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Helen Cryer: How did the idea for opening the PH. exhibition space come about?

PH. We have been friends for a long time and have worked together on projects in the past. In 2011 we both travelled to Malaysia for a residency with the Asia Europe foundation to examine cultural heritage. Here we worked with a group of international artists, curators and academics to put together a photographic exhibition at the end of the residency. We really enjoyed working together and shared a lot of similar ideas about photography, we felt that contemporary photography wasn't well represented in Newcastle. Kuba had wanted to open a photography space in Newcastle for a while and we decided to do it together. We feel that our working relationship works well as we each have different strengths and interests, like Ying & Yang in a way.

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HC: As PH. is already located inside an established artist-run space, did you find it easier to gather funding and support?

PH. Will Strong and Will Marshall from the NewBridge Project have been really supportive throughout and have given us the space in-kind. It is also great being surrounded by creative and open minds, the studio is a great environment to breed discussion and get feedback from all the artists working there. We don't have much funding but plenty of enthusiasm and ideas. We got a small start up grant from IdeasTap, and I'm sure the fact we have a space secured helped the decision to fund us. Our friend Emily Rivron is also running the Great North Run soon with all the sponsorship being very kindly donated to PH and the upcoming programme. Kuba is also documenting Emily's training and the run itself so hopefully we will also have something to show at the end.

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HC: What are the main aims of PH.?

PH. Aims are simple, to promote, exhibit, discuss and explore fresh approach to the medium of photography.

HC: Sometimes photography isn't taken seriously as an art form, especially when anyone can be a photographer, how can PH. help to promote photography as an artistic practice to a wider audience?

PH. First of all we have to change definition of photography itself. Above all photography is the most familiar tool for our eyes to recognize reality. In these terms art and 'non-art' photo creations receive our gaze in the same way. Photography is actually taken more serious as an art form these days than in the past and general enthusiasm to this medium is constantly growing. By showing new and fairly unknown works by various artists we want to create a dialog within photography. Comments we received after the first show WHERE DOES TIME GO were mostly along the lines 'its different in a good way', so it seems to be working.

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HC: What are your ambitions for the future?

PH. We have already programmed the next 2 shows, which we are keeping under our hats for now. We hope to keep exploring the changes within photography and the perception of the image and reality through a regular rolling programme in the gallery and also start to programme screenings, talks and other events in the space to encourage more of a dialogue around the shows and the medium in general. In the future our bigger ambitions are to reach more people, take work outside the gallery to a more public platform. Collaborate with international partners and reach international audiences.

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PH. is an exhibition space based in Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) dedicated to photography, film and post-photography aesthetics. PH. is a space to promote, exhibit, discuss and re-examine contemporary photographic practice.

We aim to examine how the mediums digital advances and the increased amount of mobile photographic devices has created a more accessible and potentially democratic medium – everyone is a photographer now.

As darkrooms and film become less and less, our memories are now held in the endless capacity of the digital ether, conducted via screen, the fight between pixel vs chemical. Has photography finally lost its physical presence? PH. aims to re-examine the current state of photography, how we now choose to view it and its many possible futures.

PH. is supported by IdeasTap and The NewBridge Project.