Channel / 17 Aug 2021

Director’s Blog Post - August 2021

Turning Point

“a time at which a decisive change in a situation occurs, especially one with beneficial results”

Since Ffotogallery re-opened its doors back in May, we’ve welcomed back old friends and made many new friends from all sections of the community. We’ve mounted three exhibitions at our centre thus far with accompanying artist talks and screening events, a family wellbeing day, monthly tea and cake Tuesdays and beer and pizza networking events for local businesses, hosting a local youth group for six weeks and initiating outreach projects with community groups in Newport. We’ve toured Mike Perry’s Land/Sea to Oriel y Parc in Pembrokeshire and Thelma Hulbert Gallery in Devon. We’ve continued to collaborate digitally with partners in India, Africa, the Middle East and Europe and new work that has been developed in virtual spaces during lockdown will be physically presented in Wales this Autumn. We’ve welcomed five new members to our core staffing team. It feels like we’ve finally turned a corner in terms of the impact of the pandemic on our work, and we’re excited about what the rest of the year will bring.

I’m especially delighted to announce that the fifth biennial edition of Diffusion, Cardiff International Festival of Photography, will take place between 1-31 October this year, in multiple venues in Cardiff, Newport and South Wales.

Turning Point: Diffusion 2021 looks towards a post-pandemic future by providing a platform for new artistic voices and culturally diverse experiences, and a new model of collaboration that delivers a month of photography events in Wales and international reach and impact. Combining online and physical co-creation and presentation of work, Turning Point: Diffusion 2021 celebrates and foregrounds the richness and diversity of the nation’s geography, culture and society, at a time of both great uncertainty and new opportunity.

In other news, after nearly thirteen years at the helm I’ve decided to step down as Director of Ffotogallery at the end of the year, after delivering my fifth Diffusion as the festival’s founding director. It has been a great privilege to have led the organisation over that period and to have worked with so many outstanding artists, creative producers and partner organisations in Wales, Europe and around the world. I will look back with immense pride over what we have achieved, and look forward to the new leadership, fresh ideas and different perspective on photography that my successor will bring.

In the meantime, I will be writing monthly blog posts reflecting on the vital role contemporary photography plays in society in Wales and internationally, and on the rapidly changing cultural landscape and how artists and audiences are adapting to it.

David Drake,
August 2021