Selection panel for 2019 Off Centre Festival

George Miles

George is a part time lecturer, he teaches visual practice in year one and two.

He is interested in working with graduate or post-graduate students that wish to engage with the process of making pictures to ask questions about the world, themselves, and the medium itself.

George’s work examines how the land is used, viewed, and mediated; both physically and through its representations. His practice sits within the photographic tradition of ‘the everyday’ attempting to find the sublime in the ordinary, in the hope that by doing so it may help people to value the world a little more. He is currently intrigued with how this process is affected by the way pictures are made and consumed on mobile platforms, and how it differs from the printed page or exhibition.

Jade Foster

Jade Foster is an Artist-Curator interested in contemporary Sound, Performance, and Photography. Jade works as Creative Programme Coordinator at New Art Exchange – a leading contemporary art space in the UK based in the Hyson Green neighbourhood. Jade has recently supported the delivery of the first successful NAE Open which platforms and supports local and national creative talent including both emerging and established artists. Jade is also producing events for NAE’s 2019 Black History Month season and will be leading on the curation of central gallery exhibitions.

Louise Fedotov-Clements

Louise has been the Artistic Director of QUAD, a centre for contemporary art, film and new technologies in Derby UK since 2001, and the Director of FORMAT International Photography Festival, which she co-founded in 2004.

As an independent curator she has initiated commissions, publications, mass participation, and exhibitions of art, film, and photography. She is also a regular juror, portfolio reviewer, workshop leader, speaker, and award nominator throughout Europe, America and Asia.

Fedotov Clements has served as a curator for a number of leading international photography festivals, including Habitat Centre and Hauz Khas BlowUp, Delhi, India; Dong Gang Photography Festival, South Korea; Dali Photography Festival, China; Noorderlicht 20/20, Groningen, Netherlands; Photoquai Biennale,Paris and Photo Beijing, China.

Fedotov-Clements was invited to nominate for the Les Rencontres Arles, Discoveries, France and contribute to the Venice Biennale.

In addition to her curatorial work, she has contributed to and written for many publications including Hijacked III, Factory and Beyond Evidence; RVM Magazine; OjodePez; Unseen magazine; PhotoCinema; Chinese Photographers Magazine and Archivo Magazine Portugal.

Fedotov-Clements is on the advisory board of the WYNG Master Awards Hong Kong; PSC Photography MA Mentor Melbourne Australia; Camera Plus Festival Iasi Romania and the Artists Pensions Trust Global.

Nicola Shipley

Nicola Shipley works as a Producer, Curator, Project Manager, Mentor and Consultant specialising in photography.  She trained as an art historian, has an MA in History of Art, and a background in the visual arts, including in commissioning, exhibitions, collections, public art, artists education and professional development.     

She is currently Director of GRAIN Projects, based in Birmingham UK, facilitating the hub and network and leading on the programme and activities which include commissioning new work, curating exhibitions, developing artist’s and photographer’s training, development and networking opportunities, organising talks and symposia and developing new audiences.  In her capacity at GRAIN she is interested in working with emerging and established artists and photographers.   www.grainphotographyhub.co.uk

Recent projects include collaborations with Format International Photography Festival, Magnum Photos, Redeye Photography Network, Brighton Photo Fringe, Library of Birmingham, The Hive Arts Centre, Herbert Art Gallery, Birmingham City University, University of Birmingham, IED – Madrid, Guangzhou Library and British Council China, Ffotogalleriet, Oslo, Appetite – Creative People and Places, MAC Birmingham and Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.   

More information www.grainphotographyhub.co.uk

Vanley Burke 

Vanley Burke was born in Jamaica and arrived in Birmingham in 1965 aged 15. Here he began photographing the lives and experiences of the African Caribbean community. 

He is often described as the ‘Godfather of Black British Photography’, whereby his iconic images have captured the evolving cultural landscape, social change, and stimulated debate in the United Kingdom over the past four decades. He draws strength from remaining a humble man of the community, whose personable character allows him to capture the intimate and private nature of people’s everyday lives.

His body of work represents possibly the largest photographic record of the Caribbean Diaspora in Britain, and as an avid collector, Vanley continues to connect histories through his substantial archive housed at the Library of Birmingham. From local community organisations to the Victoria & Albert Museum and Whitechapel, Vanley has exhibited widely in the United Kingdom, and as far afield as New York, South Africa and China.

Vanley’s artistic enquiry is not simply limited to black and white documentary photography, as his eccentric rebellious nature lends itself to sculpture and painting, and crafting art that gives life a shape. His simple motivation has been the preservation of culture and history through creation, documentation, and discovery which often leaks into the private.

The ‘Vanley Burke Archive’ maintained by Birmingham City Council is a constantly growing photographic and documentary community resource.

Burke’s first notable exhibition, Handsworth from the Inside, was held at the Ikon Gallery Birmingham, and then the Commonwealth Institute in London in 1983. Since then his work has been exhibited extensively at venues including The Light House, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, The Black Arts Gallery in London, Cornerhouse in Manchester and Walsall Museum and Art Gallery, and he has held solo exhibitions abroad in New York City and Mali.

Vanley Burke is still documenting the black community in the UK and has recently worked on a number of projects including an exhibition and publication project documenting the Asian community in Birmingham.

Lamar Francois

Lamar first began making images to help manage effects of Asperger’s Syndrome along with anxiety, but he very quickly got recognised for his talent. He won the Nottingham Young Creative Awards, and has shown work across the country. A few ago he received help from the Princes Trust and has developed a photography business developing a range of prints and merchandise.