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Posted on Jul 21, 2024 by in Events

TALK PHOTO is a fortnightly evening social event in Oriel Colwyn’s gallery space, where invited speakers will be here IN PERSON to share presentations and insights about their work or projects, with a friendly intimate audience.

Due to space limitations, we will be restricting each event to 25 tickets only and are happy to make the tickets FREE OF CHARGE to remove any financial barriers to attend.

Although the talks are free of charge, tickets will be required to attend and they will be issued on a first come, first served basis via the links – be quick!

We do ask however that if you find you can’t make it, you return the ticket for others that may be on the waiting list.

If you do happen to be in a position to contribute towards the talks then donations can be made as you order which will directly help with the continuation of these events going forward.

Tickets for current TALK PHOTO events are now available via the link(s) below:

To make things fair we will only release tickets for these events on a monthly basis.



Homer Sykes is a professional magazine and documentary photographer. His principal commissions in Britain during the 1970’s – 1980’s, were for what used to be called the “weekend colour supplements” such as The Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Observer, You and the Sunday Express magazines. 

He covered weekly news for Newsweek, Time, and the former Now! Magazine; covering conflicts in Israel, Lebanon, and Northern Ireland, as well as weekly news in the UK. Over the last fifty years he has shot numerous magazine portraits of the famous and not so famous – at home, at work and at play. Having always worked on personal photographic documentary projects along side commercial magazine assignments.  

In the 1970’s, Homer started on what has become an on going career project documenting traditional British folklore customs and annual events.  In 1977 his first book was published ‘Once a Year, Some Traditional British Customs’ (Gordon Fraser). In 2016 Dewi Lewis Publishing re-published this volume with over 50 ‘new’ images from his archive.  

Homer is the author, and co-author-photographer of nine books about Britain as well as Shanghai Odyssey (Dewi Lewis Publishing) and On the Road Again (Mansion Editions). The latter, an American project, was started in 1969, while he was at college. The photographic road trip was repeated in 1971, the work was then put away for thirty years, and in 1999 and 2001 he travelled once again by Greyhound bus criss-crossing America documenting the ‘down home’ idiosyncrasy of everyday middle America. 

In 2002 he set up a one-man band self-publishing concern Mansion Editions. To date Mansion Editions has published On the Road Again and Hunting with Hounds. More recently Cafe Royal Books have published 30 zines of Homer’s work.

As an award-winning photographer he has never been busier, managing an extensive archive of over twenty thousand content rich images, working on personal projects, and shooting new material.

Many private collectors and national collections of his work. Homer spent ten years visiting Lecturers at the London College of Communication (University of the Arts London) taking group and one-to-one tutorials with both MA and BA students studying Photojournalism and Documentary photography.

The Burry Man, South Queensferry, Scotland from the book Once a Year: Some Traditional British Customs ©Homer Sykes
Mari Llwyd, Llangynwyd, Wales from the forthcoming book An Annual Affair: Some Traditional British Calendar Customs.  (to be published Oct 2024) ©Homer Sykes



Profile Image – Outside Burberry, Regent St – London, 2023 ©John Perivolaris

James Clifford Kent returns to Oriel Colwyn – the home of his first exhibition Memories of a Lost Shark (2013) – to share stories about his continuing work in the UK and Cuba. 

James Clifford Kent is a London-based photographer and lectures on visual culture at Royal Holloway, University of London. His socially-engaged practice and collaborative projects involve connecting people through the power of visual storytelling. 

His award-winning work exploring untold stories and marginalised communities has been published widely, featuring in the press (The Times and The British Journal of Photography) and world-leading journals (The Lancet, History of Photography & Royal Photographic Society Journal).

James has also exhibited work and supported curatorial projects at Royal Academy of Arts & The Photographers’ Gallery, and facilitated workshops and delivered keynote talks at prestigious institutions, including The British Library and Fototeca de Cuba. His first book – Aesthetics and the Revolutionary City – was published in 2019 and he was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society in 2022.

James has traveled regularly to Cuba since 2004, covering historical events such as the funeral procession of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 2016. His award-winning project “¡No hay más na’!” (There’s Nothing Left, 2022–24) documents narratives of survival in crisis-hit Cuba.

Other recent work capturing expectant parents and healthcare workers’ experiences of pregnancy/birth has involved collaborating with NHS England (2022-24) and contributing to a broader conversation on health and social welfare.

He is currently working on his first photobook – Yuma – about his experiences living and working on the island between 2004-2024.

Cary, Axiuli & Haytoo, ©James Clifford Kent
Gema Montoya – NHS midwife, ©James Clifford Kent




Jack Latham is a photographer based in the UK. He is the author of several photobooks, A Pink Flamingo (2015), Sugar Paper Theories (2016), Parliament of Owls (2019), Latent Bloom (2020) & Beggar’s Honey (2023)

His work has featured in a number of solo shows which include, Reykjavik Museum of Photography, TJ Boulting Gallery and the Royal Photographic Society. Parliament of Owls was exhibited at Oriel Colwyn in 2020

In ‘Parliament of Owls’, Jack Latham explores the effects that a vacuum of information can cause.

