Community Photography Project
The Community Photography Project was on show at the Ormeau Baths Gallery - 1998
Review by Jim Maginn
I anticipate that the Ormeau Baths Gallery is about to have some of it's highest attendance figures to date with its current Magnum show. The Eve Arnold/Magnum exhibition at the Gallery of Photography in Dublin has broken all attendance records for that space.
I would however recommend that first you take a look upstairs at the set of pictures from the Gallery's Community Photography Project. If you've taken in the sumptuous prints of Magnum first it will be harder to enjoy the raw energy and innocence that characterises this work. No Leica pin sharp images here. This work brings us back to basics with the help of Boots disposable B&W cameras. The project was sponsored by the High Street Giant in the form of free cameras and processing.
Four separate very diverse community groups under the tutelage of Lynne Connolly and Frankie Quinn produced the work. The project was initiated by The Ormeau Baths Gallery education unit as part of its contribution to the National Year of Photography. Common Purpose a group of 'Business Heads', The Chinese Welfare Association Youth Group, The Markets Young Women's Group and a group of students from Methodist College, Belfast took part in this initial phase.
Each participant was given a camera and encouraged to look at their life and surroundings, the results are shown as mounted unframed prints.
It is obvious from the images caught in these first rolls that it is a work in progress. After the appropriate feedback that is so fundamental to this sort of process they will produce even better work when they have an opportunity to go back out. Above all I enjoyed the funny and quirky observations in many of the images.