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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Carlisle's former post office hosts photography festival

A week-long photographic festival is underway – with a landmark empty building providing the ideal backdrop.

Tania Gibson photo
Organiser Tania Gibson

The second Carlisle Photo Festival was launched last night with the Making Waves exhibition in the disused former post office building in Warwick Road.

Organiser Tania Gibson said the imposing building – standing empty while plans to transform it into serviced flats are lodged with the council – provided an ideal space.

“It’s quite raw and fits the theme brilliantly,” she said. “It’s more relaxed and public-friendly than a white gallery.”

Tania said she had wanted to use the building so found out who it belonged to and wrote a letter to them asking for permission to “borrow or rent”.

“They said we could borrow it so that was great,” she said. “We started organising the festival 10 months ago. We are now in our second year so we knew what we were doing this time!”

Tania, who was putting the finishing touches to the displays yesterday afternoon, said her favourite photographs were by Marco Pereira.

“There is just something about them that’s so eye-catching,” she said. “I just love them. We are very pleased with the quality of all the photographs.”

She hoped around 100 people would attend the first night and said there were people interested both in the photos and a chance to look inside the building.

The exhibition features contemporary photographs, from surreal still life to fantasy landscapes and political issues in Europe.

It is one of five venues hosting the festival, with a nearby exhibition at St Paul’s church featuring solo exhibition by student Sarlota Alli, from the Czech Republic, about graveyards and the way people say goodbye to loved ones.

Tania, who is from Copenhagen and came to Carlisle to study at the University of Cumbria, launched the festival to try to unite work from different people. “I know a lot of photographers and wanted to bring everyone together so we could exhibit together,” she said.

“It can be really difficult to get your work shown. We want to take our work to the people of Carlisle.”

Other exhibitions during the week include a landscape display looking at British and US scenery.

In Search of Space will be held at the Crown Gallery, in Lonsdale Street, from Tuesday until Saturday, from 10am to 5pm.

In Their Company will be held at the gallery at Atlas Works, in Nelson Street in Denton Holme, also from today until Sunday.

It is open from 12pm to 6pm and features group portraits of children from Russia, Serbia and England, and winter bathers in Finland.

University of Cumbria students will be exhibiting at Paradise Court, opposite Tullie House, with a show about memory, featuring photographs from the early 20th century to present day.

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