10 August, 2011

Donovan Wylie: Outposts - Bradford Fellowship 2010/11

Blogger: Philippa Wright, Curator of Photography

Magnum photographer Donovan Wylie recently visited us to work on the final stages of his premiere exhibition Outposts. This new work is the outcome of a unique collaboration between us and the Imperial War Museum.

Watchtower. Combat Operating Post, Folad, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, 2011. © Donovan Wylie

Donovan was awarded the prestigious Bradford Fellowship 2010/11, a partnership between Bradford College, the University of Bradford and ourselves. This was crucial in securing funding for the Outposts project. It enabled Donovan to extend his interests in the increasingly transient nature of modern military architecture and, the ways it is deployed in military observation.

Donovan Wylie in Afghanistan

In 2010 we began the collaboration to embed Donovan Wylie with the Canadian contingent of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. In doing so, he became the first Imperial War Museum official photographer to work in a war zone since the end of the First World War.

Donovan Wylie being filmed

Throughout his career, the Belfast-born artist has remained fascinated by the ways in which conflict shapes people’s lives. His earlier works were influenced by the impact of the Troubles on his homeland. The theme of military and observation buildings can be seen in his photographs of the Maze prison (The Maze, 2004) and military watchtowers in Northern Ireland (British Watchtowers, 2007). The exhibition also includes work from these earlier projects.

This exhibition also forms part of Ways of Looking -a new photography Festival in Bradford (1 - 30 October).

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