Diffusion 2017

1 – 31 May 2017

Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography, Ffotogallery’s biennial city-wide celebration of world class photography and contemporary art, returns 1-31 May 2017 with a month long programme of exhibitions, events and activities.

Diffusion 2017 looks at ‘revolution’ in its widest context, investigating moments of social change, movements around freedom of expression, the pursuit of utopias, human rights and identity.

Find out more

Diffusion 2017: John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins & Marcelo Brodsky

“Committee of 100” by John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins, © 1963 ESTATE OF J V L HOPKINS

© Marcelo Brodsky

1 – 31 May 2017, Turner House


John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins | Taking Liberties

Between 1960 and 1966 John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins captured the vibrancy of discontent and the emerging counter-culture in Britain, which was expressed through activism, poetic expression and art. This exhibition for Diffusion brings together a selection of images never seen before from the photographers archive alongside others included in the very few public exhibitions of his work to date. Captured here is the historic poetry convention at The Albert Hall in 1965, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King’s first visits to London, Committee of 100 and CND marches, and early anti-racist and pro-Civil Rights demonstrations which illustrate the power of popular protest.

Also on display in the exhibition are materials relating to his involvement in various counter-cultural manifestations such as International Times, and his ‘prison letters’ from 1967 when he was unjustly jailed for cannabis possession. Though the suspected real reason for this was his influential anti-establishment position that was gaining ground in the projects he was involved in.


Marcelo Brodsky | 1968 – the fire of ideas

Marcelo Brodsky is an Argentine artist and human rights activist, working with images and documents of specific events to investigate broader social, political and historical issues. In 1968 – the Fire of Ideas Brodsky features archival images of student and worker demonstrations around the world, carefully annotated by hand in order to deconstruct what lay behind worldwide social turbulence in the late 1960s. Images of anti-Vietnam war demonstrations in London and Tokyo sit alongside protests in Bogota, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico, Prague and San Paolo against military regimes and oppressive government structures. For decades, Brodsky owned and directed a photo agency with offices throughout Latin America. His sophisticated understanding of picture editing, of how they are sequenced changes the way audiences read images, enables him to use text and graphical devices in association with each image to shift the viewer’s perspective and to reveal new layers of meaning.


These exhibitions are part of Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography 2017, taking place throughout May across some 20 venues. To find out more about the festival click here.

Kanu’s Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi telephoning from the office hut in Sevagram Ashram, 1938.
Photograph by Kanu Gandhi / © The Estate of Kanu Gandhi

18 March – 15 April 2017

Ffotogallery, Turner House, Plymouth Road, Penarth CF64 3DH

To launch an exciting new India-Wales collaboration marking the 70th anniversary of Indian Independence and the creation of Modern India, Ffotogallery is delighted to present the UK premiere of Kanu’s Gandhi, a new exhibition of rare and intimate photographs of Mahatma Gandhi by his grandnephew and personal chronicler, Kanu Gandhi.

Kanu Gandhi came to live with Mahatma Gandhi in the Sevagram Ashram and became his lifelong follower. Gandhi allowed Kanu to photograph him on the condition that no flash would be used and he would never be asked to pose. Though some of Kanu Gandhi’s images have been reproduced in books on Mahatma Gandhi, his work went largely uncredited and is now being presented for the first time in the UK as one body of work acknowledged for its historical and artistic importance. Culled from a long forgotten archive, the meticulously researched, painstakingly restored and exquisitely curated by Prashant Panjiar and Sanjeev Saith, Kanu’s Gandhi reveals rare and intimate photographs of the Mahatma during the last ten years of his life.

As David Drake, Ffotogallery’s Director, explains:

“Mahatma Gandhi’s influence on ordinary people and world leaders alike is immense, and his commitment to changing the world through non-violent means is a timely reminder for us all that there is always hope for a better life even in the darkest of times. Ffotogallery is honoured to be presenting this wonderful exhibition on the 70th anniversary of Indian Independence, and to acknowledge Wales’ special relationship with India. We were delighted to learn that the Hindu Council of Wales will be unveiling a new statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Cardiff later this year”

The exhibition is part of Dreamtigers, a year long project which brings together Ffotogallery, the national agency for photography in Wales, and the Nazar Foundation/Delhi Photo Festival. The project uses photography and lens-based media to examine both the ‘real India’ and the equally present and significant other – an Imagined India which in recent years has significantly evolved and transformed itself in the public sphere and in the minds of Indians. Dreamtigers is one of eleven projects in Wales supported by the British Council and Wales Arts International under the UK-India Year of Culture 2017.


