Jerwood Encounters: Family Politics

Jonny Briggs, Robert Crosse, Nikolai Ishchuk, Joanna Piotrowska, Claudia Sola, The Photocopy Club

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A group exhibition curated by Photoworks, presenting new commissions and existing work by six early career photographers, Claudia Sola and The Photocopy Club, Jonny Briggs, Robert Crosse, Nikolai Ishchuk and Joanna Piotrowska. The works respond to the curatorial theme of the first issue of Photoworks Annual, Family Politics, which will launch alongside the exhibition. The exhibition explores the different ways in which artists consider and use photographic practice resulting in an expanded view of the medium.

As a subject, the family is both private and public: the site of intimate inter-personal relations and a social construct subject to public and political pressures. This relationship is mirrored in examples of family photography. The majority of family pictures serve essentially private functions, accruing meaning through their relationship to the memories, experiences and histories of individuals. However, the family is also the subject of public photographic representation and contestation largely through digital media and ‘over sharing’. This involves a wide variety of practices, including representations in the mass media, art and advertising.


Four artists were selected via open call to exhibit alongside invited artists Claudia Sola and the Photography Club. The exhibition coincides with the publication of Photoworks Annual which explores the Family Politics theme further with commissioned work from Jowhara Alsaud and Claudia Sola, Folios by Broomberg & Chanarin and John Clang; conversations between: Marianne Hirsch and Lorrie Novak, Wendy Ewald and Anthony Luvera,  Bettina von Zwehl and Kelley Wylder and writings from Michael Bonesteel, Susan Bright, Terry Dennett, Geoffrey Batchen, Blake Stimson, Sarah James, Stephanie Schwartz, and Judith Habelstram, Aaron Schuman, Blake Morrison, Andrew Kötting, Sue Hubbard and David Campany amongst others.

Jerwood Encounters are one-off curated exhibitions which provide artists and curators with new exhibition opportunities and the chance to explore issues and territories in the borderlands between the main disciplinary fields of the Jerwood Visual Arts programme. They were first established in 2009.

Works by The Photocopy Club, Jerwood Encounters: Family Politics. Image: