Posts By: Spencer Rowell

First Tuesday Talks – Lydia Goldblatt


‘First Tuesday Salon Talks’ further our commitment to lens-based art through practice and offer a deeper insight into the artists process. Our talks have featured intimate and enlightening discussions from artist such as Tom Hunter, Kennardphillipps, Laura Pannack,  Mick Williamson and Del Loewenthal to name a few. Through the generosity of our speakers we have been able to bring people together and expand this dialogue.

These talks are free, however there may be a nominal charge for the location.

Please check this events page or blog for the next talk, all welcome.

In November 2013, we were asked by the The V&A to host a more formal discussion which we entitled ‘The Art of Collaboration’. A panel discussion chaired by Sue Steward. With Kennard Phillips, Ania Dabrowska and the Lebanese Archive of Diab Alkarssifi, and  the UCS team discussing the value of collaborations within art practice.

We are pleased to announce the next V&A Seminar will be on November 7th 2014, more to come…




Press Release
The East is being redefined. The Olympic fever has put an outcast on the map.
The mainstream is now investing the once despised. It is not the first time the East
has been given a facelift. The continuous migrations, the war and previous
rejuvenations turned this landscape into something both identifiable and adaptable.
The East End was and remains a land of experiments where the individual shapes
his surroundings. 11 artist photographers familiar with its background and morphing
captured its idiosyncrasy through various methodologies. Still the East End cannot
be defined and the proud inhabitants are its essence. The East is not a landmark to
contemplate but a hub to be lived and inspired from.
Curated by Tendai Davies and David Boulogne

Artist photographers are Paul Walsh, Kajsa Johansson, Dominik Gigler, Arnau Oriol,
Susan Andrews, David Boulogne, Alessandra Chíla, Chris Dorley-Brown, Peter Marshall,
Mike Seaborne, David George

Opening night Tuesday 9th September from 6.30pm, public from 10th Sep – 5th Nov
The Russet, 17 Armhurst Terrace, London E8 2BT Open daily 9am – 11pm
Train: Dalston Kingsland, Rectory Road, Hackney Downs, Hackney Central
Bus: 67, 76, 488, 149, 236, 243
General enquiries contact David Boulogne 07949033085
Sales contact Tendai Davies 07733444421
Visit for more details

UCS. at The Brighton Biennale

brighton logAn exploration of collaborative working methods, with five very different contemporary photography collectives.

These contemporary views on photography provide a route into current conversations around the resurgence of photography collectives. Invited for their varying styles and their approaches to working together, ABC, Burn My Eye, RUIDO Photo, Sputnik Photos and Uncertain States outline the impact of this way of working, nationally and internationally. Considered here is the dynamic, democratic process of navigating and negotiating a cohesive voice through the notion of a collective.

ABC is an international group of artists seeking to create, engage and communicate on issues concerning self-publishing. The multi collaborative project ABCEUM re-imagines the museum as a book installation. Each room in the museum is an artist’s book of a different size and material. Assembled, the books constitute a floor-plan which visitors can wander through. ABCEUM is an evolving project that can be added to and expanded, with its own changing programme of exhibitions – much like any museum. In ABCEUM, however, the idea of a museum itself can become its own subject.

Burn My Eye grew from a small group of photographers with a shared passion for straight, unposed photography. Wanting to encourage personal development through critique and discussion with respected peers, the members embraced different sensibilities and cultural backgrounds that allowed for a broad set of influences in a close-knit environment.

RUIDO Photo, based in Barcelona, is the culmination of the work of a group of photographers, designers and journalists, who undertake independent photography projects with strong social content and cultural commitment with the clear aim of raising awareness, encouraging reflection and provoking social change.

Sputnik Photos is an international collective founded in 2006 by nine documentary photographers from Central and Eastern Europe. They are united in their desire to observe and describe their shared experience of living during the post-Soviet transformation period. They have organised several dozen exhibitions worldwide and have been featured in many photography festivals and magazines. Photobooks are an important feature of their practice, made in collaboration with journalists and writers in order to convey a rounded sense of each project.

Uncertain States is a lens-based, artist-led project releasing a quarterly broadsheet that expands critical visual dialogue. Themes include how our perceptions of key issues, such as politics, religion and personal identity, are formed. They showcase established and emerging artists through their exhibitions, monthly talks and web-based publications, showing work from all photographic genres. They work in partnership with other organisations, developing an extensive community and opportunities for their contributors

Contributing Artists:

1. Julie Cockburn  2. Laura Hynd  3. Adrian Samson  4. John Paul Evans  5. David George  6. Federica Landi  7. Aviv Yaron  8. Fiona Yaron-Field  9. James Russell Cant  10. Lydia Goldblatt  11.Susan Andrews 12. Robin Grierson 13.Yaron Lapid 14. Agatha A. Nitecka 15. Richard Sawdon Smith 16. Ania Dabrowska 17. Spencer Rowell  18. Del Loewenthal 19. Grace Lau 20. Francisco Gomez de Villaboa 21. Mick Williamson 22. Karl Ohiri 23. Carolyn Lefley

Curated by Brighton Photo Biennial.


