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UK's Longest Running Photography Festival Celebrates 20 Years
Keny, Nairobi. "The Kenya Derby Horse Race", 2010. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos.
HEREFORDSHIRE.- 2010 marks the 20th anniversary of Hereford Photography Festival. The longest running annual photography festival in the UK, Hereford Photography Festival has presented a broad range of international photography since 1990.

This year, the Festival builds on its strong history of showing work by groundbreaking and leading photographers such as Martin Parr, Rankin and Wang Qingsong, with a major retrospective, new commissions, a series of exhibitions and more. Starting on Friday 29th October with a launch weekend of exhibitions, talks, workshops and a conference, this year’s festival will be bigger than ever and encompass the city and local area. Entry to all exhibitions is free.

This year’s highlights include:

TWENTY - A Retrospective
Twenty photographers who have shown work at the Hereford Photography Festival in the past 20 years have been asked to lend examples of their current work to form this timely retrospective. The photography on display will include works by internationally renowned names such as Martin Parr, Simon Norfolk, Jackie Nickerson and Pieter Hugo. The exhibition will be on display in Hereford Museum and Art Gallery and will be curated by photographer Paul Seawright and Festival artistic director Caitlin Griffiths.

Open Here
Images by photographers from across the globe will form the basis of this year’s open submission exhibition, with a unique prize – a £2000 socially-engaged commission for next year’s Festival. The exhibition will be on display in the Courtyard Centre for the Arts. Closing date for submissions is 31st May.

The Hereford
Hereford Cattle, known by stockmen worldwide as ‘The Hereford’, are a symbol of Hereford and an important part of local, rural industry. Documentary photographer Tessa Bunney has been commissioned by the Festival to take portraits of local breeders and their cattle. Bunney will live with the cattle breeders and their families and record their lives, as well as visiting county shows and working with the Hereford Cattle Society alongside artist Steve Brown. Her work draws attention to details which often go unnoticed and aims to contribute to the ongoing debate about the changing nature of rural life. Bunney has recorded rural life in Romania, Finland and Vietnam. The works will be displayed around Hereford city.

Focus Here
The IBSA World Blind Football Championship is being hosted by The FA for the first time in its history, with The Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford as the venue. Ten of the best teams from around the globe will be in Hereford this August to compete for the most prestigious prize in the sport. To celebrate the event, 20 partially sighted students from the Royal National College for the Blind have been working with HPF on a unique project to photograph portraits of the players of England squad. Examples of their work will be on display over the summer and at the Festival. Blind Football is a variant of 5-a-side football, with all outfield players wearing eye shields, to level the field for those with varying sight. The football itself contains ball bearings, allowing it to be located by sound.

Stuart Whipps
Images of Hereford’s changing town centre by East International Prize winner Stuart Whipps will be on display. At a time when Hereford is about to undergo significant redevelopment, Whipps will focus on of the legacy of the changes made in 1968 – the time of the last major redevelopment.

This year’s conference will examine the raison d’etre of photography festivals and take place over the opening weekend of 29th – 31st October.

Photography and Hereford – A Short History
Hereford has a long history of photography, starting with the founding of the Herefordshire Photographic Society in 1885 by Alfred Watkins - the inventor of the first light meter. They mounted two significant international exhibitions including an Anglo American Salon of Photography in 1943 and a unique exhibition of Anglo-Russian photographs in 1944.

The Hereford Photography Festival was started by local photographer Dave West and one-time Rolling Stone photographer Al Vandenberg who both settled in Hereford in the 1980s. In recent years the Festival gave the first UK public showing of the work of Chinese photographer Wang Qingsong (2004) and dedicated two festival years (2007 and 2008) to groundbreaking shows of South African photographers including Guy Tillim, Roger Ballen, Stan Engelbrecht and Andrew Tshabangu . Sir Roy Strong is the President of the Festival.

Hereford Photography Festival | Martin Parr | Rankin | Wang Qingsong |

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