Issue 1 — Summer 1992
Over the past two years, a growing frustration at the lack of support for photography in Northern Ireland has given birth to an exciting new organisation called Photo Works North. The principle aim of the group is to see that photography is promoted here at least to the same extent as it has been in the rest of Britain. Belfast remains one of the only major cities in the U.K. that does not have a gallery and resource centre specifically for photographic use. Photo Works North is vigorously campaigning to make such facilities a reality for Northern Ireland. Until now public funding has tended to focus on local community projects. These are important areas but cannot answer the broader requirements of photography within the Arts and Media.
Not only must the face of funding change, but there must also be realistic representation, through recognised expertise within the major Arts institutions. Photo Works North will continue lobbying to have photographers represented on publicly funded Arts committees.
The membership of Photo Works North reads not only as a 'who's who' in Photography here, but also reflects photographic interest in many other non professional areas - from school children to accomplished amateurs. Not only will it be important to provide a gallery that can show photographers' work from around the world, but also provide a platform to encourage local talent. Supporting this is an exciting and essential education policy, filling a shameful gap in the existing structures. Serious development can only evolve from a coherent strategy. The education programme includes workshops by working professionals, giving people a valuable insight into the commercial aspects of the medium. Short courses will be available for teachers who want to teach photography as part of science or art in the new curriculum. Artists who use photography will give talks on contemporary practice and the nature of their role within the Fine Arts.
These are only a few of the events planned for the future. If you are interested in photography at any level, Photo Works North would like you to join. Members can get actively involved in the many areas within the group, or simply take advantage of workshops, courses, exhibition openings and keep up to date with what's new in photography in Northern Ireland. Membership not only keeps you informed and involves you in our progress, but also ensures you of four copies of Source every year and an invitation to all our exhibitions. This year membership is only £5.00 waged, £2.50 unwaged. So why not join now and take advantage of these low rates?
Let me take the opportunity to thank all those who have joined so far and also the committee who are working hard to make the voice of photography heard through Photo Works North.
— Paul Seawright - Editor