Coventry’s Photo Miners today announced the appointment of a new Advisory Board to support preparations for Coventry City of Culture 2021, and the organisation’s longer term future.
Photo Miners is a Community Interest Company set up in 2016 to help communities share their stories using photography. Over the past four years, they have developed a strong reputation for creating high impact exhibitions and adventurous activities that empower local communities.
Major projects have included the Masterji exhibition and book, Tale of Two Streets (viewed across 8 different venues and with a reach of 500K), Humans of Coventry (in partnership with Coventry City of Culture 2021) and Imagine Willenhall and Imagine Bedworth; two hyper local exhibitions about place and belonging.
Photo Miner Mark Cook explained why appointing an advisory board is such an important step right now:
“The three directors or Photo Miners have always had the intention of seeking advice and support from critical friends. The Covid crisis has given us, and everyone else, extra challenges. However, our Art Council England emergency funding has given us a chance to create our advisory board. The eight people we have chosen will support us in uncertain times. They will help us create a provoking and relevant programme for 2021, and they will ensure that 2021 leaves a legacy of greater public access and use of archive and new photography in creative ways.
We are planning an ambitious programme of exhibitions, interventions and community led creative activity for 2021. Our new board will support us to find and use venues, funding for activities and the development of the organisation to enable us to collaborate with communities, volunteers, freelancers and other organisations to put Coventry on the map.
We are faced with challenges creating indoor and outdoor exhibitions during Covid, so we are developing our capacity to create online exhibitions and improve our digital resources. We hope we can use these resources and new skills to reach wider audiences when we are able to use physical spaces again.
Director Ben Kyneswood added:
The eight board members have a wide range of backgrounds and expertise and will act as critical friends offering guidance on the development of our future programmes and encouraging us to see and think in new and different ways.”
Photo Miner, Jason Tilley told us:
“We were thrilled at the number of candidates who responded to our call out for advisory board members. It’s fantastic to see so many people, from an array of backgrounds and with strong local connections, invested in connecting with Photo Miners and the work we do in the wider community. I look forward to our first Zoom meeting and starting work on some exciting new projects.”
The new appointees on Photo Archive Miners advisory board are PhD researcher Eleanor Cook, arts manager Philippa Cross, PhD researcher Emily Hopkins, cultural development specialist Clare Mitchell, archivist and photo historian Jim Ranahan, award winning photographer Nicola Young, Community Embedded Producer Kim Hackleman & ex Coventry Mayor and experienced photographer Tony Skipper.
Eleanor Cook told us:
“I am delighted to be selected for the Photo Miners Board as I am particularly interested in how photographic collections can bring out the hidden stories of communities who are traditionally excluded from the historical record.”
Clare Mitchell said:
“Photo Miners commitment to making ‘real’ the concept of public art and engagement is inspirational. Their work effortlessly elevates personal, private and community owned archives, amplifies and celebrates local voices, and enables our communities to see themselves as relevant and influential stakeholders in the often elusive world of ‘The Arts’. Helping us all to see ‘the public’ in ‘public art practice’”
Photo Miners are currently working on projects with Arts Council England, Coventry Archives, Coventry City of Culture Trust and Coventry University.
Find out about these projects and more on the Photo Archive Miners website: https://photomining.org
Pictured above: Jim Ranahan (top left), Eleanor Cook (top middle), Kim Hackleman (top right), Emily Hopkins (middle left), Clare Mitchell (middle right), Nicola Young (bottom left), Philippa Cross (bottom middle), Tony Skipper (bottom right).