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Having curated and run several “pop up” photo events during the BDF13 (Brighton Digital Festival) this August/September, here are my reflections. Questions emerge about how to sustain a creative industry in the South East.

We had marvellous collaborations initiated by Daniel Harrera- MD and thinker of The Dream Factory including The Happy Start up School, TED talks, pop-up chef: Charlie, film maker Roy Peterson (aka Roy Zoner), camera man Geoffrey Sentamu, model volunteer Violetta Orlauskaite, make up artist Elena Peratikos, artists and great sports Jon Sandoval Castro& Maria Carmen and of course the 6 gifted photography participants who have given funds and time to explore new ideas and produce new work on my Night Owl Photo Workshop.

preview of their work here. A short film/ documentary about this collaborative and experiential endeavour at the Dream Factory is in the making- update with full credits to follow shortly!

The aim of the Dream Factory during the BDF13 was to” bring together a diverse group of people from the arts, sciences, business and civil society” and its further aim now is “to empower innovations and new ideas”. I perceive it as a sustained community that has “dreaming, sharing & collaboration (incl. digital assets)” at it’s heart. I also sensed from the feedback of members that they are looking for an ongoing opportunity to meet. The “Collaboration Ring” has defined this need further and has started to create a sharper focus. With Biddy O’Conner and David Garcia steering paths these are exciting times to be involved.  If you want to experience a collective you can join The Dream Factory here.  

Personally, I am keen to see Brighton/ the South East sustain an independent (or at least co-dependent) creative industry. With Nick Clark’s revelation on Arts Council spending at £21.33 per head in London compared to £1.59 in the South East in 10/11(The Independent 3/7/13), it is time to demand a fairer devision of funds. However, I also cherish a place that is free from commercial pressures and I do like the idea of the cross-over of different industries. This way of working has accompanied me for over 10 years.

My personal big vision is to devise a “School of Ideas” to stimulate new ways of thinking/making. Also during the BDF 2013, I curated and delivered two Photo Health Walks in conjunction with Brighton&Hove Council exploring the merger of Photography and Health. Images of which are available here. Two further Photo Health Walks are planned for November’s Brighton Photo Fringe Interval. Watch this space: http://photo-courses-brighton.eventbrite.co.uk. Experiential learning has always worked for me personally and I want to embed this into my practice to offer to others.

Finally, I was  lucky to meet the peeps from the Fusebox/ Wired Sussex and I look forward to great future collaborations and raising a pound or two on the way…

My thanks go to BDF, The Dream Factory,  Brighton&Hove Health Walks,  Brighton Photo Fringe and The Brighton Artsforum for ongoing support. Please check them out for more upcoming events. A visual reminder of my #BDF2013 undertakings:

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