SURFACES Opening Night event
June 17th, 19:00 BST












Part 1 - Panel Discussion

with Chris McCabe, Jon Nicholls, Federica Chiocchetti & David Solo

Chris McCabe’s work crosses artforms and genres including poetry, fiction, non-fiction, drama and visual art. His work has been shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award and the Republic of Consciousness Prize. His most recent collection is The Triumph of Cancer (2018), which is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and his most recent novel is Mud (2019), a version of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, set beneath Hampstead Heath. He is the co-editor of The New Concrete: Visual Poetry for the 21st Century (2015) and editor of Poems from the Edge of Extinction: An Anthology of Poetry in Endangered Languages (2019).

Jon Nicholls is the Director of Arts & Creativity at Thomas Tallis School in London, UK. He is a teacher of photography and the co-creator of Photopedagogy and Artpedagogy. Jon has collaborated with Photoworks, The Royal Photographic Society and The Photographers’ Gallery on a number of educational projects and resources. In his spare time Jon enjoys making photographs and has recently published a book of photopoetry, All of it, with his poet wife Kate Ling.

Writer, curator, editor and lecturer Federica Chiocchetti (PhD) specialises in photography and literature. Through her platform Photocaptionist she collaborates with international institutions such as Fotomuseum Winterthur, Jeu de Paume and Foam. Recently completed her PhD, ‘Photo-Texts: Critical Intersections in History’ at London’s University of Westminster, her writings have appeared in L’Uomo Vogue and Aperture’s PhotoBook Review. 

David Solo is a Brooklyn based collector, independent writer and researcher, and patron focused on artist and photo books.  He is a frequent speaker on artist/photo books in NY and Europe and is actively involved with a number of institutions in London and New York (New York Public Library, Kraszna-Krausz Foundation, 10x10 photobooks). Most recently he is working on the global history of photography and poetry in book form as well as related photo-text topics.



Part 2 - Artist Performances and Conversation

with Tom Hicks/Liz Berry, Astra Papachristodoulou, James Knight, Laurent Chevalier, SJ Fowler, Sarah Cave/Dragana Jurisic, Paul Hawkins & Vik Shirley

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SJ Fowler / Bård Torgersen

From CrOWFiNgER (Sampson Low, 2020)

A collaboration juxtaposing Torgersen's candid and haunting photographs of Norwegian forests and Fowler's precise and unrelenting poetry; it comes at you like evening fog between the trees.


Dragana Jurisic / Sarah Cave

From The Merits of Tracer Fire (Abridged, 2020)

A collaborative text by Dragana Jurisic, Sarah Cave and Susanna Galbraith, which emphasises the connections between language-making, digital 'exploration', algorithmic nightmare, and daily ritual. The book also draws parallels with the traces we leave behind in digital and non-digital spheres.

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Astra Papachristodoulou

From My Feathered Friend (Poem Atlas, 2021)

A4 size material poem made with lokta paper and cardboard

cut-outs. Inspired by a Guildfordian Robin that has been visiting Astra for the last year.

Amak Mahmoodian

From Zanjir (RRB Photobooks / ICVL, 2019)

Zanjir is a conversation imagined between the artist, Amak Mahmoodian and the Persian princess and memoirist, Taj Saltaneh. A universal meditation on loss and separation, the book draws on imagery from the Golestan archives in Tehran, texts and photographs by Mahmoodian, and excerpts from Taj Saltaneh’s memoirs.

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Sophie Herxheimer / Chris McCabe

from The Practical Visionary (Hercules Editions, 2017)

Photo collage by Sophie Herxheimer from Sophie and Chris McCabe's collaborative book inspired by William Blake.

Vik Shirley

From Disrupted Blue and other poems on Polaroid (Hesterglock Press, 2021)


A combination of discarded Polaroids, believed to have been taken by Vik's mother, now deceased, sometime in the 1970s and Vik's experimental text generated from lyrics of one of her mother's favourite albums, Joni Mitchell's Blue,; themes of travel, tragedy, love and loss, defamiliarised and disrupting, to fit the unfamiliar places in the pictures, that, in some way, at this time, represent Vik's mother.

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Tom Hicks/Liz Berry

Works from If Destroyed Still True (The Modernist Society, 2020)


This photo book is the latest instalment of an ongoing collaboration between poet Liz Berry and artist Tom Hicks. Both create work inspired by the landscape and people of their native Black Country, a post-industrial region of the West Midlands.

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Jamila Lysicott / Laurent Chevalier

From Enough (Kris Graves Projects, 2020)


Inspired by the classic observer artists before him (al la Roy DeCarava, Garry Winogrand, and Robert Frank) Chevalier brings a modern spirit and informed sophistication to NYC in what is specifically a story of Blackness. Spanning a period of 5 years, punctuated by poetry by Brooklyn native Dr. Jamila Lysicott, Enough is a tangible exploration of the intersections of the Black experience. Through a lens of candid observation, Enough explores themes of patriotism, power, family and spirit. It does not seek to describe an experience holistically, but rather to present avenues that the viewer may choose and follow at will.


Paul Hawkins

from WHY CHANT MEAT (Hesterglock Press, 2021)

Experimental Visual and Photo Poems: removing, replacing & defacing advertising or any art/text/logo/image etc is not vandalism, it's a conscious act of tidying up that is legally & morally defensible.

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Incorporating treated photographs of living organisms and fragmented equations used by theoretical physicists, these visual poems explore the beautifully counterintuitive insights of quantum gravity theory.

James Knight