In February this year we launched a little photography exhibition project in order to promote local photography talent – Café Voltaire Photography Gallery. The idea behind it has been to showcase Edinburgh’s photography talent by providing a platform to exhibit some of the emerging and established visual artists from across the capital. The series of gallery opening events, intended as a networking opportunity and discussion forum for all of the open call participants and public visitors attracted large number of guests admiring the work of young talent over the course of running of each exhibition.

Prior to organizing the first open call for visual artists and over the course of curating the gallery we did not expect to be exhibiting some of the rising stars in the photography industry in the United Kingdom – the idea was born out of passion and love for visual arts. Yet, as the time has shown, all of our exhibited photographers have been acknowledged and selected for nationwide exhibitions in the UK and beyond. Consequently, allow us to brag a little bit about our fast emerging photography professionals we had the pleasure of exhibiting in our humble Café Voltaire space.

one night to be confused
Feliu Lloberas | One Night To Be Confused

For our first instalment, back in February, we have selected Laura Feliu Lloberas’s excellent work on her personal identity titled ‘One Night To Be Confused’. This personal project, concentrating on expressing different intimate identities, impressed us with its creativity and incredible attention to detail. In Laura’s own words: “Photographing fictional characters is helping me to understand my own identity. This series could be described as ’staged self-portraiture’ because I become another subject. The process of being photographer, subject and viewer allows me to comprehend different aspects of female roles in cinema and to let go certain obsessions or frustrations I had since I was a teenager as a woman.”

Last month, Laura’s work, has been selected as a finalist in the Retina Scottish International Photography Festival in the category Emerging Talent and as a finalist in The Association of Photographers Student Awards 2017. Be sure to see more of Laura’s work on her website and/or Instagram!

bourlesque dancer
Sarah Newman | Burlesque Dancers

Second installment of our gallery, saw Sarah Newman showcasing her incredible visual documentary work on Scottish Burlesque dancers. Sarah’s photography work stood out to us by the realness, truthfulness and respect given to the subjects, as well as dedication given to this long-term project. As Sarah’s described it herself: “I found the focus was less on the undressing on stage, in front of strangers, but more about the ‘celebration’ of the woman’s body. Her shape, movement, expressions and the connection they make with their audience, who are mainly women cheering them on! (…) I immediately felt an empathy for and rapport with the girls, who entrusted me to document their, sometimes misrepresented, work in an honest way.”

As well as selling some of her prints during the exhibition, Sarah’s work has been selected as a finalist in The Association of Photographers Student Awards 2017. See more of Sarah’s great work on her website and/or follow her on Facebook.

kowloon walled village
Mariusz Bogacki | Kowloon Walled Village

Our current exhibition showcases a selection of Hong Kong’s street photography by Mariusz Bogacki. The eclectic, colorful and crafty selection of images depicting Hong Kong’s street live captivated our imaginations by transporting us directly to one of Asia’s greatest cities. “The city where the ‘east meets west’ may have its glory days behind it, but the incredible landscapes full of skyscrapers, neon signs and bustling streets, influences and stimulates photographers to this day. (…) In this project I concentrated on Hong Kong’s citizens, some of the city’s main characteristics, and the contrast between the ever-modern and rapidly vanishing historical sides of the metropolis.”

Some of the images from the series have been exhibited previously at the Chinese University of Hong Kong last year and one of Mariusz’s street photographs has been recently selected for a Loosenart exhibition in Rome at the Millepiani exhibition space. See more of his work on and/or Instagram @Im_new_here_.

aerial photo of scotland
Michael Gill | Aerial Photo of Scotland

Finally, our upcoming exhibition will feature an aerial photography work by Michael Gill. Michael specializes in abstract aerial photography and his work impressed us with the beautiful textures and color pallets of seen-from-above landscapes – not to mention his unusual technique! “I shoot from the pillion seat of a microlight, a position which gives me an unrivalled perspective. There are many advantages a microlight has over shooting from a traditional plane, a helicopter, or using a drone. The chief advantage being that you are outside in the elements. You are not peering through a window on the world, you are in that world.”
Michael’s work will be exhibited from 9th of June and we would like to invite all interested for the opening evening from 7pm. Drink promos, music and plenty of like-minded people!

We couldn’t be prouder of all the photographers and we wish them all the best in their future careers. Onwards and upwards, to another photo gallery in June.

Café Voltaire Crew

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