the exhibition, the prints undergo a subtle transformation as the play of light, space and interaction has an effect on the chemical process, and the viewer is asked to be patient and observe the continual process. The result is a documentation of the passing moment, as the colour aberration leaves a trace of this simplistic event.

The work deals with photography’s history, and the fundamental process of distilling a moment. Photography was changed when the modern chemical process was invented, and the ability to permanently fix the image became a possibility. F&d cartier reference this historical event throughout the work. The cameraless technique uses this chemical invention as a gesture to return back to basics and draw attention to the fundamental processes of exposing the paper to light which begins the reaction. The results question everyday life, intimacy and the passing of time.

The experiments began with a collection of the artist’s own expired papers, after which they started collecting through colleagues, friends and the internet to gather over 300 different varieties of fibre based papers, ranging in age from 1890s to 1980s. With advances in technology and the complexity of chemistry, each paper reacts differently and the results in colour vary from paper to paper.

A degree of chance is embraced in Wait and See, whilst installing the exhibition, an overlap between two papers created a silhouetted outline on the piece underneath creating a chance relationship between the two pieces. This chance gesture creates a relationship between the chemical and the traditional photographic process, with this accident acting as a rudimentary photogram. The artists test the papers before each exhibition to gauge what the results may be, but there is an unpredictability to the final results as a degree of variables can ultimately effect the final outcome.

The role of the artist comes into question with Wait and See, with the work dependent on the latent process of the paper stock, one might argue, what role did the artists have in creating the finished work? However the final outcome is completely predicated on the choices of the artists. The artists dictate every step in the process and installation of the work, from the sourcing to rigorous testing of the paper stock, the conceptual layout on the walls which is elaborately installed creating relationships between the paper stocks and their evolving colour casts, to the choice of lighting which effects the speed and outcome of the event. Past the point of installation, the artist is removed and the paper is left to evolve, however that evolution has been entirely crafted by the hands of f&d cartier.

Rory Duckhouse


f&d cartier: Wait and See
1 – 31 May
Oriel Canfas


This essay is available as a downloadable PDF here.

Photo Copyright: Wait and See, 2012 © f&d cartier

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Platform 2 Visual Notes

We have commissioned artist Laura Sorvala to create visual documentation of our platform debates, which are a series of free evening events, each dedicated to one of the Platform themes and led by prominent artists and thinkers. Click Laura Sorvala Sketchnotes here to view a full screen PDF of Laura’s sketchnotes.

The second debate took place at Fire Island 15 May entitled “The artist is not responsible to anyone” and was led by Shaun Featherstone.

Visit Platform to find out about our upcoming events and to vote and comment on the provocations.


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Alexander Norton on Elin Höyland’s ‘The Brothers’

Sat in each others pockets

The closeness of family can create bonds beyond a form of relationship, friendship and love; it can never break although it might bend. That connection can be tested, crumpled, but always goes back to its original shape. Elin Höyland’s The Brothers shows precisely this closeness between family, and between the most interwoven of them all, the relation of siblings. They never detract too far from each other, never leaving a complete eye line from each other – their faces bearing the same eyes, ears and hairline, wearing the same jumpers, doing similar things. They are remote from any other individuals, spending time in each other’s pockets. Their every action carries a trace of resemblance, a sense of mimicking actions, but with the same conscious thought. People in sync, thinking the same, but details change from each person. As people they may do the same things, they may look and act the same, but small details vary, the way one may stand, wear a coat or jumper, may look at things and may place things.

They are close beyond what close can comprehend, their relationship gentle, subtle, quiet. Their very existence seems to rely on the other; no breath is caught without the other. Their spaces intimate, duplicated with a mirroring that suggests a whole hearted caring. They swap positions from left to right, right to left, walking around the same backyard for what feels like decades, but they do not age, although their bodies are worn. We are left with the underlying fact that we all die, and will leave our close ones momentarily. As we are shown the stark reality of two individuals reliant on each other, comprehending how one will live without the other. There is one pair of binoculars on the right, accompanied by a man, not a brother anymore. Although their beautiful relation lives on, the physical manifestation of their contact appears at the end of its journey, leaving an ultimatum for the individual left. Left staring at the bed of another he shared his life with. The space they share becomes empty, as life catches up with them, leaving their room empty.

After the initial parting, the other falls with grace, feeling a gentle sensation of acceptance, they will sit in each other’s pockets once again.

