With its sister event in Aberystwyth having fallen victim to the pandemic last year, it’s a relief to see the return of the Northern Eye Photography Festival to Colwyn Bay – and with a stellar lineup of speakers.
Top of the bill are Craig Easton, named Photographer of the Year at the 2021 SONY World Photography Awards for his project Bank Top, which set out to challenge media misrepresentations of a much maligned area of Blackburn; Charlie Phillips, the self-taught son of Windrush-era immigrants, who documented his local community in pre-gentrification Notting Hill, photographed Jimi Hendrix and Muhammad Ali and earned the admiration of Henri Cartier-Bresson along the way; and Brian Griffin, acclaimed as Photographer Of The Decade in 1989 by the Guardian in large part for the album cover images he shot for Joe Jackson, Iggy Pop, Depeche Mode and others.
Over the course of the weekend, in-person and online attendees will also get the opportunity to hear Jack Lowe talk about his ambitious project to visit and visually record all 238 RNLI lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland armed with a vintage camera, and to find out how Cardiff-based artist Suzie Larke creates her surrealist representations of mental health struggles. And, as usual, the Fringe Festival takes place throughout October, with an assortment of venues around the town hosting free exhibitions and workshops.
Oriel Colwyn, Colwyn Bay, Sat 9 + Sun 10 Oct, plus various Fringe Festival events in Colwyn Bay during October. Tickets: £40. Info: www.northerneyefestival.co.uk
words BEN WOOLHEAD