Photographic focus on the Ipswich Waterfront with new festival

Ipswich Waterfront Pinhole Photography Project

Ipswich Waterfront Pinhole Photography Project

Lottery-backed Welcome to the Waterfront photgraphy will feature in PhotoEast Festival

Ipswich Waterfront Pinhole Photography Project

Ipswich Waterfront Pinhole Photography Project

Since Victorian times, photographers have recorded the changing face of the Wet Dock and Ipswich Port, the beating commercial heart of the Ipswich.

The port’s importance to the economy of the town goes back many hundreds of years.

It earlier times it was recorded in paintings by artists, and more recently, by people with their cameras.

Now the Waterfront is going to be the focus of a major photographic and community festival, entitled Of Time and Place, and organised by PhotoEast.

There will be exhibitions, activities and public events, including a Camera Obscura installation.

The Ipswich Maritime Trust’s photo archive will be playing key a role within this initiative, as part of Welcome to the Waterfront.

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The organisers of the PhotoEast photographic festival, in May and June, who have already teamed up with UCS (University Campus Suffolk), will also be working with the Ipswich Maritime Trust here.

IMT Director Stuart Grimwade said: “We are pleased to be working with PhotoEast. Photographers were photographing this area back in 1845-1850

“Ipswich Maritime Trust has has been developing a growing archive of the area over the years.”

Well known photographer and community artist Tim Mitchell is already working with a group of residents from the Genesis homes at Stoke Quay, in a project called Welcome To The Waterfront.

This project, with the support of £10,000 Heritage Lottery funding is intended to help the new community engage with its home in the Wet Dock area.

It includes residents from the Avalon House Extra Care facility at Genesis.

They are using pin-hole cameras to take modern day images of scenes featuring in the photo archive - putting tripods in similar positions.

Stuart added: “I went to talk to them the other night about the history of the area, and was bowled over.

“They were interested and enthusiastic.”

He added: “I always carry my own camera with me, to record the things I see at the Waterfront, and add them to the archive,

“I also print the best ones on paper too.

“Things are always changing in the Waterfront. It is constantly changing, not just in recent times.

The Maritime Trust is looking for the public’s help in improving and updating the archive photos.

Stuart explained: “In conjuction with PhotoEast we are going to putting around 1,500 to 2,000 images up on-line, in time for the festival.

“This is an archive that people can use.

“We want people to contribute to it, by helping give us more information that we have.

“The names of vessels, people and other information about this photos is what people can help us with.

“We would like people to look at it, and give us any information they can.”

There was a tremendous amount or oral history, and knowledge, that could be recorded, he added.

The festival includes a number of exhibitions in the Waterfront in addition to the new work being created and public participation.

An important date for the diary is Saturday May 28, when there will be a series of activities in and around the Waterfront, including at the University, from Dance East to Cult Cafe and along the quayside.

Jo Bexley, of PhotoEast, said: “The Festival runs from May 24 to June 25, at the Waterfront, inside and outside.

“We are working in collaboration with UCS and they wil be using their buildings. They are providing venues.”

Jo Bexley added: “PhotoEast believes photography can be used to bring people together and, between May 24 and June 25 wil host diverse and engaging festival of photography, in collaboratin with University Campus Suffolk.

“A series of exhibitions, talks, projections and workshops will transform Ipswich Waterfront into a hub of photographic exploration.”

The PhotoEast Photography Festival launches in May and features a dozen exhibitions, and a day of talks, family activities and events in Ipswich Waterfront, on May 28, and at other locations along the East Suffolk Railway line, providing a feast of photography through until June 25.

There is still and opportunity for local people to get involved in the Waterfront pinhole camera project.

There are limited spaces available for readers to participate in the project running on Wednesday afternoons throughout April from 2.00 - 4.00pm on Stoke Quay.

If you would like to join photographer, Tim Mitchell in creating new perspectives of the Ipswich Waterfront, as inspired by the photographic archive of the Ipswich Maritime Trust and and be part of PhotoEast 2016, please contact

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