I am teaching a summer school I have written for Belfast Exposed Photography gallery this August -15th to 20th-. Writer, David Mann interviewed me recently regarding it, here is an extract from the interview.

David Mann: How did the summer school come about?

Brian Morrison: I have been in discussions with Pauline Haddaway -director at Belfast Exposed- for some time about introducing a number of new courses into the galley, we were both keen to create something that was not solely about the technically aspects of photography. We have looked at a number of things to run in September along side the galleries existing photo courses but Pauline wanted something that could run during the summer as well. There are a number of photography summer courses out there but none like the one we have developed and none in Belfast.

DM: What is it that separates this course from any other photo courses out there?

BM: We have made this course based around the invaluable resources that Belfast Exposed has to offer, having publish books and commissioned artists to make photographic work about the city it seemed logical to utilise them. Anyone who attends the course will be introduced to the work of these artists and taught how to look at the work with a critical eye. There will be an emphasis on image deconstruction as well as contemporary and historically photography practice. That in itself is not uncommon for photography course however a focus on Belfast is. We want people to look at Belfast in a different way through encouragement of ideas. The result will end with a well informed personally driven photography project.

© John Duncan 2011

DM: So are the students to produce a final piece of work within the week?

BM: No, photography projects like this take time and it is not our aim to bash out a photo project in 5 days. This course is only the beginning for the students they will leave the course with a new set of skills that will aid them in creating great work.

DM: I see there is also an exhibition opportunity?

BM: Thats right, Pauline and I really thought a small exhibition would really encourage people to pursue their projects after the course is finished. We didn’t want the summer school to end after the 5days, we are inviting those who wish to do so a chance to return for a Critique session at the end of August to see how their work as been developing, those people will also be offered the opportunity to show a piece of work in the Exchange space in Belfast Exposed.

DM: Who is the course really aimed at?

BM: It’s anyone over 18 really. This course is about telling stories and everyone has their own story to tell no matter the age, gender or background. All we want to do is find people who are keen to learn, and excited by the opportunities Belfast and Photography can offer. While this course has not been primarily designed to enhance technical photography skills, I will be on hand to answer any technical queries to aid the production of the students work. An understanding of how to use your own camera will beneficial. We do ask that those interested send through 3-6 images of there own work or a piece of writing (100 max) declaring why they want to do the course. We just want to make sure that the students are suited to the  course. 

So the course begins August 15th we are still accepting application, so please if you are interested email brian@belfastexposed.org and I will forward you the detailed information pack. We have a provisional deadline of 9th of July for those.