Nestled within the redwood forests of Monte Rio, northern California, sits Bohemian Grove, a 2,700-acre retreat owned by the exclusive gentlemen’s San Francisco Bohemian Club, founded in 1872.
Every summer, the retreat is frequented by the political and business elite of the US. Shrouded in secrecy, the activities at the grove have become the subject of countless conspiracy theories and rumours.

Jack’s latest work, ‘Beggar’s Honey’ is an exploration into the clandestine world of click farms. 

Click farms are shadowy operations that are responsible for artificially inflating the engagement metrics of content on social media, manipulating the algorithms with serious consequences – from influencing consumer behaviour to compromising the integrity of democratic processes.

Jack Latham’s project seeks to expose the inner workings of click farms for the very first time. By juxtaposing the captivating with the covert, he challenges our perception of the digital landscape and urges us to question the authenticity of the content we encounter daily.

Latham’s projects have also gone on to win multiple awards including the Bar-Tur Photobook award (2015), Image Vevey – Heidi.News Prize (2019) and BJP International Photography Award (2019).

Phantom Patriot was the name taken by Richard McCaslin of Carson City, Nevada, who, on January 19, 2002, attempted an attack on the Bohemian Grove after viewing Alex Jones’ documentary. He was imprisoned in California for 8 years. He now resides in Nevada and has a super hero base in his backyard which he refers to as the ‘Protectorate Outpost’ – © Jack Latham
Crossroad at night, Oregon, 2012 ©Jack Latham



Carolyn Mendelsohn is an artist and portrait photographer based in Yorkshire but working across the UK, whose practice is rooted in telling stories and amplifying those quieter voices through co-produced portraits. Her passion is to be able to connect and communicate with people of all ages and backgrounds, to create work that is strong, powerful and based on their lives and stories. 

She is recognised internationally for her portraits, including her portrait series, exhibition and book Being Inbetween, a series of portraits and stories of girls aged between 10-12, (of which a selection was exhibited as part of The Northern Eye Festival in 2021) and is the founder of Through Our Lens, a workshop and mentoring programme that enables people to tell their stories through the medium of photography.

Her work has been exhibited internationally, with solo and group exhibitions in national galleries including Impressions Gallery, Bradford, The Imperial War Museum London, Galerie Huit Arles, France, The Royal Albert Hall, and In Galleries across the UK and Europe. She has been published by the BBC, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, La Monde, and British Journal of Photography, The Royal Photographic Society Journal amongst many others. 

Carolyn’s awards include BJP Portrait of Britain 2017, 19, 21, 23 – Open Wall Arles winner 2020, The Kuala Lumpa International Portrait Awards 2021, The Royal Photographic Society International Photography exhibitions RPS IPE 159 gold and she was a finalist for RPS IPE 160. In 2020, Carolyn was named winner of the Portrait Series category for the 15th Julia Margaret Cameron Awards. Carolyn was nominated for the Royal Photographic Society 100 heroines award. 

Her monograph Being Inbetween was published by Bluecoat Press in November 2020, 

She is a freelance photographer and artist in Residence for Born In Bradford, alongside this she works on personal projects, and portrait commissions.  

Portraits from the series Being Inbetween ©Carolyn Mendelsohn
From the series Hardy and Free ©Carolyn Mendelsohn



Janine Wiedel is an internationally important documentary photographer whose work spans over five decades. Tutored by Ansel Adams and Nancy and Beaumont Newhall, she photographed the Black Power movement in the late 1960s and Berkeley People’s Park protest and riots of 1969. Arriving in England in 1970, she embarked on a continuous series of long-term projects including five years documenting Irish travellers. Her later work includes the Greenham Common Women’s Camp, the multicultural community squat in St Agnes Place, London, and the BAME and Rastafarian communities in Brixton. Her latest work includes six months photographing in the Calais ‘Jungle’ and Grande-Synthe refugee camp in Dunkirk. Always politically committed, Janine’s outstanding work is in the best traditions of humanist photography.

In 1977, Janine Wiedel set out in her VW campervan to photograph industry in England’s West Midlands – once the heart of the Industrial Revolution. A region that was home to thousands of businesses – from potteries and jewellers to coal mines, steel and iron works – was in steep decline; underinvestment over many decades in both premises and machinery had created a depressing situation where once world-leading businesses were no longer competitive internationally and facing a grim future.

Janine realised that this was a critical turning point in Britain’s industrial history and she set out to document the workers within their working environment. She was given remarkable access by the factories and was welcomed by the workforce, who greatly appreciated her interest in recording not just their daily work routines but also the bonding and social interaction that was so important in often grim factory environments. This industrial work became Vulcan’s Forge, which was exhibited in The Photographers Gallery in 1979 and is now a beautiful 250+ page monograph recently published by Bluecoat Press.

