World’s longest-running photographic exhibition returns to The Civic

The Royal Photographic Society’s international photography exhibition is to return to The Civic this month, accompanied by a special artist talk by Carolyn Mendelsohn.

The world’s longest running photographic exhibition, now in its 160th year, features a huge range of photographic techniques, styles and subjects, including intimate portraits, haunting abstracts, strangely quiet landscapes, cars, sheep, a cabbage, urban photographs, stark and modern still lifes, extreme close ups, surreal landscapes and photojournalism in around 100 fascinating images.

Among these are four medal-winning works selected from thousands of entries from across the world by the 2017 panel, made up of industry specialists.

Glasgow-based Margaret Mitchell won the Gold Award for her series of images entitled In This Place. Taken from an emotive portrait project focusing on Mitchell’s family, the images document the lives of her sister’s children growing up in central Scotland, dealing with issues of family, loss and survival.

IPE 160 Selector, curator Zelda Cheatle, commented: “Margaret Mitchell’s images are made from the heart. They speak of this modern world we live in, there is a sincerity and depth of emotion to this work that resonates long beyond the initial view.”

Alongside the exhibition is a rare chance to hear photographer Carolyn Mendelsohn (pictured) as she discusses her award-winning career as a portrait photographer, the success behind the series Being Inbetween and what it means to be selected for the RPS International Photography Exhibition.

Carolyn won the Gold Award in 2016 edition of the IPE with Alice, 10, a portrait which was also selected for the BJP’s 2017 Portrait of Britain, displayed on advertising screens in busy stations and shopping centres nationwide.

The young girls from the series Being Inbetween are presented as the strong, unique individuals they wish to be. All aged 10 to 12, they sit somewhere between childhood and teenage years, a time of great change and complexity.

Says Carolyn: “The work arises from my own memories of being this age and the desire to give voice and faces to the young women who inevitably must pass through these mysterious hinterland – a way to explore the hidden complexity, duality and contradictions that mark this phase of life.” 

Places for the talk are free but limited, so early booking is highly recommended.

The RPS exhibition 160 is part of an exciting year of art at The Civic and will be accompanied by an exhibition by local photographer John Crossley entitled Barnsley’s Past In The Present.

  • The Royal Photographic Society International Photography Exhibition 160 will be in The Gallery at The Civic from 28 April to 9 June 2018. Free admission. Open Tue-Sat, 10:00am-5:00pm.
  • RPS 160 Artist Talk – Carolyn Mendelsohn – will take place in The Gallery on Saturday 12 May at 1:30pm. Tickets are free, booking is advised.

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