Future Focus Exhibition in QUAD part of Format International Photography Festival

January 5, 2022

A new exhibition in QUAD, called FUTURE FOCUS, part of FORMAT International Photography Festival and QUAD’s artist support and mentoring schemes, will showcase the work of 25 emerging artists selected from an international open call in January. The FUTURE FOCUS Open Call was aimed at graduates from UK based BA Degree courses who graduated in 2020 and 2021 – during the Covid-19 pandemic – but were unable to exhibit their final work or who were limited in opportunities to show their work. Submissions to the Open Call featured a range of artistic disciplines, including photography, painting, illustration, graphic design, animation, performance, installation, sculpture, and moving image.

Seven of the FUTURE FOCUS artists will have their work in QUAD Gallery while work by the other 18 shortlisted artists will be displayed in a slideshow on an interactive screen situated at the Gallery entrance.

The seven artists exhibiting in QUAD Gallery cover a range of media and themes.

Armaghan Fatemi’s installation Invisible Hands – far from the glamorised portrayals of professional weavers circulated by the media – immerses viewers in an environment that highlights the reality for many women: poor working conditions and financial instability.

Ash//Ella’s hyperfiction, Mechanical Dissatisfaction, set in June 2020, is a collaboration between the artists and the viewer as you manoeuvre through the cyclical system of a digital life during a global pandemic.

Benjamin Hall’s work Analepses uses the medium of videogaming to explore ancestry, provincial local archives, community memory and regional oral histories.

Sarah-Jane Field’s why is there an astronaut in a field of flowers/ is an invitation to peer into the deconstructed relationship between an artist and her AI friend, and to bear witness to their fears, hopes, opinions, disappointments and occasional flirtations.

Takudzwa Chandiwana uses various media to create ‘print-paintings’ in her work Place Moments that reflect the constant deconstruction and reconstruction of material and form in her practice. It is within these processes that meaning can be discovered, as the artist explores gender and cultural identity.

You Hah Kim’s Home-Master series portrays the K-pop fandom culture through a meta-phoric female body, focusing on the contradictory relationship between recognition desire and anonymity as well as voyeurism and exhibitionism.

Yuhong Wang exists simultaneously within her work Luxurious experience in the art school and its underlying narrative, both a search for, and a reaction to, displacement, comfort, and care. What it is to construct and make sense of positions in shifting cultural and technological matrixes.

Photograph of weavers hand called Invisible Hands by Armaghan Fatemi.

Invisible Hands by Armaghan Fatemi

The seven selected artists will also be eligible for QUAD Award, FORMAT Award, John E Wright print Award and the Audience Award sponsored by Unite the Union, to be presented during the exhibition period.

The remaining 18 artists from the shortlist of 25 will have their work featured in a looping slideshow on QUAD’s Resource Area Big Screen at the entrance to the main Gallery. The artists are Alana Lindsay, Alexander Komenda, Anna Sturgeon, Annabelle Rich-mond-Wright, Ben Dawson, Callum O’Keefe, Daragh Drake, Eden Sandy, Eleanor Sykes, Jasmine Pope, Khadija Cecile Niang, Megan Watson, Miriam Levi, Radek Wyjadlowski, Risa Ueno, Rosie Dale, Sophie Holden and Tina Salvidge.

The FUTURE FOCUS programme aims to offer emerging creatives an opportunity to exhibit their work in QUAD’s Gallery space, alongside a range of exhibition bursaries, awards, portfolio reviews and mentoring support. QUAD and FORMAT have a long-standing history of supporting early career artists through mentoring sessions, training opportunities, work experience, internships, portfolio reviews and exhibitions. The FUTURE FOCUS programme, initiated in 2001, is a continuing focus of support.

The FUTURE FOCUS Open Call jury comprised a range of artists, writers and curators, including Abbas Zahedi; Gabrielle de la Puente and Zarina Muhammad of The White Pu-be; Lucy Sollitt; Maitreyi Maheshwari; Jamila Prowse and Saziso Phiri, and QUAD/FORMAT curatorial team: Louise Fedotov-Clements; Niamh Treacy; Jodi Kwok and Peter Bonnell. The FUTURE FOCUS Open Call was organised by QUAD in partner-ship with FORMAT and Picter. QUAD and FORMAT are generously supported by Arts Council England, Derby City Council and the University of Derby.

FUTURE FOCUS takes place at QUAD from 29th January to 27th February 2022, with a launch event taking place on 28th January at 6:30 pm. For more information on the 25 shortlisted and exhibiting artists, please visit www.derbyquad.co.uk

Peter Bonnell, QUAD Senior Curator said,

“The shortlisted artists work offers a glimpse into the superb quality of work that continues to be produced in art schools across the UK. QUAD and FORMAT would like to thank everyone who submitted to the FUTURE FOCUS Open Call and congratulate everyone who made it to the Long and Shortlist stages. Our jury had an incredibly hard decision to make considering the high quality of emerging talent who applied.”

FORMAT is the UK’s leading international contemporary festival of photography and related media. It organises a year-round programme of international commissions, open calls, residencies, conferences and collaborations in the UK and Internationally and welcomes over 200,000 visitors from all over the world to its biennale. FORMAT is organised by QUAD in partnership with the University of Derby, with support from Arts Council England. For more information please visit www.formatfestival.com