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IC Visual Lab





CATALYST is a 7 month mentorship program produced by IC Visual Lab in collaboration with Bristol Photo Festival for those who wish to further their personal career and, importantly, to expand their approach and ways of photographing and exhibiting. The program is open to local based, national and international practitioners who are at the beginning of their creative career. We are aiming to create an intersectional variety of participants that bring a plurality of visions and approaches. Through this program we hope to offer a long term opportunity to 6 photographers who will receive support from a team of mentors with experience in various creative fields (artists, curators, designers, editors, arts management…). The aim is for participants to continue and finish a body of work to be exhibited as part of the exhibitions 2021 Spring program in Bristol.

"This programme seeks to emphasise the importance of the creative process with the help of an experienced team of mentors that will challenge and guide participants into a more energetic and experimental approach towards photography”

The mentoring program will be mainly delivered using online platforms so the participants won’t need to travel to attend every session.

CATALYST | Mentorship Program produced by IC Visual Lab in collaboration with Bristol Photo Festival and with the support of the Arts Council of England.

If you have any questions about the program please send us an email to submissions@icvl.co.uk


This program is delivered in collaboration with Bristol Photo Festival where the resulting work developed by CATALYST participants will be presented. The theme of the first edition of Bristol Photo Festival is “A Sense of Place”.

To photograph a place is to describe a location that has been shaped, nurtured and even contested. It can define the frontier between nature and culture and hint at the complexities of ownership and access. It can be attended by competing narratives and polarised histories, whether they lean left or right. It can shape our understanding of the world and the qualities that come to define us and it can be about belonging, about appreciation and knowing a place so well that it is like no other. The components of cultural landscape elements play a significant role in defining the sense of place. These components are people, landform, water bodies, climate, economy, social, political which influence on the identity of place.


- A monthly session of 1h with a personal mentor
- 2 additional sessions of 1h with other mentors from the team and program coordinators
- £350 artist fee
- A featured interview + portfolio in Bristol Photo Festival website
- Production costs of a group exhibition as part of the Bristol Photo Festival Programme in Spring 2021. Also the opportunity to present this work publicly with a talk, performance or action.


Julián Barón
(Artist / Educator)

Born 1978 , Castellón, Spain. Lives and works in Segorbe, Spain. Julián Barón mixes photography, video, sound collage, installation, books and other media. His goal: to offer unorthodox points of view and weaken the rigidity of the collective imagination and official speeches that build memory, history and identity through pictures. The body of visual work he has developed reacts to convulsive sociopolitical events and allows him to take a critical position.


Lebohang Kganye
( Artist )

Lebohang Kganye (b. 1990, Katlehong) is an artist living and working in Johannesburg. Kganye received her introduction to photography at the Market Photo Workshop in 2009 and completed the Advanced Photography Programme in 2011. She also completed her Fine Arts studies at the University of Johannesburg in 2016 and forms a new generation of contemporary South African photographers. Although primarily a photographer, Kganye’s photography often incorporates her interest in sculpture and performance. Over the past six years she has participated in photography masterclasses and group exhibitions locally and internationally.


Colin Pantall
(Photographer / Writer / Educator)

Colin Pantall is a writer, lecturer and photographer based in Bath, Europe. He writes for a range of publications including World Press Photo, Magnum Photos, The British Journal of Photography, Photomonitor, and Source Magazine. He teaches at Falmouth, Bath Spa, and the University of Gloucestershire and will be running an online series of lectures this September linking contemporary photography to global, historical, and theoretical perspectives. His photography focusses on domestic environments and family, and include his projects Sofa Portraits, All Quiet on the Home Front, and My German Family Album, projects where the conflicting narratives of family, environmental and political histories collide.


Dragana Jurišić (Artist / Educator)
Dragana Jurišić is an ex-Yugoslav artist based in Ireland since 1999. She works predominantly through the medium of photography, film and installation. Jurišić's practice explores the issues of gender, stereotyping and the effects of exile and displacement on memory and identity. Born in the former Yugoslavia and now living and working in Dublin, Dragana Jurišić received her PhD from the European Centre for Photographic Research in 2013. She is a Visiting Fellow at the University of South Wales and Assistant Professor in Dublin City University. Working primarily with image, text and video, she has shown her work extensively and won numerous awards. Dragana Jurišić exhibits widely internationally.


