Foto Foyle launches at Derry’s Playhouse

The Mayor of Derry, Alderman Maurice Devenney pictured at the official opening of the Foto Foyle exhibition at the Playhouse on Thursday night, with, from left, Craig McGuckian, Tower Museum, Michael Weir, Director, Foyle Foto, Jim McKeever, Vision Exposed and Elaine Ford, Playhouse. 1601JM01
The Mayor of Derry, Alderman Maurice Devenney pictured at the official opening of the Foto Foyle exhibition at the Playhouse on Thursday night, with, from left, Craig McGuckian, Tower Museum, Michael Weir, Director, Foyle Foto, Jim McKeever, Vision Exposed and Elaine Ford, Playhouse. 1601JM01

A major photographic exhibition, the first of its kind in the city, was launched in Derry’s Playhouse on Thursday evening.

Foto Foyle has been two years in the planning and organisers say they hope it will attract thousands of visitors to the city and promote Derry as a hub for the photographic arts. With a number of exhibitions and events in the coming weeks those involved say they’re hugely excited about what’s on offer.

Agnieszka Luczak and Anna Chamot browsing at the display on show during the Foto Foyle exhibition at the Playhouse on Thursday night. 1601JM02

Agnieszka Luczak and Anna Chamot browsing at the display on show during the Foto Foyle exhibition at the Playhouse on Thursday night. 1601JM02

Event Director and Chairman of the Board, Michael Weir explained the aim of Foto Foyle; “The importance of photography in Northern Ireland’s visual culture and history is something we aim to highlight, while also embracing and showcasing upcoming photographic talent both at home and abroad through seeking out new/emerging talent.

“We aim to provide a forum and promote the growth of the current photographic infrastructure and practice throughout the country. We will also be supporting audience development across the arts and cultural sectors, which will be aided through our mobilization of the existing visual arts infrastructure.”

Foto Foyle will be held in the city from 12th January - 11th February 2012 with exhibitions and events held in a number of venues including the Tower Museum, the Playhouse Theatre, and the Big Screen in Waterloo Place.

Foto Foyle offers a diverse selection of photographic exhibitions celebrating excellence in photography and visual culture. The aim of the programme is to provoke interest and enjoyment of the medium, while also inspiring future photographers and artists.

One of the Foto Foyle exhibits takes place in the Tower Museum and features the work of 14 national and international artists whose work was selected through the 2011 Open Submission Exhibition project. Craig McGuicken from Derry City Council Heritage and Museum Service explains a little bit about the process behind the Foto Foyle exhibit at the Tower:

“The Open Submission Group Exhibition gives photographic artists the opportunity to showcase their work and aims to maximize participation by leaving the theme for the exhibit open. Artists were asked to put forward submissions of between 2-6 photographs from a particular theme or body of work of their own. This led to over four thousand entries and so as you can imagine selection was difficult but with terrific results”

These works will be shown in the Tower Museum throughout Foto Foyle as part of a wider programme of exhibits and events aimed at photography professionals and enthusiasts.

Also at the Tower Museum is a special lecture by lecture by Vivienne Pollock, Curator at the Ulster Museum. The talk will take place on 2nd February 2012 at 1 pm and will explore ‘Image and Reality – Photography and the Construction of an Ideal Irishness’.

All of the events are free and full programme details are available on www.fotofoyle.com