Photoworks is the UK’s development agency for photography. We’re dedicated to enabling participation in photography and our programme includes commissions, publishing, participation, and events including Brighton Photo Biennial, and the national Jerwood/Photoworks Awards. We’re funded by Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation and our website currently attracts over 10,000 photography lovers a month.
Learning and Participation underpins all our activities and as learning and participation curator at Photoworks, my role is to create opportunities for children, young people and communities to take part in photography either as an audience or participant, to learn about photography and to have fun.
Photoworks is in a unique position, bridging a gap between people making work and people interested in looking at work. Our long established online Showcase for emerging and mid-career photographers is one of the most popular features of our website.
We run lots of projects with children and young people and work regularly with graduates, but we identified a distinct gap for young people still at school, not yet official photography students, but with an interest and talent.
Our new Youth Showcase for 16-18 year olds is a way of nurturing that talent and providing them with this specific platform to help get their work seen and give them the confidence to realise there’s an audience for their work. This comes at such a crucial time for them, when many will be thinking about university applications.
Photoworks has a commitment to encouraging young people to engage with photography, so we can offer our Youth Showcase for free. Plus, because we already attract an audience of people interested in looking at photographs, young people will know that when we publish their photography on our site, photographers, teachers and other professionals will be looking at them.
In all our activities, we’re always on the look out for interesting ideas and for work that stands out from the crowd. The criteria we will use in the selections for our youth showcase are really the same as those we use for our professional showcase or across all of our programme - but I think it’s interesting to note for our Youth Showcase we might expect and look out for emerging ideas, the beginnings of larger projects and not necessarily such fully resolved works.
Our aim here is to publish work by young people who show a commitment to the art-form. Browsing our initial selections you’ll find thoroughly investigated and well thought-out submissions and these young people have also been able to explain their ideas clearly.
Submission to our Youth Showcase is open to all 16-18 year olds whether they’re studying photography formally or not. But we’re particularly keen for photography and art educators to help us get the word out to their students.
All work is properly credited and we link back to their schools, colleges or groups as appropriate; so educators can be assured that it’s a demonstration of the great work being created in their departments too.
Projects should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and include:
1. photographer’s name
2. school/college or organisation name (if applicable)
3. contact e-mail address
4. short supporting statement (max 300 words). Tell us what the project’s about and what’s inspired you. But keep it simple! We much prefer straightforward plain language to complicated ‘artspeak’.
5. shareable link to a Dropbox folder containing at least three JPG images per project. Images should be minimum 1500 pixels shortest side. (A shareable Dropbox link should end in a zero)
Find out more at http://photoworks.org.uk/project-news/youth-showcase/