Sarker Protick (Artist / Curator / Educator)
Sarker Protick has developed a practice that combines the roles of an image-maker, a teacher and infrequently a curator. His works revolve around the subjects of temporality, materiality of time and the metaphysical prospects of Light and Space. Working with Photography, Video and Sound manipulation, Protick has formed a series of works that are built on long-term surveys rooted in his home country, while simultaneously exploring ideas that blurs the notion of geopolitical boundaries. Incorporating detailed observations and subtle gestures, his works propose a subjective space, often minimal, vast and atmospheric. Protick is interested in themes such as alteration of land and border, colonial relics and modern ecological emergencies. His landscapes, portraits and photographic series engage philosophically with the specificities of personal and regional histories. Sarker Protick is a faculty member of Pathshala South Asian Media Institute and Co-curator at Chobi Mela International Festival of Photography.


Francesca Seravalle
(Artist / Curator)

Venetian, independent curator majored with a first class degree in Conservation of Cultural Heritage, winning a University fellowship at Magnum Photos Paris’ archives, over the past ten years she has collaborated with over sixty photographers including Koudelka, D’Agata and Kessels. Her works as a curator, writer and researcher include Dalston Anatomy by Lorenzo Vitturi book (SPBH, 2013) and solo shows in (Foam Museum, CNA Luxembourg, The Photographers’ Gallery); Shining in absence book (AMC – Kessels, 2015); Mother Nature (RVB – Kessels, 2015); Alex & Me and Coda by James Pfaff books (Montanari, 2016, 2018) and solo show at Street Level Photoworks Gallery; The Y by Alba Zari (Witty Kiwi, 2019) book and show (Maxxi); Era mare book by Matteo de Mayda (bruno, 2019). Seravalle, previously leader of the group of curators and archival researchers at Fabrica, has been Tutor for Fashion, Art and Cultural Context BA at Istituto Marangoni in London and Tutor for the Photobook and SelfPublish BA at London South Bank University. She supports artists in developing the concept and the layout of their books and exhibitions.



Alejandro Acín (Artist / Designer / Educator)
Alejandro Acin is an artist, designer and educator based in the United Kingdom. After working for more than four years in an archival institution, he uses his personal practice to investigate contemporary uses of visual archives. To expand the understanding of self-publishing he uses photography, film, collaborative strategies, site-specific installations, publications and digital platforms to convey his ideas. His work has been exhibited in the UK, Italy, Spain and Colombia. Acín is also founder director of IC Visual Lab, an artist-led organization based in Bristol (UK) that produces and supports contemporary photography across audiences. In 2016, he founded ICVL Studio where he collaborates with other artists and organizations as a designer and art director in printed/digital publishing projects and exhibitions. He is currently associated lecturer in Documentary Photography at the University of South Wales.


Safia Belhaj (Designer)
Safia Belhaj is a recent graphic design graduate, from the University of the West of England, who is based in Bristol, UK. Having grown up in, and a citizen of, multiple countries her work is inspired by culture and identity. Her versatility across multiple mediums, although she as a passion for print, means she is able to work on a variety of different projects. Her latest collection of work revolves around exploring how to keep culture alive and reviving her own dying culture. A storyteller at heart, she uses this skill to help others tell their own stories.



Billy Barraclough (UK)
Billy Barraclough is a photographer based in Bristol who is interested in the metaphorical power of photographs. His subject matter is broad, and ranges from pigeon fancying in Lebanon to more introspective and personal work about his own family history. Barraclough’s practice lies in photographing signs and signifiers that appear within his environment and speak to, or hint at, themes within his projects. He is just coming to the end of his Master’s
Degree in Photography at Bristol UWE, and currently works as a picture editor.

His working series, Impressions, is a retelling and reprocessing of the events of my family history, exploring the childhood loss of his Dad and the long arm of grief through self-portraiture, performance and metaphor. Taking influence from the objects my Dad left behind, his photographic archive, and the way in which he lives on through these, the work recreates photographs and explores the emotions connected to the loss of my Dad through the symbolism present within the landscape of the home and surrounding area.


Debsuddha Banerjee (India)
Born in 1989, is an independent photographer from Birati, West Bengal, India. Since 2015 he has been involved with photography, professionally. He does not possess any formal education in photography from any institution despite of having aspirations to be educated from art school. All the knowledge he has been gathering from the workshops he got selected.

