top of page

The People's Picture. Format Festival, Derby.

A JPG file called 'Everydays — The First Five Thousand Days' by the artist Beeple sold for almost $70 million by Christie's in an online auction Thursday 11 March. The digital collage sets the Crypto Art Record.

Image credit People's Picture / Format Festival 2021

That evening I virtually attended the Format Photography Festival, private view. I have a connection to Derby because I grew up in the Midlands, studied at Art College in Burton on Trent a neighbouring town and attended a portfolio review at the photography festival back in 2014. Amongst others my portfolio was reviewed by festival director Louise Clements and curator Laura Noble. During the first lockdown I photographed my lockdown series and titled it Retreat using the caption. 'I recently learned from a guru who studied silence, that we should replace the word quarantine with retreat.' At the time of posting, over on Instagram I hashtagged #massisolationformat on the very last day of their open call. I was pleased they liked and shared my post.

On the same week the JPG file Sells For $69 Million. A giant photo mosaic created by Helen Marshall, initiater of The People’s Picture, was unveiled as part of the #massisolationFORMAT project at #FORMAT21 International Photography Festival. The online interactive high resolution 180 giga pixel image is composed of a total of 180,574 photos. When the viewer zooms in they are able to see the individual photos from close up and in detail. The image can be viewed, 12 March – 11 April 2021 online and the outside of The Quad, Market street, Derby.

Image credit People's Picture / Format Festival 2021

Through the community of photographers I have shown with in the past. I noticed that my photography friends were posting screenshots on social media of their images being used in The People's Picture. On the Saturday I took the time to see if my image had been included in the Peoples Picture. There were 168 pages of images. Usually I will flick through physical books starting at the back. I started my search for my image on on page 168. To my surprise I found my Frida Kahlo self portrait on page 115.

Having been shared by high profile people in the photo industry such as Mimi Mollica - Offspring Photo Meet, Eugenio Grosso - Quarantine Tales, Lucy Bell Gallery and selected by judge Manuel Rivera-Ortiz in the Fix Photography Fesival, curated by Laura Noble. All of these have been shown online via Instagram or virtual galleries and unlike the artist Beeple "Everydays — The First Five Thousand Days" I have not received any payment for my digital contributions. Imagine if the People's Picture sold for $69 million, each image included would be worth $1,750.

Image credit: screenshot from Fix Still Life 2020

The good news is that my Retreat series, has now been selected by Beth Burgess, Executive Producer from Brighton Festival and Dome. Images from the series are to be included in a physical exhibit at the Phoenix Window Gallery, as part of the Brighton Festival 21. The 'Our Place' exhibition under the theme of Care, opens on 1 May. Due to COVID restrictions the show will be visible from the street, then hopefully as lockdown eases the art gallery will open to the public on 17 May 2021.

46 views0 comments


bottom of page