British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history

Call for photographic work to be included in a major photography exhibition at Turner Contemporary in Summer 2019

Val Williams and Karen Shepherdson are working with Turner Contemporary to curate a major new exhibition examining the relationship between photographers, photography and the British seaside from the 1850s to the present. The exhibition will take place at Turner Contemporary, Margate, in 2019 before going on national tour.

As curators we are aware that a significant amount of British photography remains undiscovered and unseen. Hence, we are inviting submission of portfolios, archives and collections of photography which were made around the British seaside for consideration for inclusion in this major photographic show at Turner Contemporary.

Photography is not always a continuous career, and many photographers have produced bodies of works at certain times in in their lives, and then not returned to the medium. Such material is often rich in content and method. The curators will be very interested to see such work.

Archives too can be relatively hidden or unexplored, whether held by individuals, organisations, institutions or collections. With archivists’ time at a premium and resources scarce, such material has not always been made available for research. We would like to identify such collections in order to have the broadest possible picture of photography’s relationship with the British seaside.

If you have work of your own, which you might not think important but which relates in some way to our theme, we would like an opportunity to see it, for possible inclusion in the show. Or, if you know of archives that we may not have seen, please share your ideas with us.

Subject matter is unlimited, but must be, in some way directly related to British seaside culture and the ideas that it has engendered.

If you would like to contact us about your work prior to sending it in, please email either or both of us:

Themes include but are not limited to:

Architecture and gardens.

Seaside bohemia and the artist at the seaside

Places to stay: hotels/boarding houses, holiday camps and caravans

Seaside Snapshots

Fashion and youth culture

Migration and transience

Seaside entertainment: arcades, funfairs, circus, pier shows, comedy, pop.

Seaside spectacles: pageants, carnivals, galas and competitions.

The illicit, the sexual and the criminal

Seaside by night

Seaside studios

Life on the beach.


Guidelines for Submission:

Please submit your portfolios of photographs by September 15th 2017, including no fewer than 5 and no more than 10 images. In the first instance work can be submitted electronically via WeTransfer which offers 2GB of free file transfer). The image files should have a maximum of 5000px on the longest edge, be at 72ppi and sent as JPEGS. If you aren’t able to digitise your photos, please simply send us Xeroxs or prints.

Please include your name / address / telephone number in any correspondence plus a very brief (no more than 250 words) description of your work and some biographical information, image titles and dates.

Please send submissions to:

We don’t recommend that you send original prints, if you do please do not send anything unique, irreplaceable or valuable. If you are unsure then please contact us ahead of sending.

Companies, collections and archives can submit electronically or if they prefer contact the curators direct via the email addresses above with a brief summary of the collection and a link to any relevant websites if available.


Please send any work to us by:September 15th 2017

We will let you know if your work can be included in the exhibition by: November 27th 2017

If you have sent us material as prints or Xerox’ we will send these back to you by: December 18th 2017

About the curators:

Val Williams is a writer and curator, and Professor of the History and Culture of Photography at UAL and Director of the Photography and the Archive Research Centre (PARC) at the London College of Communication. She is a co Editor of the Journal of Photography and Culture. After founding Impression Gallery in York in the early 1970s, she worked as an independent curator and co- initiated the Shoreditch Biennale (1994 & 1998) and from 1999-2001 became curator of Exhibitions and Collections at the Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg, She has curated and co-curated exhibitions at the V&A, the National Media Museum, the Barbican Art Gallery and Tate Britain. Exhibition projects include How We Are: Britain photographed from 1850 (Tate Britain); Who’s Looking at the Family? (Barbican Art Gallery); Look at Me: Fashion and Photography in Britain (Konsthal, Rotterdam and touring); Early Photographs: Daniel Meadows (Library of Birmingham and touring); Warworks (V&A, London); The Dead, (National Media Museum, Bradford); Martin Parr: Retrospective (Barbican Art Gallery, London) Ken. To be destroyed (Schwules Museum, Berlin). Her publications include Martin Parr; Daniel Meadows: Edited Photographs and Anna Fox: Photographic Works 1983-2007, Ken. To be destroyed. In 2013, Val initiated the Moose on the Loose Biennale of Research, which included the exhibitions Life on the Road by Tom Hunter and Scar by Paul Lowe and which has now had two editions, with a third coming up in 2017.

Read more about Val at

Karen Shepherdson is Reader in Photography at Canterbury Christ Church University. She is Director of the South East Archive of Seaside (SEAS) Photography and co-directs the Centre for Research on Communities and Cultures both of which are located at CCCU. Karen has received a number of external funding awards for research and regularly creates partnerships for practice and exhibition. Karen has curated several festivals and exhibitions, including SALT: The Festival of the Sea & Environment (Folkestone, 2015); Reframing the Sunbeam Photographic Collection exhibition at the Sidney Cooper Gallery (2014) and in 2015 was commissioned by the British Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to produce the online gallery ‘Beyond the View: Reframing Early Seaside Photography’. She co-edited the four-volume Routledge major collection on Film Theory and co-authored Beyond the View: New Perspectives on Seaside Photography (2014). Karen’s research focuses on the seaside as site of photographic practice and her own photography repeatedly examines coastal communities and shoreline activities and she’s exhibited in the UK, Scandinavia and the USA.

Read more about Karen at

Views: 708

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of British photographic history to add comments!

Join British photographic history

© 2020   Created by Michael Pritchard.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service