Ania Dabrowska – The Lebanese Archive – Kickstarter

A message from our very own Ania Dabroska, please spread the news if you can.



Hello Dears,

I am sure you have seen my efforts to spread the news about our Kicstarter campaign for the book.

Of course, it would be just fantastic if you could all spread the news of this individually to your own networks too.  That would be just awesome!!! We have just published a new update on a Kickstarter page – a super short film of Diab talking about one of the photographs from the collection and we will have more updates with little treats like this coming up, people can pre-order a copy of the book or get loads of other rewards, from £5, £20, £30 up to limited edition prints and framed works.
I have found out an interesting statistic – apparently we need to get 20% of support in the first week to statistically have a chance of reaching a full target.  We are 6% in, so by Sunday we have to pre-sell as many of those extra copies of the book and other pledges as it takes to reach £5000.
Warmest hugs and thank you all,
Ania Dabrowska
Artist / Lecturer


Open call 2014 – New Deadline 17th August


We have extended our deadline for Submissions to our Open call 2014.

For those who have not yet entered, please consider getting your work seen by our esteemed selectors, Sean O’Hagan, Richard Sawdon Smith, Melanie Manchot, Mari Mahr, Julie Cockburn,  Zelda Cheatle, Ángel Luis González Fernández, Dave Than and Pete James. Nine Judges, nine selected artists.

Four week exhibition, a great PV, a special Ucs. Publication Issue 20 out at Brighton Biennial.

David George – Michael Upton – NCM/Foyle Foundation Award


We are delighted to announce that our very own David George has been selected for funding and an exhibition at Four Corners through the NCM/Foyle Foundation.

In conjunction with the writer Michael Upton ‘Estuary English’ is a photographic and psychogeographic exploration of the Thames Estuary with a particular focus on gothic associations with the region and broader notions of the area east of London as a literal and metaphoric badland.

Michael Upton and David George have produced an alternative map of the Estuary featuring a series of landmarks drawn from diverse historical, mythical,  literary and cinematic sources . The map will act as a guide for a series of photographic expeditions down both the Essex and Kent sides of the Estuary.

The intended outcomes are an exhibition of selected work at Four Corners, inclusion in the East End Archive exhibition during London Photomonth and a publication including the photographic work by David George and an essay by Michael Upton. it is hoped that the map and project  will continue to evolve beyond the initial exhibitions and text- perhaps with public participation.

David George is a London based artist working in photography and one of the founding members of the Uncertain States collective.

Michael Upton teaches on BA (Hons) Film and Broadcast Production at The Cass  London Metropolitan University and is a mentor for the Cass East End Archive

Ángel Luis González Fernández

Hope you are enjoying the sun and summer showers! Here at UCS we have been busy pushing our open call.

Last week we announced Ángel Luis González Fernández has one of our selectors.


Ángel Luis González Fernández is the founder and Director of PhotoIreland, an Irish organisation dedicated to promote critical thinking around Photography, and a deeper engagement with the Visual Arts. Ángel Luis initiated in 2011 ‘The Library Project’, a collection of publications around Photography, the core of a public resource library already holding over 1000 key items from 180 publishers worldwide. The Library Project also offers now a specialised bookshop and a gallery at its current premises in 4 Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland. Nominated for the David Manley Entrepreneur Award in 2011, Ángel Luis won the Arts category for his work in PhotoIreland. He has reviewed in other festivals like KAUNAS Photo, FORMAT, Athens Photo Festival, Riga Photomonth, and Les Rencontres d’Arles. Ángel Luis published the book ‘Martin Parr’s Best Books of the Decade’ in 2011, and ‘New Irish Works’ in 2013, and has designed books for Irish photographers such as Miriam O’Connor and David Farrell.

He joins our equally illustrious panel of experts including Sean O’Hagan, Melanie Manchot, Mari Mahr, Pete James, Zelda Cheatle, Richard Sawdon-Smith, Julie Cockburn and Dave Than.

Now let the submissions roll in!


Karl Ohiri at PhotoIreland

We had the honour of listening to Karl Ohiri discuss his work at our First Tuesday talk in May. Karl has that rare and touching ability to work on deeply personal material, which also transcend his own story to comment and reflect on wider social and cultural issues. His talk stimulated lots of interesting debate from the audience and I think its safe to say that we were all very impressed both by his imagery and his thinking.

Karl Ohiri has also contributed to UCS Edition 18. Pick your free copy at BALTIC, Turner Contemporary, Impressions Gallery, Open Eye, Norwich University, Victoria and Albert Museum, Bristol Arnolfini, Library of Birmingham and Tate Reading Rooms.

His work ‘How to Mend a Broken Heart’ is currently showing at PhotoIreland.