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Format International Photography Festival


We don’t often write about events in Derby but the Format Photography festival is actually showing across Derby and Nottingham, and certainly large numbers of Nottingham’s photography community were seen at the launch party last week

Format was founded by Louise Clements and Mike Brown in 2004 and its last run in 2011 saw more than 100,000 people visit the festival. The impressive launch of FORMAT last Thursday brought huge crowds into Derby city centre, with many people braving the rain at Cathedral Green to watch a sensory performance by Elemental Force at The Silk Mill. The evening marked the official launch of the exhibitions in various venues across the city including QUAD, Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Déda, St Werburgh’s Chapel, Silk Mill, Artsmith, Banks Mill, Westfield, Artcore, and the New Art Exchange.

The Festival consists of two parts, Focus bringing work from nearly 30 of the worlds best photographers to the East Midlands, and Exposure, showing work from nearly 70 photographers from across the globe who responded to Format’s open submission. Most of the work on display loosely follows the theme of the Festival – Factory. Alongside the exhibitions are a number of different workshops, talks and events. I visited some of the exhibitions on Sunday, including FORMAT’s Photo Market the most eclectic and vibrant mix of offerings from both the local community, and also the wider photographic community.

Some of the highlights from this year include Ken Grant’s series, No Pain Whatsoever, which looks at his home city of Liverpool from the 1980s onwards.

Brian Griffin‘s series of portraits, Still Waters, which feature businessmen and women from Derby.

Eric Kessels Album Beauty  an ode to the vanishing era of the photos album as told through the collection of Eric Kesssels.

Pierre Bessard’s Behinds China Growth – a series of portraits of those who constitute the factory’s shop floor; mechanics, machinist, engineers and supervisor foremen.

Realism in Rawiya – an exhibition by the first ever women’s photography collective from the Middle East. 


The Festival runs through to 7th April and with an new event nearly everyday these plenty to do.

FORMAT International Photography Festival  – 8th March- 7th April 2013, at various venues across Nottingham and Derby. For further details go to the Festival site here


Jagdish Patel is a Nottingham based photographer and a Director at the Nottingham Photographers’ Hub a social enterprise helping vulnerable communities enter the creative sector.