Up-and-coming photographers in focus at Ffotogallery

A new exhibition aims to support artists at the beginning of their career in entering the creative industries

photography graduate standing in from of wall with photos
Jean Chan’s graduate project portrays the feeling of burnout which was inspired by her own experience as an artist. Photo by Eszter Gurbicz

A new photography exhibition which provides a platform for graduate and emerging artists to network and showcase their work opened on 23 November and will run until the new year. 

Called Ffocws, it was organised for the second time, this year in collaboration between Ffotogallery and Cardiff MADE and features 14 photographers from Wales and Welsh Universities.

“Being an artist can be quite a lonely job”, said Siân Addicott, director of Ffotogallery, who used to run a photography course in Swansea. Coming from such a background she said she knew that starting a career in the creative industries was challenging, and so supporting graduates in the process was the main idea behind Ffocws. 

Jean Chan, 21, is one of the featured artists. Currently living in London, she graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University last summer with a BA in Photography. “Especially now that I’m looking for a job, I feel like this is a great opportunity to show my work to people, create some connections and expand my network,” she said. 

people looking at photography at a graduate exhibition
Addicott and Cains visited graduate shows all around Wales to pick the 10 projects which they featured as part of Ffocws. Photo by Eszter Gurbicz

The exhibition also features four photographers who do not come from a higher education programme. “It was really important that it wasn’t just graduates, and that everybody had the same opportunities to be selected,” said Cath Cains, learning and engagement manager at Ffotogallery.

These artists were selected through an open call for the Higgins Photography Initiative, a six-month professional development programme run by Cardiff MADE, inspired by the work of the late photographer Tom Higgins. 

“He was an adult learner, he did not come to photography through a degree”, said Zoe Gingell, co-director of Cardiff MADE, who met the late artist through an open show back in 2020. She worked together with the Higgins Family to set up an exhibition posthumously, which then led to the development of the mentoring scheme.

Ffocws is now open to the public at Ffotogallery until 12 January. 

Meet the photographers

The artists featured at the exhibition: 

  • Graduate artists: Alice Forde, Emma Spreadborough, Jean Chan, Katie Nia, Mareah Ali, Megan Morgan, Robin Chaddah-Duke, Shannon Maggie, Shaun Lowde, Viv Collis
  • Artists selected through the Higgins Photography Initiative: Tracy Patricia Harris, Kaylee Francis, Ffion Denman, Jack Moyse

You can find out more about each photographer here.