REVIEW: How photography changed the world and Cumbria

Review by Rachael Grealish

Photographer, Colin Tennant, with Tonia Lu from Outreach Cumbria, the coordinator of CELEBRATE – Photo by Craig Carruthers

Photographer, Colin Tennant, with Tonia Lu from Outreach Cumbria, the coordinator of CELEBRATE
– Photo by Craig Carruthers

THOUGHT provoking, inspirational, fascinating – just some of the comments to come from Colin Tennant and Outreach Cumbria’s How photography changed the world presentation, at Florence Arts Centre on Sunday February 7.

As part of

LGBT history month, established documentary and art photographer, Colin Tennant, took his audience through a history of photography from 1839 to present day.

The first part of the presentation had a strong emphasis on the photographers and images that documented some of the greatest moments in history from the first war photography in Crimean war to more modern conflicts.

Colin has been appointed as the photographer for CELEBRATE, recording the lives and memories of LGBT people in Cumbria through his lenses.

Though Colin reiterated that he did not set out to give a history lesson his research was informative and interesting.

He invited the audience to comment and add their thoughts on the photos and the type of photography which gave an easy and inviting feel to the piece.

The second half lead into the project Colin is currently working on with Outreach Cumbria about the LGBT community in Cumbria.

Colin said: “My main focus is to create a compelling photographic essay centred around the LGBT community of Cumbria and in turn contribute and enhance the overall Celebrate Cumbria project.”

He showed a Ted x video named Stories That Matter from Where Love Is Illegal, which Colin said was an inspiration.

Colin said: “I was excited about meeting and working with interesting people from the LGBT community.
Working with communities and exploring people’s relationships to the areas they live and work are common themes in my photography practice.”

The piece was a true eye-opener in to an important part of all communities.

Audience members at Florence Arts Centre were more than eager to sing their praises of this must-see piece:
Brad Cheek from Haile, Egremont said: “It was really fascinating and well put together. I liked how it showed the history of photography and showed how it can make a difference.”

Fiona Galloway from Haile, Egremont said: “I think it was really thought provoking.  I like how he showed the stills from the second world war and how they impacted the beginning of the film [Saving Private Ryan] which was really powerful.”

Jenni Payne from St Bees said: “It was incredibly interesting and thought provoking. “I think it was really powerful. I think there is going to be a really interesting series of photos to come out of this project.”

The full project will be displayed in Tullie House Gardens, Carlisle in June.