Artist Spotlight: Alan Van Wijgerden

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Renowned local photographer Alan Van Wijgerden has been capturing images of the Coventry for decades. His vast collection of hundreds of thousands of images, tell stories of the history of the city from over 40 years.

He is currently exhibiting a collection of work titled “Fun Factory” at Class Room Gallery (open until 14th Jan 2018). This captivating selection of images are a documentation of the lives of Fine Art students in Coventry in the 80s. He captured protests, gritty student accommodation, music gigs plus a record of work at the degree show.

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We’ve chatted to Alan to find out a little bit more about his photography. Here is what he had to say:

When did you first get into photography?

I first got into photography when I was about 12 with a brownie type camera cutting people heads off which I still hate now.

What type of photographer would you describe yourself as?

Primarily a documentary photographer, although I have done a lot of architectural photography.

We were fascinated by your “Fun Factory” exhibition at Class Room GalleryWhat was it about the lives of the Fine Art students in the 80s that drew your interest in?

I first became interested in Fine Art when I met students in the art-fac canteen then the best cafe in the poly. It was interesting and exciting, very active politically.

What other subjects and themes has your photography explored over the years?

Mainly architectural and demonstrations.

What and who do you draw inspiration from?

I draw most inspiration I would say from the Magnum photographers and Walker Evans.

Have you got any future projects in the pipeline?

Yes there’s several photo projects in the offing and also several videos.

Where can people follow you to find out more?

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/wijgerden

Flickr – https://www.flickr.com/photos/134520525@N07/

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#ArtChatCov – our monthly networking Tweet Chat

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#ArtChatCov is a monthly networking Tweet Chat for artists and art lovers on Twitter, in and around Coventry. It is the perfect opportunity to chat with like-minded individuals, and discuss visual arts activities happening in and around the city, and hear the latest news and updates from the city’s art organisations.

If you are an artist or part of an art organisation, this is a great platform for you to promote what you do, and give others the chance to engage with your work. We want to build a supportive community, where people can offer each other advice and utilise the power of social media to help increase exposure for the city’s creative community.

So whether you are an artist, art organisation or simply someone who enjoys exploring the diverse visual arts scene that the city has to offer – everyone is welcome!

How do I get involved?

  • Search #ArtChatCov on Twitter between 8-9pm on the last Wednesday of every month (make sure that the menu at the top of your screen is set on “Latest”)
  • To join the conversation always use #ArtChatCov in your tweets – so either tweet as you normally would using this hashtag, or “reply” to a tweet in the conversation using #ArtChatCov in the reply

We will “retweet” any posts where people are promoting themselves, and events to help increase their exposure.

We also like to encourage fellow tweeters to engage with others in the conversation, and support each other by “liking” and “retweeting” each other’s content when they can.

So on the last Wednesday of every month, set yourself a reminder, put your feet up, grab a cuppa and come and join us for #ArtChatCov!