Working with Roz Doherty on Miniclick events in Leeds has been a real success for us and a big part of that has been due to the welcome we’ve received from the photographers and photographic organisations living and working in the north. To celebrate the amazing work of these individuals and organisations we have conducted a number of interviews exploring the stories and ideas behind what they do.
First up is photographer, publisher, curator, events organiser and lecturer Adam Murray.
Can you tell us what Preston is my Paris is and what drove you and Robert Parkinson to it set up?
Robert Parkinson and I began Preston is my Paris in July 2009 as a photocopied zine with the intention of encouraging the exploration of Preston as a subject for creative practice. It then developed into multi-faceted project rooted in photography that includes publications, site-specific installations, live events, digital applications, education and writing. Essentially it was because we both spent a long time living in the city and wanted to engage with the place through photography.
How do you think PPP has affected the public’s interaction with photography in Preston?
I don’t think it’s right for me to say that there is definite tangible evidence of a huge increase in public interaction with photography since Preston is my Paris. However, with all of the projects, our intention was to make the work as easily accessible as we could. This meant staging very public events, making the publications affordable, choosing less intimidating contexts and formats for the distribution of work. I think this approach has then been maintained in my other projects.
You worked with Lou Stoppard on the exhibition North: Identity, Photography which seemed to be really well received, what would you say your biggest achievement was in exhibiting this work?
There are many things that I’m proud of with that exhibition, but I think perhaps the most important is that Lou and I brought together such a range of work and presented in a way that meant many different audiences would engage with the exhibition. This combined with the fact that Open Eye Gallery were so supportive of our ideas and that the exhibition was first staged in the north with free entry meant that is was the biggest visitors numbers Open Eye has ever had for an exhibition. A lot of the core intentions for this started with my Preston is my Paris work.
As a photographer, publisher, curator, events organiser and lecturer you always have your work firmly grounded in the north, what do you see for the future of this work?
It will always be there and through my work as a lecturer I am always working with young people who have new things to say about or are being influenced the north. But, for my next projects I’m moving on to different topics.
If you know of a person or organisation exploring photographic stories and ideas you think we should know about and shout about please get in contact at: firstname.lastname@example.org