Related Events

Exhibition Preview / Friday 17 March 2017 / 6pm / FREE

Tea & Cake Tuesday / Tuesday 21 March 2017 / 11am-4pm / FREE

Diffusion 2017

Diffusion 2017

Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography, Ffotogallery’s biennial city-wide celebration of world class photography and contemporary art, returns 1-31 May 2017 with a month long programme of exhibitions, events and activities.

Diffusion 2017 looks at ‘revolution’ in its widest context, investigating moments of social change, movements around freedom of expression, the pursuit of utopias, human rights and identity.

Find out more

Dreamtigers – India/Wales

Dreamtigers – India/Wales

Dreamtigers is a new Ffotogallery project in which artists and cultural professionals from India and Wales collaborate around the making and presentation of new work that reflects how creativity, technology and a renewed sense of national identity are shaping the lives of future generations in a globalised society.

Dreamtigers brings us together with the Nazar Foundation/Delhi Photo Festival creating reciprocal opportunities for artists and creative professionals from India and Wales to travel to and work in each other’s countries.

Find out more

Mike Perry – Land/Sea (Tir/Môr)

Mike Perry – Land/Sea (Tir/Môr)

Land/Sea (Tir/Môr) is a major solo exhibition by Wales-based artist Mike Perry, presented by Ffotogallery. Perry’s work engages with significant and pressing environmental issues and the fragility of the planet’s ecosystems.

Bringing together key works from his Wet Deserts, Môr Plastig and Ffynnonofi series, Land/Sea (Tir/Môr) examines the negative impact of monocultural land use and how consumerism interacts with the erosive power of nature. Opening at Ffotogallery in October 2017, the exhibition travels to Mostyn and Aberystwyth Arts Centre in 2018.

Find out more

Mike Perry – Land/Sea (Tir/Môr)

© Mike Perry

October 2017, Turner House

Land/Sea (Tir/Môr) is a major new solo exhibition by Wales-based artist Mike Perry, with an accompanying new Ffotogallery publication. Perry’s work engages with significant and pressing environmental issues, in particular the tension between human activity and interventions in the natural environment, and the fragility of the planet’s ecosystems.

In his continuing series Wet Deserts, Perry is looking at the negative impact of monocultural land use and over-intensive cultivation, and the process of ‘re-wilding’ by which nature reclaims its biodiversity. Responding to George Monbiot’s description of the rural landscape as a ‘shadowland, a dim flattened relic of what there once was’, Perry believes that years of an ‘agribusiness dominated dogma’ combined with unsustainable agricultural policy need to be challenged by new thinking around what is good for the human spirit, biodiversity and the planet.

Alongside Wet Deserts, Land/Sea includes selected works from his Môr Plastig series, in which he collects and forensically photographs plastic objects such as bottles, shoes and packaging washed up on the beaches of West Wales, inviting us to consider the environment impact of consumerism and the erosive power of nature.

At the Venice Biennale 2015, as part of the Azerbaijan pavilion Vita Vitale, Perry installed a cabinet of plastiglomerates, stones comprising intermingled melted plastic, sand, shells and other beach sediment he had collected. The objects appeared seamlessly integrated with our marine ecosystems, inviting us to consider the new materiality of our living realm and its technological capacities. Over the last five years, the artist has built up a large collection of these hybrid synthetic/natural objects and photographed them as single images often arranged in formal grids.

Inspired by 1960s/70s minimalism, Perry’s photography avoids the campaigning rhetoric of straight environmental documentary. Rather it poetically alludes to what we might be leaving for future generations, adding a contemporary narrative to minimalist abstraction. The artist explains:

“My intention is to reduce the objects to their pure formal states separating them for a moment from any meaning beyond their sculptural presence. I present the objects as grids or in line sequence emphasising the infinite choice offered by our consumer culture and to provide an aesthetic framework where colours and forms can work off each other”.

Land/Sea (Tir/Môr) is a Ffotogallery Touring Exhibition, curated by David Drake and Ben Borthwick.