The body of work is about seeking the companionship and psychological struggle of my elderly unmarried aunts, siblings of my mother, who have been already spending socially an isolated life being discriminated due to their skin color, being in forceful confinement during the time of the pandemic. Companionship is a vector to build a space that can gradually grow as a place, sometimes virtually or sometimes physically that floats through and shapes the psychology which reflects in the time of crisis, prominently. This series was initiated during the VII Academy programme.


Jenna Garret (US)
Jenna Garrett is an artist and editor living in San Francisco, California. Her current practice focuses on the Ozarks in southwest Missouri where she was born. Her work was selected for American Photography 36 and has shown at the Aperture Gallery, Photoville, and Slideluck. She received an MA in Fine Art Photography from the London College of Communication. She can also ride a unicycle, but only in a straight line.
'This Holy Hill' explores spirituality and myth in America through a rural vacation town. Branson, Missouri is a population of 11,400 nestled in the Ozark Mountains. For more than a century it’s served as a much-loved tourist destination, drawing an estimated 7 million a year at its height. The region champions a particular subset of American values, but above all, a belief its existence is blessed by god. I was born an hour north of Branson. As a child, I visited several times a year. My work examines the foundation on which I was raised. Through a combination of documentary and staged images, I create a nuanced portrait of a
worldview often over-simplified.


Kelly O’Brien (UK)
Kelly O'Brien is a photographic artist and educator from Derby, UK. Her current practice focuses on historical and personal narratives, tuned with methodologies that  explore both the personal and political. The central themes are class, identity, memory,  fragmentation and the imagined landscape. She holds an MA in Documentary Photography from the University of South Wales and her work  has been displayed both nationally and internationally.

There was a single moment of near contact with my father when I was 7 years old; as his hand suddenly reached through the letterbox of my mother's front door. He died 8 years after this brief encounter took place. It would be another decade until I would learn of his death, from the mouth of my grandmother as we wandered through the aisles of our local supermarket. Over the preceding years, discovering information about my father proved near impossible, with family members only revealing fragments of who he might have been and what he might have been like. In an attempt to uncover this immaterial man I collaborate with clairvoyants to trace an impression of my estranged father. The information gathered is translated within a visual framework where psychic drawings, automated writing and attempts to communicate with my father are integrated.


Maria Gracia Cebrecos  (Peru)
Maria Gracia Cebrecos Loayza (1990,Peru) is an independent photographer, designer and
architect. She graduated from Architecture and Urbanism at PUCP University. She is an self-taught artist interested in developing a body of work that starts from documentary photography and is followed by the application of different techniques, such as: material exploration, video, painting, sculpture and space. Her purpose is to construct new realities that most of the time cannot be easily seen, not only through images but also through the experience of inhabiting.

The Peruvian jungle is part of the largest tropical rainforest in the world: “The Amazon”. Due to its size, many places remain unknown even to natives. Thus, as you go into the heart of the rainforest a darker and shadier atmosphere is perceived. Indigenous communities have a lot of respect for magic, witch craft and “curanderia” or traditional natural healing. Part of it, lies in legends that are transmitted through generations amongst ethnic groups, but what is most important is that these belong to their cosmovision: beliefs and way of living life. These communities inhabit in this magical universe, where the Amazon River is the mother of their mythology and it represents ancestral strength and knowledge.

Sibusiso Bheka (South Africa)
Sibusiso Bheka was born in 1997 in Thokoza, South Africa. He discovered photography in 2012 while in secondary school, with the Of Soul and Joy project. He studied photography at the Vaal University of Technology through the Rubis Mecenat and Easigas scholarship grant.

In township-taal, a wall around your house is called a ‘Stop Nonsense’ as in, go away, don’t bother me, ‘stop your nonsense’. A stop nonsense is a symbol to everyone who passes by that you are going up in the world, it is a barricade of spears between yourself and your environment that you have something now, worth securing, worth looking after. This documentary project takes place at my grandmother’s house in a township called Thokoza, the township was established in the early 1950’s under a racial segregation government act and not much has changed. In this documentary project I use the physical barrier of a wall as a canvas to represents the past and present experiences which led my grandmother to build the stop nonsense around her house, as well as to express the psychological or symbolic barrier between neighbours and their environment.


Arts Council of England 
WEX Photo&Video

1000words magazine, The Guardian & 24/7 Bristol.

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