Photograph from Another Place talk, Alan Ward, Norwich Cathedral, 2022 | Image: courtesy of the artist

Alan Ward

“I first met Mark when I attended a funding workshop in 2018, where I was struck by his calm, methodical and thoughtful presentation. There were aspects of that workshop that certainly helped my successful ACE project grant application for PFAP. 

I reached a point in 2021 where it all felt a bit ‘why’?’ and ‘what next?’, so I applied for StudioBook and was lucky enough to be selected to take part. I needed to understand more clearly where my practice sat in a wider art world context and StudioBook provided a safe and supportive environment for me to open up and be challenged on all aspects of this. Mark was insightful and guiding, the development programme allowed all participants to share their experiences within the structured modules, something that I absolutely loved and looked forward to each week. I gained much beneficial knowledge, enjoyed the varied practices of my peers, and broadened my ways of thinking about my work. It certainly facilitated a renewed sense of focus and direction, and the programme documentation remains a constant reference point as I push forward on a new long-term project. Friendships have been made and even collaborations are being discussed… and I have continued working with Mark around aspects of my practice, and imagine further collaboration in the future.”

Alan Ward’s practice is informed by personal and institutional archives, research and community engagement. Recent outputs have included: ‘Photographs from Another Place’ (PFAP) – a five-year semi-autobiographical exploration of a ‘lost’ family photographic archive, and the stories revealed and communities it touched (ACE funded touring exhibition and book); ‘#I_Am_Clarion’ – a reflection on the importance of the Clarion Cycling’s historical communal bond, which through a collective event became a declaration of Socialist identity resulting in an artist publication and musette (Mid Pennine Arts); and ‘Pass! Shoot!! Goal!!!’, co-created with Neville Gabie – a community interpretation of the first commercially recorded song about football by Gracie Fields, resulting in an immersive gallery-based video installation (Touchstones Gallery, Rochdale).