New Wave 12: NE Photography Network

Continuing my tour of the North I set off to Sunderland where the revamped university campus provides a home for the Northern Centre of Photography. From within a stand-alone stone-clad building, incongruous against its shiny counterparts, Carol McKay and Amanda Ritson oversee the activities of the North East Photography Network. Inside, the centre’s white corridors gleam and students hurry between darkrooms housing neat rows of enlargers. Despite the audible buzz of activity it’s clear how a photography degree can feel a little removed from the world outside.

This is where Carol enters to tell me about why the network was established and what she, an academic, gets from it. For an organisation framed by a large institution there is something reassuringly grass roots about the way the NEPN pursue their activity. Perhaps this is why Carol is so resistant to calling their forthcoming photo month a festival. That is, their desire rests in finding meaningful ways to nurture a photography culture in the North East and for this they're in it for the long term.   Laura Guy


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