Pop-Up Photographic Exhibition

A Picture of Success

An initiative driven by Newton Abbot Photographic Club (NAPC) has been a huge success. In an effort to raise awareness of photography as an art form, and to appeal to a new generation of photographers, the Club hosted its first “Pop-Up Photographic Exhibition”, which featured work from A-Level students of Newton Abbot College, Coombeshead Academy and South Dartmoor Community College, alongside a display of work by Club members.

Taking place on the 6th February 2024 at Newton Abbot’s Courtenay Centre, the exhibition attracted a steady stream of  visitors from the moment the doors opened at 5PM. “It’s a far better response than we could have imagined,” said Kevin Bennett, Members’ Secretary for the Club. “Not only did we have friends and family of the exhibitors, but a large proportion of the visitors have no connection to the Club or students and have come along out of pure interest. The feedback has been incredible.”

There were two exhibition spaces. In the main hall, printed images, were displayed. Alongside the work of the students, visitors were able to view examples of their ‘scrapbooks’, in which they catalogued their meticulous planning processes. “It is humbling to see the amount of background work the students carry out to achieve the image they want,” said Kevin. “I’m never that organized.”

In a smaller room, visitors were treated to a rolling slideshow of projected images, and light refreshments were available. This gave exhibitors the opportunity to show far more images than would otherwise have been possible.

Newton Abbot’s Deputy Mayor, Alex Hall, popped in, spending more than an hour viewing the exhibition, and he was very impressed by the standard of work on display. “I’m not sure if he’ll join the Club, though,” said Kevin. “He told me his thumb always ends up in his photos.”

Julia Payne, Art Subject Team Leader at Newton Abbot College, was very pleased with the event. “Our students, parents and staff who attended were overwhelmed and so proud that their work had been included.  They were also incredibly inspired by the photographic work of the other schools and Club members. It was a fantastic opportunity for us all to have really interesting conversations about photography and learn about our different approaches, inspiration and processes.  A huge thank you to NAPC for this successful event.”

“I completely agree,” said Sam Eyre, Creative Arts Team Leader at Coombeshead Academy. “A fantastic event and such a positive and inspirational evening.  The ability to be able to collaborate within the community, across schools and exhibit work collectively is vital in raising the profile of photography as a subject and creative practice. Thank you NAPC and all involved!”

Katie Upton, Teacher of Art and Photography at South Dartmoor Community College, added: “Thank you so much for the wonderful opportunity to share our students work and, selfishly, to spend time with other teachers! It was invaluable and I was very proud, as were their parents who visited. I echo all the other fantastic things already said.”

So, what’s next for NAPC? “This joint exhibition has been a great success, and well worth repeating,” said Kirsty Peake, Club Secretary, “It might even become an annual event.”