By Alexander Norton

Elin Höyland ‘The Brothers’
1-25 May 2013
Norwegian Chruch Arts Centre

This essay is available as a downloadable PDF here.

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Platform 1 Visual Notes

We have commissioned artist Laura Sorvala to create visual documentation of our platform debates, which are a series of free evening events, each dedicated to one of the Platform themes and led by prominent artists and thinkers. Click here to view a full screen PDF of Laura’s sketchnotes.

The first debate took place at Fire Island 8 May entitled “Everyone is a Photographer Now” and was led by Associated Press Photographer Matt Dunham.

Visit Platform to find out about our upcoming events and to vote and comment on the provocations.

Helen Sear - Lure

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25 May – 21 June

Lure is a major exhibition of new work by Helen Sear. One of Wales’ most important and insightful artists, Sear’s practice can be characterised by her exploration of the crossover between photography and fine art, her focus on the natural world and the startling beauty of her work. From seemingly simple subjects – a frozen pond, straw bales in a field, wild flowers – Sear makes artworks of great power that explore ideas of seeing and perception.


Image: Pastoral Monument 6, Dacus Carota, 2012 © Helen Sear

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Gideon Koppel Interview

B O R T H is a film installation by the artist Gideon Koppel. It was filmed in the wild west Wales town of Borth – a curious and extraordinary place where the infinite horizon of the sea collides with a bricolage of architectures; where epic landscape is playfully juxtaposed with the intimacy of human gesture.

Following on from Koppel’s feature-length film Sleep Furiously – one of the most critically acclaimed British films of 2009 – B O R T H travels along the blurred borders between documentary and fiction, to create a powerful dream-like and sensory world.

The exhibition is showing 1 – 31 May 2013 at Chapter Studio.

For more video content visit Remote Access.

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Kirsty Mackay’s Pop Up Studio Portraits

Sat 4 & Sun 5 May
The Cardiff Story, The Hayes

Sat 11 & Sun 12 May
Milkwood Gallery, Roath

The Pop Up Portrait Studio is a mobile, outdoor photography studio, offering everyone a free portrait session. The studio popped up alongside the Diffusion venues in Cardiff and you can see all 110 portraits that Kirsty has taken above. Participants can also pick up their free print at Cardiff Story where the work is being displayed as a temporary exhibition.

“It is much more than a photo booth. I photograph everyone that comes along. I love being surprised when someone that I might not have thought of photographing, stands in front of my camera, and all of a sudden I see something in them. If I can then capture that – I can make a good portrait.”



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Saturday 25 May / 11am – 1pm or 2 – 4pm / Free (ages 12+)

Chapter, Free


Join artist and DIY record label founder Mark Thomas and learn how to make your own photocopied zine. Zines (short for “fanzines” or “magazines”) are self-published paper booklets of words and images. Tracing the history of zines from their roots in the underground music scene to the present day, we will explore how zines can be a fun and creative means of expression. Please bring any photographs or images you would like to include in your zine.


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From common differences

St Davids Hall

1 May – 31 May

Eva Bartussek, Holly Davey, Paul Duerinckx, John Paul Evans, Peter Finnemore, Muriel Gallan, Hamish Gane, Humberto GaticaAnna Kurpaska, Ryan Moule, Timothy Nordhoff, Richard Page, Lāsma Poiša, Inger Birgitte Richenberg

Exploring themes of locality, community and Otherness, From common differences asks oblique questions of the place of ‘the local’ within a broad network of contemporary cultural relationships. Bringing together established artists and emerging talents in the field, this exhibition presents new photographic work produced within Wales and further afield, to create a multi-perspective dialogue that challenges the capacity of journalistic and art practices to photograph and represent crucial issues of the 21st century. The project uses as its departure point, a recognition of issues regarding Swansea and Cardiff as neighbouring cities. The exhibition will examine important cultural regional questions of identity, locality and distinctiveness.

A partnership project between Swansea Metropolitan University and St David’s Hall.


Image: Combustible, 2012 © Timothy Nordhoff

cardiff encounters

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Cardiff Encounters

1 – 31 May / diffusionfestival.org

On your route through the City share your encounters of the Cardiff kind using #cardiffencounters on Instagram. Is it an encounter you have everyday or one you’ve never had before? Is it an encounter with the City’s inhabitants, landmarks, experiences, or something that only you have noticed? If you are new to Instagram, the app can be downloaded free on most mobile phones. If you like, add a caption to your photograph to tell us more about your encounter. Selected images tagged with #cardiffencounters will be posted on the Diffusion website.