My Highlights of LOOK/15: Liverpool's International Photography Festival / by Andrew Wilson


LOOK is a Liverpool-based photography festival that takes place every two years (to find out more about the festival click here).  LOOK/15 was the third to take place since 2011 with the core of the festival taking place between the 15th and 31st of May. In previous years I've only seen a bit of the festivals, but for this year I wanted to make an effort to see as much as I could, taking my camera with me so I could share highlights of what I saw. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I will be looking forward to LOOK/17!

Scroll down through the photos to see what caught my eye and don't forget to subscribe at the bottom of the page!


Tricia Porter: Liverpool Photographs 1972-74 (The Bluecoat)

Tricia Porter had a mixture of candid photos of youths and adults from the Liverpool 8 area in the early 70's. These photos had been displayed many years ago, but otherwise they had not been seen by many people for 40 years. 

Xavier Ribas: Nitrate (The Bluecoat)

Xavier Ribas's landscape images were arranged in an interesting way; disjointed yet connected.

Tabitha Jussa: Memorandum of Understanding (The Bluecoat)

Tabitha Jussa (2014 Liverpool Art Prize winner) displayed impressive panoramic photos of places in Liverpool and Shanghai. 

Othello De'Souza-Hartley: L8 Unseen (Museum Of Liverpool)

L8 Unseen brought together photos and stories of people from the Liverpool 8 area.

Each photo had a dramatic and grand feel.

Liverpool ONE, Women in the City

Women in the City displayed a range of work from amateurs to professionals. The work was on display to the public in a busy area of the city centre.


I was very pleased to find my own photo, Han at Home, made it into the selection.


Helen Marshall: Project Tobong (Open Eye Gallery - Part of Open 1)

Helen Marshall's series, Project Tobong, looked at storytelling and performance in the context of traditional street theatre.

The photos were displayed on three different pastel-coloured walls, which went well with the costumes worn in the photographs.

Richard Ross: Juvenile in Justice (Open Eye Gallery - Part of Open 1)

A powerful series of photos, titled Juvenile in Justice by Richard Ross, looked at the imprisonment of youth in the US.

Tony Mallon: If Only It Could Speak (The Futurist)

This work by Tony Mallon, on display at the bottom of The Futurist building, formed part of a body of work exploring homeless shelters and their artificial 'homeliness'.

Jona Frank - The Modern Kids (WARPLiverpool)

Jona Frank's photos were of local youths boxing, on bikes at an indoor facility and on their way to school in their uniforms.

This series felt like there was an element of openness and trust between the subject and photographer.

Sheila Rock: Tough & Tender (The Gallery, Stanhope Street)

A great series of black & white film seaside photos by Sheila Rock. I ended up buying the book from the LOOK Photobook Market.

Michael James O'Brien: Girlfriend (Constellations)

Girlfriend is a striking series by American photographer Michael James O'Brien exploring drag.

The 31st AOP Photography Awards, St.George's Hall

A selection of photos from finalists and winners of the 31st AOP Photography Awards line the hallway of The Dickens Gallery in St.George's Hall.

Kassel Fotobook Awards (Central Library)

A variety of dummy photobooks from the Kassel Fotobook Awards were on display at the Liverpool's Central Library. 

There was a diversity in the imagery and layouts of the books and they showed what is possible with a photobook.

LOOK/15 Photobook Market

The Photobook Market was held at The Bluecoat by Schilt Publishing and hosted a variety of book publishers and books.

The books I bought. I could have easily bought more!

Helen Sear: I Love You Daucus Carota (Victoria Gallery & Museum)

Photographs of the Daucus Carota plant almost looked like paintings.

The red wall gave the photos a different quality compared to the usual white walls.

Fred Shaw (1867-1950): Gypsy Portraits (Victoria Gallery & Museum)

Fred Shaw's Gypsy Portraits were taken in the late 1800's and the work and presentation was quite different from the rest of the LOOK exhibitions.

Slides, original prints and glass plate negatives on display which gave an idea of how Shaw worked.

As you can tell there was a lot to see during LOOK/15 - and this was just a snippet of what went on. There was plenty more that I saw and would have liked to have seen. I would also like to thank everyone involved in putting on this festival. Roll on LOOK/17!

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