Monday, 16 May 2011
After three years of sweat and toil, we launched Look11, Liverpool's first international photography festival last Friday.
Our big launch coincided with the city's annual LightNight event, where most of the city's major cultural venues remain open to visitors deep into the night.
We did our opening speeches at the Bluecoat, our festival hub and location for that weekend's 3rd National Photography Symposium, then scattered off around the city to visit some of the 15 locations which are housing our programme of exhibitions over the next six weeks.
Preliminary figures suggest the night was a huge success, certainly the buzz around Liverpool suggested that people were impressed and stimulated by the work on show. From Paul Trevor's recollection of Liverpool in the 1970s, through the Bluecoat's 'Confined' theme to the work curated by our Artistic Director Stephen Snoddy at the Art & Design Academy and CUC Liverpool, the 'call to action' theme was to the forefront.
With a rich mix of projects, competitions, workshops, participatory events and high quality exhibitions featuring many of the giants of recent and contemporary world photography, Look11 is seeking to establish itself as a festival to be taken seriously by visitors, critics and opinion formers.
The festival has been dedicated to the memory of Merseyside-born photographer Tim Hetherington, who was killed in action in Libya, and laid to rest on the day of our launch. His work forms part of a group show at CUC Liverpool, curated by Paul Lowe and Harry Hardie entitled 'Collateral Damage'. The weekend drew to a close with a special screening of Tim's feature documentary entitled 'Restrepo', his film about a group of American soldiers fighting in Afghanistan. It was a fitting tribute to a photographer whose work was both relevant to the festival and had a resonance beyond the confines of the photographic community.
Events continue over the next six weeks so if you are in Liverpool, be sure to check out what's on.
For further information, please visit www.look2011.co.uk