ArtyParti – The Photography Arts Review – Live Launch!
Written by Jay Sykes on 20th January 2017
It’s not every week that we get an exclusive launch on ArtyParti. But this week, you’re in for a treat.
Meet Mara Acoma; she’s a Photographic Artist based in Sunderland. Mara’s personal work invites the viewer to examine their own ideas, exploring the unseen links which we feel as humans to family, community and place.
“There’s this perception, which is very incorrect, that the North East is this barren wasteland, that’s full of the wrecks of collieries… While I was studying at the university, I was constantly being told “if you want to be a creative, you’ll have to spend some time in London”; and I thought “I don’t want to spend some time in London, I want to be here! This is my home, this is where I want to forge my career, where I’m passionate about.” – Mara Acoma
Mara’s answer to this disconnect between her own perception of the North East was to begin a new project, designed to further highlight the creative arts in the area.
“We need a way of showing to the world that we have this wonderful, vibrant arts community going on in the North East. The breadth of the artistry that’s being done up here in the North East, which doesn’t necessarily get the recognition it deserves. We have the City of Culture Bid, we’ve got all this stuff going on.
“Everybody complains about the brain drain, people going to London – but all they do is complain. They don’t do something. We need to do something, let’s be proactive. So we came up with the idea of an online platform for photographic artists in the North East.” – Mara Acoma
Featuring two or three new Photographic Artists a week, this new growing online resource aims to flourish into an extensive directory of creative photographers in Sunderland, Newcastle, Durham & the surrounding area.
“We’ve talked to [the artists] about why they’re here, why they’re in the North East; they talk about how they love this place, and how amazing they’ve found it when they’ve moved here from elsewhere – and they’ve just wanted to stay.” – Mara Acoma
One of the the Photographic Artists Review‘s upcoming featured Photographic Artists is Antonia Barraclough, who also joined us on this week’s ArtyParti. During her time on a BA in Photography, Video and Digital Imaging at the University of Sunderland, Antonia worked on a project called “Postcards from Sunderland” – which is one of the featured projects soon to be showcased in the review.
“We had to choose a location, and display the work in that chosen location – but there had to be a link between your art and that place. I chose Age UK, the charity shop on Blandford street, and I placed little postcards around the shop, in among the items on sale.
“I ended up going to the Age UK Thursday morning club, and talking to the old people there. We talked about the locations around Sunderland. I was walking to uni every morning, and I noticed there were all these changes happening – so I wanted to learn more about how Sunderland had changed throughout history. Age UK work with people who have dementia, and that linked to my project.
“Their stories – some were funny, others were quite sweet – so I went to the locations they were talking about, photographed them, put them into postcards, wrote their stories on the back, and put them into the Age UK shop. So there was a whole thing about memory and location.” – Antonia Barraclough
ArtyParti is an award-winning radio show celebrating participatory arts in the North East.