Remembering Bob Peters – Special Gallery Event


Remembering Bob Peters, and his fight against fascism during the Spanish Civil War.

A talk by author and broadcaster Greg Lewis, with an accompanying exhibition Wise and Foolish Dreamers about Wales’ role in the Spanish Civil War (by Phil Cope/Welsh Centre for International Affairs)

Bob Peters was born in Penarth in 1914. When his father did not return from World War 1, the family hit hard times. While still a teenager, Bob left to find work in Canada. There, he found politics and returned to Europe to be smuggled into Spain to fight in the Civil War. Badly wounded in the Battle of Brunete, Bob stayed on to work in the dangerous role of motorcycle despatch rider. He found love and adventure in Spain, but also saw the first affects on the world of Hitler’s Fascism. He died in 2007.

Greg Lewis is a television producer & author. He has written a number of nonfiction books on a variety of subjects, including a Bullet Saved My Life, which tells Bob Peters’ story. He has produced more than sixty documentaries for television and radio and has won major broadcast awards from BAFTA Cymru and the Guild of Health Writers UK. His recent work includes Shadow Warriors, a book about female agents during World War 2 and Aberfan, which he wrote with disaster survivor Gaynor Madgwick.

Monday 9 January 2017 / Turner House / from 6pm / FREE

IN TRUST – Reframing Wales’ Stories

7. Arturas Valiauga_Mr. Brian Forster_Tasting Day_Entrance to the Hall_Tredegar House_2014 copy

23 September – 30 October 2016

The Orangery, Tredegar House, Newport, NP10 8YW

Open daily, 10.30am – 4pm

In July 2014, Lithuanian photographer Arturas Valiauga visited four National Trust properties in Wales as part of his European Prospects residency with Ffotogallery. At Dyffryn GardensTredegar HousePlas Newydd and Penrhyn Castle he encountered the private and public faces of these historic places and the men and women who make up the community of people who look after them today. Thanks to the generous access granted by the National Trust Wales and the help given by its staff and volunteers, Valiauga was able to explore the four houses in all their aspects – behind the scenes and after closing time. His images encapsulate a moment in time in the lives of these places, which have since outlived those that built them. His quiet, poetic photographs celebrate the commitment of the people who ‘serve’ these houses and offer us a privileged insight.

Arturas Valiauga (b. 1967) lives and works in Vilnius, Lithuania. His work deals with themes of social identity and the passing of time. Valiauga graduated from Vilnius College of Technologies and Design and went on to gain a Masters degree in Photography and Media Art at Vilnius Art Academy. Since 1992 he has been a member of the Union of Lithuanian Art Photographers and in 2003 he established Fotoprojektai, the first studio of advertising photography in Lithuania. The artist is represented by Eglė Deltuvaitė at the Lithuanian organisation Culture Menu.

We would like to thank the National Trust Wales for their generous support of this project, and the Lithuanian Cultural Institute and the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania, London.

Related Events

Opening Event / Thursday 6 October / 9.30 – 11am

Jon Pountney – Iris and Me

© Jon Pountney

Exclusive UK Venue: Park Inn Hotel, Cardiff City, Dates: 13 – 16 October 2016, 10.30am – late
International Tour: LA, Melbourne, Tel Aviv, Hamburg and Oslo: January – November 2017

Ffotogallery is delighted to announce that it is partnering with Iris Prize 2016 for the staging of the IRIS AND ME exhibition and screen-based installation, featuring ten years’ work by South Wales based photographer Jon Pountney. This ambitious presentation marks the tenth anniversary of Iris Prize (Cardiff’s International LGBT Short Film Prize).

Ffotogallery has partnered with Iris Prize since the inaugural Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography in 2013, which Ffotogallery initiated and runs biennially. David Drake, Ffotogallery and Diffusion Festival Director, commented,

It’s a privilege to be working with Iris on this exhibition, for the tenth edition of this ground-breaking festival and the associated Iris Prize. Both organisations share a vision to place Wales at the centre of the international arena in terms of supporting and recognising emerging talent

Iris is identified as one of the top 50 film festivals in the world by Movie Maker Magazine, and the festival prides itself on sharing the best content from around the globe to audiences in Cardiff each October.