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The Old Brewery Space in Glossop opens for the first time with a cultural takeover for Dark Peak Photo Festival

A brand-new event space in a former brewery in Old Glossop will be unveiled for the very first time to host a stimulating cultural takeover in a final addition to the free exhibitions programme for Dark Peak Photo festival in Glossop.

Dark Peak Photo is a brand-new grassroots festival with big ambitions and creative spirit. In the first edition of the festival artists will respond to the theme of ‘Now & Then’ – reflecting on the changes that time brings, the nature of memory and the lessons to be learned from history.

Responding to the ‘Now’ in the festival theme, The Old Brewery Space at Distant Hills will host photography from around the UK with a more experimental and contemporary feel in both theme and practice to work, contrasting to the ‘Then’ exhibits announced for Victoria Hall. 

Free exhibitions at The Old Brewery Space will include leading contemporary photographic artists alongside showcasing work by MA students and staff from Manchester Metropolitan University. 

Stockport based photographer Kat Wood will exhibit Rambling with Reason, a commission commemorating the 90th anniversary of the 1932 Kinder Mass Trespass, supporting The Right to Roam campaign. The images are a combination of photographs taken on the route of the Mass Trespass of Kinder Scout and archival images from the Salford Working Class Movement Library. 

Kat Wood says; ‘Having free-to-access events helps to remove barriers, it ensures that the exhibition can be accessed by a wider audience. Exhibitions like this can inspire people who might not usually engage with art. Photography festivals can highlight the possibility of creative careers, or encourage and inspire taking up a creative hobby; which is proven to improve people's mental health and wellbeing. Photography is an incredibly accessible medium, as almost everybody has access to a camera on their phone.’ 

Work from artist Oliver Raymond Barker installed in The Old Brewery Space will focus on the mechanics and alchemy of photography to make images, objects and structures that expand upon what photography is and can be. Working predominantly with alternative analogue techniques he uses photography as a tool to uncover imagined narratives & unseen processes, framed by his interest in culture, ecology and spirituality.

Oliver Raymond Barker says; ‘It's essential to make the arts accessible for all and to remove barriers that might prevent audiences engaging with exhibitions and events. We need to remember the significant cultural and economic impacts that Art can bring to our communities, particularly in the current political climate where the Arts are undervalued and poorly funded.’ 

Additional exhibits at The Old Brewery Space will include Vikki Rutter’s work using multi exposures; drone operator and photographer Carys Kaiser’s original drone work ‘Land Scars’ and a project inspired by climate change from international eco photography collective IR. 

Speaking about opening up The Old Brewery for the first time Alex Harmon from Distant Hills says: We are doing this as a community event and are so excited to see our space be used in a different way.  We are really pleased to be able to support this new venture and welcome people into our space'. 

Alongside work exhibited in The Old Brewery Space, the Tap Room at Distant Hills will host work from Salford-based artist Not Quite Light. A new set of photographs will be exhibited from his major project ‘Our Future is Ancient’. Originally commissioned by the Barnaby Festival, the multimedia project was inspired by Macclesfield forest with images taken between 2019 and 2020 each full moon, at dawn. 

Dark Peak festival goers who buy a workshop or talk ticket (including those already purchased!) will now be entered into a draw to win a prize donated by local business Holdan. Two camera lenses, Samyang AF 14mm f2.8, one EF mount and one FE mount are up for grabs. Marcus Swales from Holdan says; 

‘Our tagline of ‘empowering people to create’ sums up exactly why we’re so keen to support Dark Peak Photo festival, we’re all about creativity and we hope whoever wins the lenses can create some amazing pictures’. 

A number of talks and workshops have already sold out, so early booking is advised for the remaining places - tickets are available via the Dark Peak photo festival website. https://www.darkpeakphoto.com/

In addition to the free exhibits announced at Victoria Hall for the ‘Now’ collection of festival exhibits; people will have the opportunity to view an exhibition of personal photos commemorating the 40th anniversary of the last miners strike. 

Images taken by former miner Ken Wilksinon who later became a photographer with the Yorkshire Fire Service have been kindly loaned by the The National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield. 

The majority of photographs capturing the miners strikes at the time were taken by press photographers, Ken’s powerful images give a unique personal insight into a political and socially divisive era as captured from the lens of a miner in the midst of the situation.

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