I thought I'd use my blog to document the recent 'Spreads' exhibition that I was invited to participate in. If you follow my posts you'll be aware that it was taking place in Arles, France for one week only, running alongside Les Rencontres d'Arles, the huge photography festival. The exhibition went under the collective title of Roast Beef and was curated by Ed Watts and Mark Page. The work was shown in a small improvised gallery just off one of the main squares, right next to the Van Gogh cafe, a tourist photography hotspot, which seemed strangely appropriate.
The concept for the exhibition was that each photographer contributed one A3 print of their work and some form of book, hence the title Spreads. This was a really neat way of showing bodies of work from ten artists in a very small space, and meant that Ed was able to transport the work on an aeroplane from Manchester, literally in a suitcase.
Personally I thought the exhibition was very special and looked fresh and intriguing, especially after a day of walking around mega spaces filled with huge prints by internationally renowned artists. There was a real intimacy about both the space and the book works. I spent an hour or so looking after the gallery one day and got to spend time exploring the 10 projects and was amazed at the threads and ideas that ran between the various projects.
Quite a few of the artists were present at some stage of the exhibition and there were other Manchester photographers in town too, so we had a late opening every evening chatting to visitors and between ourselves about photography, the other exhibitions and life in Arles - happy days!
If you are interested there is a very nice review of the show as well as other Arles exhibitions written by Rebecca Dearden for Redeye here: