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THINKING THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY

BRIEF HISTORY OF SOURCE

Source Magazine: Thinking Through Photography - Current Issue

Photoworks North was formally constituted in May 1992 in order to promote excellence in photography in Northern Ireland. The organization was set up by a group of photographers united in their frustration at the limited provision for photography within the gallery and education sectors in Northern Ireland and the lack of a network for Northern Ireland photographers.

The organisation's early focus was on providing a centre in Belfast for the promotion of excellence in photography through gallery space, a library with an archive of member's work, darkrooms and educational activities for schools. It also had plans for a publication programme and a key part of this was the journal Source that would promote awareness of and act as a forum for those interested in photography.

Initial money was raised through a raffle of donated prints from photographers that included Martin Parr, Willie Doherty and a set of self portrait's by Lee Friedlander. In 1993 the Arts Council of Northern Ireland agreed to cover production costs for four issues and to date funding has been maintained and steadily increased from ACNI. Within the funding climate and with the available voluntary energies Source increasingly became the focus of the organization. Based on the track record of Source the organization also went on to secure regular funding from the Irish Arts Council since 1998 and Belfast City Council since 2001.

Source gradually grew from its original 8 page A4 black and white format increasing in page numbers, changing format, printing in colour and regularly updating its design. The content of the early issues of the magazine included news, reviews, features and portfolios of individual photographers. These have remained a mainstay but as the magazine has increased to its current 80 page count they have increased in number along with new sections covering book publishing and specialist columns on photography and the law and a regular column analyzing advertising imagery.

Source secured office space in Botanic Avenue in 1994 before moving briefly to the city centre to a warehouse in Hector Street in 2000. In 2002 the magazine relocated to Clanmill arts and business units and remains a resident of the Cathedral Quarter arts community. The office has an impressive library of specialist books and magazines on photography which provides a valuable research resource for the editors and is also made available for consultation to researchers and visiting curators.

Source Magazine: Thinking Through Photography - Current Issue