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.

David Barnes – in solution

From ‘in solution’ © David Barnes

FFOTOGALLERY_DIG_0021215 October – 3 December 2016

Emerging from the economic and social fallout of the decline of the region’s heavy industries, communities in South Wales are re-defining themselves for a new future. However, old traditions and institutions persist along with particular rituals and behaviours.

David Barnes’ exhibition in solution captures some of the particularities, and peculiarities, of South Wales’ life. This new Ffotogallery commission, supported by the Arts Council of Wales and Caerphilly County Borough Council, reflects Barnes’ work over the last four years. As a continuation of his long-term preoccupation with life and history in the region, in solution explores the competing forces that can shape social identity and cultural change.

Barnes’ experimental approach to documentary connects disparate realms of experience, from the ritualised worlds of Freemasonry and similar organisations, to everyday life in rural settings and the globalised spaces of the factory or retail park. This is the first time a UK artist has been granted such long-term access to Masonic organisations and their meetings. Barnes mixes stills photography, video and collected objects to weave a rich, and at times surreal, tale about life in the South Wales Valleys and the areas bordering England.

David Drake, Ffotogallery’s Director, comments:

“David Barnes is a great storyteller, capturing both the strange and familiar. This exhibition offers a remarkable ‘insider’ perspective on some extraordinary practices that lie behind everyday reality in Wales”.

Related Events

Exhibition Preview / Thursday 13 October 2016 / 6pm / FREE

Tea & Cake Tuesday / Tuesday 18 October 2016 / 11am – 4pm / FREE

Jana Romanova – Adopted Welsh

from Adopted Welsh, © Jana Romanova

20 October – 19 November 2016

11 High Street, Cardiff, CF10 1AW

What does it mean to be Welsh? If you want to integrate into the Welsh community, what should you wear, and how do you need to behave to be accepted?

These are some of the questions posed by Russian artist Jana Romanova in this body of work Adopted Welsh.

Developed as part of a Ffotogallery residency in 2015 within the European Prospects international programme, Romanova crowd sourced ideas, calling out to people across Wales with the question “If I was to become Welsh, what would my future here look like?”

Travelling across Wales, she did exactly what people suggested she should do – sing in a choir, play and watch rugby, join a historical re-enactment society, become a local schoolteacher.

This first exhibition of the resulting work shows in warm, and often hilarious, terms what it means for a Russian woman to become ‘adopted Welsh’. The exhibition will be presented in a new temporary city centre venue and Ffotogallery is delighted be partnering with Cardiff Contemporary for their third citywide festival with the theme “Communication”.

David Drake, Ffotogallery’s Director, comments:

“Hailing from St Petersburg, Jana Romanova is a very exciting photographic artist and we are proud to be presenting her work during Cardiff Contemporary 2016. With a highly participatory approach, alongside her photography and video work the artist uses her own body and performance, questioning her own identity and exploring the different roles photography plays within our society”.