Format highlights: from product testing to waste disposal to the cotton industry
Ella Rhodes speaks to staff at Quad about some of their highlights of the Format International Photography Festival.
THE Format festival draws talent from across the globe into Derby.
With such a vast array of exhibitions and stunning photography to see, Louise Clements and her colleagues at Quad point out a few of their personal highlights.
Louise, who is artistic director for Quad and Format, said she was fascinated by the work of Andreas Meichsner, which is exhibited at Derby Museum and Art Gallery.
The German photographer entered the fascinating and little-known world of product testing for his work TUV: to the acid test.
He documents employees of the German Association for Technical Inspections as they go about their business testing and certifying the safety, performance and quality of technical equipment and consumer goods in laboratory conditions.
Louise says: "Andreas Meichsner's work is impressive in terms of the quality, the delivery of his ideas, his ability to find and present an inventive view, and his slightly surreal representation of the subject is very engaging.
"The test factory is usually a place we do not see, his photography gives us a window through to this secret and fascinating world."
Caroline McNally's exhibit at Quad, Earth is Room Enough, is a surreal examination of the final destination of the waste from mass production and addresses issues of consumerism and waste in modern society.
Kathy Frain, Quad's press and marketing officer, says: "Caroline McNally's slightly surreal images have a washed out ethereal quality which contrasts with the subject matter, pollution – a personal concern.
"It takes a moment to compute that something seemingly beautiful actually represents a malevolent threat to mankind."
Adam Buss, Quad director of audience engagement, said that he was taken with Kajal Nisha Patel's exhibition at the University of Derby.
He says: "She is relatively local and does lots of participatory work in the community so is an interesting artist.
"I really like her work because it reflects the shift in economic power across the globe but in a non-sledgehammer way and her images capture a sense of personality in all of the subjects regardless of how involved they are the factory process."
Kajal Nisha Patel's project, Fabric, explores the trade of textiles between India and Great Britain, specifically the industrialisation of cotton manufacturing in Britain and India's renaissance after a devastating blow to production during British colonial rule.
The exhibitions run until April 7. More information of opening times can be found on www.formatfestival.com.