Partner News: Contemporary British Photography


February 17 – April 10, 2022


35 Bolshaya Morskaya str.,

St. Petersburg, Russia 


The show features works by John Peter Askew, Stephen Burridge, Annabel Elgar, Kim Jacobsen To, Lucy Alex Mac, Paulina Surys, Oliver Truelove, Nicol Vizioli. The CYALND Video Archive is presented by the work of the video artist Kate McMillan The Lost Girl.

The projects often contrast each other as the artists come from different parts of the photographic spectrum. Stephen Burridge shows typical islanders, while Oliver Truelove works with fashion photography, engaging residents of South London. Kim Jacobsen To uses the language of fashion photography to tell a story of the Son of Venus, while Lucy Alex Mac gives the Wizard of Oz characters a pop art spin. John Peter Askew has chosen for his series of urban photographs an epigraph from Charles Baudelaire, “What strange phenomena we find in a great city, all we need do is stroll about with our eyes open.”

As we move from the city to the countryside, mystical stories begin to unfold, forgotten legends come to life, and dystopian visions of the future emerge. Nicol Vizioli experiences an existential insight on her search for the sense of belonging in the mountains; Annabel Elgar revives some urban legends, leading us through a fantasy labyrinth of oddball activity; and Paulina Surys interprets Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights, reversing the initial invention of photography as a repetitive mechanical process and turning each print into a unique object.

The show features an immersive film installation by Kate McMillan The Lost Girl, set in the post-apocalyptic future, where the character attempts to create a past and a future from the debris that is washed up from the ocean. Looking closely at the residue of the past, triggering memories, the artist brings into light the histories and ideas that have been overlooked.

Aiming to present the work of contemporary UK photographers to the Russian audience in all the diversity of interests and creative pursuits of the artists, the show investigates the interplay between the ideas of multiculturalism and search for regional identity, the study of corporeality and gender roles, the aspects of women’s discourse and reflections on ageing.

The exhibition is organized by ROSPHOTO and Saint Petersburg A-YA Society in collaboration with Magnum Photos and the University of Greenwich in London as part of the Festival of Contemporary British Photography. The event is part of the international UK — Russia Creative Bridge 2021–2022 program, supported by the Culture and Education Department of the British Embassy in Moscow.