MA Photography graduates showcase their talent at a brand-new festival

Wed 10 Aug 2022


Photo credit: Mick Yates

Falmouth Flexible have been proud to collaborate with Photo|Frome, a brand-new festival of contemporary photography.  The theme of the inaugural edition, The Independent Eye, resonates both with the spirit of the historic town that straddles the county boarders of Somerset and Wiltshire in the West of England, and of course with the medium of photography.  

The brainchild of a small group of dedicated people, including MA Photography graduate Mick Yates, the idea of an event bringing together local and international practitioners quickly gathered momentum and in a very short time grew into full-blown programme of talks, workshops and of course exhibitions, with over 75 photographers showing work across 9 venues in and around the town, attracting some 6,000 visitors and participants.  

Hear Mick Yates discussing curating the Photo|Frome contemporary photography festival:


Several Falmouth Flexible graduates have been featured in the festival’s line up: Gallery at the Station hosted work from Hannah Jones’s project that explores contemporary growing spaces through her typically delicate and restrained imagery, and an interpretation of Tim Beale’s photobook The Rights to this City that highlights the housing crisis in the much-celebrated nearby city of Bath.  


Gallery at the Station opening. Photo credit: Mick Yates

Rook Lane, a converted nonconformists chapel that holds a range of arts events, has become something of festival’s focal point. Vanessa Fairfax-Woods’s large scale performative images from And so, I act cold oscillate between humour and despair in her playful explorations of the roles of women.  


Private viewing, Rook Lane Chapel. Photo credit: Jamie Horrigan


Private viewing, Rook Lane Chapel. Photo credit: Jamie Horrigan


Maker's Yard Opening. Photo credit: Mick Yates

Despite his work being published in countless magazines over many years, the festival has made possible the first exhibition of Danny North’s music photography, and features portraits and live coverage of some of the world’s biggest artists including Oasis, Taylor Swift, U2 and Nirvana/Foo Fighter’s Dave Grohl – whose life-sized effigy presides over the main gallery space!  

More veteran names feature in the festival, including Chris Chapman and James Ravilious – their images of rural life in the West of England, exhibited at Black Swan Arts, obviously chiming with the locality of the market town.  


Archie Parkhouse & his dog Sally by Robin Ravilious. Photo credit: Mick Yates 

Previous Falmouth Flexible guest lecturers have also been involved, including Justin Quinnell, who delivered a talk on pinhole photography with his inimitable and infectious enthusiasm, and also a Rook Lane Chapel; John Angerson’s images of NASA’s astronaut training programme, and the first exhibition of Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz’s timely project The Rivers Melt, which documents the surreal topography of the ‘European Green Belt’ that divided East and Western Europe during the Cold War.  

Learn how to critically analyse and develop your practice with the online, part-time Falmouth Flexible MA in Photography:

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The festival has been supported by numerous other organisations including the Frome Independent, who facilitated a pop-up studio and the Faces of Frome project, coordinated by Jesse Alexander, MA Photography and BA(Hons) Photography Top Up course leader, which aims to build an ongoing portrait collection of those living in and around, and visiting Frome.  

The success of this year’s festival has paved the way for future editions, with a theme for 2023 and several venues and photographers already secured. To keep updated with developments, or if you are interested in getting involved, please visit or follow @PhotoFrome

Jesse Alexander

Jesse Alexander is a photographer and writer and Course Leader for BA(Hons) Photography (Top-Up) and MA Photography.

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