City could snap up £1m from UK's biggest photo festival
THE biggest photography festival in the UK could boost Derby's economy by £1 million.
The sixth Format festival, organised by Quad and the University of Derby, was launched yesterday and its organisers hope it will draw hundreds of thousands of people to the city.
It will include specially commissioned works, including portraits of some of Derby's business leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs.
The festival stretches over one month from March 8 until April 7 encompassing exhibitions across 18 venues including Quad, Derby Museum and Art Gallery and the Silk Mill.
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One venue new to the festival is the former Derwent Lynton chocolate factory, in Siddals Road, which fits in with the theme of this year's event. Artistic director of the festival Louise Clements said the theme of Factory was very relevant to Derby because the city is the location of one of the UK's first factories, the Silk Mill.
She said: "The aim of the festival is to exhibit works of living artists and allow people to contribute and to let the public interact with the photography.
She said: "The theme will celebrate the world heritage status of areas of Derby and the fact it was one of the instigators of mass production."
During the festival, as well as viewing the work of 70 selected artists, members of the public will be able to learn more about analogue photography and take part in workshops. Stalls in the Guild Hall Market will be selling photographs and photo-related items on the first weekend of the festival.
Professor Huw Davies, the University of Derby's dean of faculty of arts, design and technology, said he first came to Derby 27 years ago to photograph factory workers.
And he has revisited some of those people he photographed as part of this year's festival.
Professor Davies said: "I am particularly proud to be involved with Format and to have witnessed its growth in significance and stature.
"Each edition seems to surpass itself. I'm delighted with the way this year's programme has come together.
"I think it's an outstanding programme of some of the most exciting and inspirational work from around the world."
Dr John Davies, the Dean of Derby, was photographed by Brian Griffin as part of his specially commissioned work of influential figures in the county.
He said the picture taken of members of Derby Cathedral resembled a Joseph Wright painting.
"Being photographed by Brian Griffin was a hugely enjoyable experience."
The opening of the festival will include a performance by Elemental Force with aerial dancers, projections and pyrotechnics on March 7 from 6pm. A full schedule of events can be found at www.formatfestival.com.