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

Dawn Wooley - Wild Oats

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Wild Oats

Milkwood Gallery

4 May – 18 May

Miina Hujala, Noemi McComber, Ellen Sampson, Dawn Woolley

Wild Oats brings together a group of artists who use food and the rituals of eating to comment on contemporary life, gender and commodity culture. Miina Hujala’s film Illallinen (The Dinner) explores the complex identification and idealisation processes that take place during courtship. In Prise d’assault (Under Assault) Noemi McComber addresses issues of overconsumption, and the handling of waste while depicting unrestrained violence in a performance of “soft stoning by way of food.” Dawn Woolley’s still life photographs and sculptures contemplate the gender distinctions upheld through commodity culture and the rituals of food consumption. Ellen Sampson and Dawn Woolley will collaborate to create a variety of small, edible sculptures which will be served to the public during the exhibition opening. Based on ideas of romance and desire the objects will offer a surreal take on everyday entrees.

Exhibition supported by Arts Council of Wales.


Image: Celebrate, C-type print, 2012 © Dawn Woolley


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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.

Urban Quilombo

+ - Sebastian Liste:

Urban Quilombo

Third Floor Gallery

4 May – 23 June

Urban Quilombo is a testimony of a place that no longer exists. Between 2009 and 2011, Sebastian Liste documented the community of Barreto, an abandoned chocolate factory in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. From 2003, dozens of families occupied the factory and transformed it into a home. Until then, these families lived in the dangerous streets of the city. Tired of the violence and despair, they came together to seize the deserted factory. They created a microcosm in which the problems of drugs, prostitution and violence could be tackled with the support of the community. In March 2011, the government evicted the families from the factory, in one of many attempts to clean up the visible poverty in the centre of Brazil’s cities.


Image: From Urban Quilombo, 2009 – 11 © Sebastian Liste

Edgar Martins - The Time Machine

+ - Edgar Martins:

The Time Machine


1 May – 7 June

In 2010 and 2011, Martins gained exclusive access to 20 power plants located across Portugal. Many were built between the 1950s and 1970s, a time of hopeful prospects for rapid economic growth and social change. The Time Machine records objects and spaces whose grand and progressive designs testify to the scope and ambition of the vision they were built to serve.

Martins’ photographs recall science-fiction and in an unavoidable field of nostalgia, characterise a suspended time; that of the modern. In recovering a past of exciting technological innovation and optimistic belief in the future, The Time Machine speaks not just about the generation of power but also of dreams and technological utopias.

This exhibition was funded by Fundação EDP and the international tour is supported by The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK branch) & Instituto Camões (Portugal).



Image: Fratel power station: machine hall, 2012 © Edgar Martins

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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.

Tim Davies, Drift, 2011

+ - Tim Davies:


9 March – 26 May


Drift is an ambitious new film installation by Tim Davies presented in the contemporary galleries at National Museum Cardiff. Taking Venice as its subject, the installation is comprised of three individual films, Drift (2011), Frari (2011) and new workCapricci (2013). Shown together for the first time they present a powerful and poignant portrait of Venice, creating links with the way the city is represented in the Museum’s collection by artists such as Canaletto, Monet and Whistler.

Drift and Frari previously featured in Tim Davies’ Wales in Venice presentation at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011 organised by the Arts Council of Wales. This is the first time this important body of work has been shown in Wales.


Image: Drift, 2011 © Tim Davies

Maurizio Anzeri

+ - Maurizio Anzeri:

But it’s not late it’s only dark


1 May – 30 June


Maurizio Anzeri’s first solo exhibition in Wales features newly commissioned and previously unseen works, alongside a selection of his critically acclaimed “photo-sculptural” pieces.

Anzeri uses found photographs and embroidery to create subtly sculptural pieces in which strangers are given new identities; complex and mysterious. Anzeri sees photographic portraits as landscapes, exploring them in order to layer them with his own maps or orientation to invent what he describes as “other possible evolutionary dimensions for the people pictured”. Labyrinths of forms and colours create intriguing geographies of faces, histories and souls with eyes that stare enigmatically from the centre of their ‘masks’. Alongside this established practice, Anzeri will show new works that utilise embroidery and personal photography to create imagined or psychological space; private reality that becomes public fantasy.

Anzeri’s interest in the sculptural form, the body and identity, gender and psychological boundaries also extends to a body of morphologic sculptural pieces that are made from synthetic hair. Taking inspiration from multiple sources – from Virginia Wolfe’s Mrs Dalloway to totemic cultures, 17th century Versailles and haute couture fashion – the installations involve the creation of a series of sculptures – each representing a different personality – that hover somewhere between theatre and fetish.


Image: Portrait Yellow, 2012. Embroidery on photo, 23.5 x 18cm. © Maurizio Anzeri

g39 - Barnraising and Bunkers

+ - Various Artists:

Barnraising and Bunkers


8 May – 29 June

Uriel Orlow, Abigail Reynolds, Angharad P Jones, Rich White, Dan Griffiths, Geraint Evans, Jonathan Powell, Richard Powell

The built environment, despite the desires of architects and planners, grows organically from the people that inhabit it. It is an ongoing dialogue and not fixed. The urban and the rural are often set up as polar opposites, the former synonymous with presence and the latter with absence. Asking the question ‘Where are we now?’, the exhibition looks at the human drive for shelter, and how we choose to build. Whereas Barnraising epitomises collective action and co-operation, bunkers suggest the opposite. Bunkers are shelters built for survival, excavated as opposed to built; they isolate and separate the individual from the world.

Barnraising and Bunkers puts together artists that engage or interact with architectural or physical structures, as well as those that work collectively to accomplish things greater than the abilities of the group. It is also a wider examination of those spaces that are flagship structures for art and contrasts them with the often isolated and separate means of their production, the studio.


Image: g39 – Barnraising and Bunkers

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.