The Workshop at Smiths Drop Forge in Aston, Birmingham West Midland UK 1978 ©Janine Wiedel
Black Panther Rally to Free Huey Newton at Federal Building in San Francisco California in May 1969 ©Janine Wiedel



Michelle Sank was born in South Africa and settled in the UK in 1987. She grew up during Apartheid and is the daughter of Latvian immigrants. She cites this background as informing her interest in sub-cultures and the exploration of contemporary social issues and challenges. Her crafted portraits meld place and person creating sociological, visual and psychological landscapes and narratives.

Her photographs have been exhibited and published extensively in the UK, Europe, Australia and Mexico, South Africa and the U.S.A. Her imagery is held in the permanent collections of Allan Servais, Brussels, Open Eye Gallery Archive, Liverpool, Societe Jersiaise and Guernsey Museum, Channel Islands, Southeast Museum of Photography, Florida and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, RAMM, Exeter and The Museum of Youth Culture, UK.

She has won numerous prestigious awards, including:

The Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize, British Journal of Photography, and more recently, the Portraiture Category in the The Sony World Photography Awards 2024.

She has 5 Published Books to date, her latest work about the Burnthouse Lane Community in Exeter having just this month been published by Dewi Lewis.

Zenande, Sinawe, Zinathi, and Buhle 
(winning image in the Sony World Photo Award for Portraiture 2024) ©Michelle Sank
Maurice from My.Self ©Michelle Sank



Daniel Meadows, photographer and digital storyteller, is a twentieth century pioneer of British documentary practice. His photographs and audio recordings, made for over fifty years, capture uniquely the felt life of the everyday in England. Challenging the status quo he has always worked collaboratively, in a sensitive and gently respectful way.

Fiercely independent from the outset, Meadows contrived his own ways of working: running a free portrait studio in Moss Side (1972), then travelling 10,000 miles in his converted double-decker the Free Photographic Omnibus (1973-74) to make a national portrait, a project he returned to a quarter-of-a-century later. As an early adopter of digital tools he was among the first to combine audio with photographs to make digital stories. Repeatedly he has returned to those he has photographed, listening for how things are and how they’ve changed.

Daniel recently spoke at our Northern Eye Photography Festival on the 50th Aniversary of his Free Photographic Omnibus project.

Inspired by this, we commissioned North Wales based photographer Mark McNulty to work with us to create our new exhibition – A Bay View (now on display at the Coed Pella building). During October half-term we set up a free pop-up studio in the Bayview Shopping Centre and photographed passers-by over a period of four days.

Mark McNulty‘s career as a professional photographer has been wide and varied for over thirty years. For much of his early career he specialised in working in the music industry, touring with bands and shooting gigs and club culture across the uk.

Since those early days he has expanded to cover a diverse and varied range of subjects including lifestyle, portraiture and arts.

Mark recently exhibited 35 Summers at Oriel Colwyn celebrating approximately thirty five years of music photography by Mark and was the first full retrospective of his vast music photography archive.

We photographed 307 people with Mark for our Bay View exhibition and this snapshot is our own archive of people and life in Colwyn Bay in 2023. We hope that in another 50 years’ time it can be looked back on with the same affection as Daniel’s photographs now are, remembering family, faces, friendships, styles and fashions… and that the people we photographed can also then take their own place in history.

We are pleased that Mark will be joining us in discussion with Daniel for the last part of the evening’s talk.

‘Bootboys’: left-to-right, Brian Morgan, Martin Tebay, Paul McMillan, Phil Tickle, Mike Comish, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. November 1974 – From the Free Photographic Omnibus ©Daniel Meadows
From ‘A Bay View’ 2023 © Mark McNulty



Peter Dench is a UK-based photographer, presenter, writer, author and curator.

Dench’s style easily lends itself to editorial and commercial assignments for global brands such as Ford, Canon, Coca-Cola, Weetabix, Barclays Wealth and Barclaycard.

Achievements include a World Press Photo Award in the People in the News Stories Category for the reportage, Drinking of England. A FIFA-sponsored project, Footballs Hidden Story, comprising 26 stories across 20 different countries, documenting the positive impact of football, received six global accolades.

Solo exhibitions include: Made in England at the Haus der Geschichte, Bonn, Germany; Trans-Siberian World Cup at the After Nyne Gallery, London UK. A1: Britain on the Verge and DENCH DOES DALLAS, both at the Art Bermondsey Project Space, London UK. The British Abroad at the Photoreporter festival, France. England Uncensoredat the Visa Pour L’image Festival of Photojournalism in France and the Periscopio Festival, Spain.

Books include: THE DENCH DOZEN: Great Britons of Photography Vol.1 (2016 Hungry Eye); DENCH DOES DALLAS (2015 Bluecoat Press), The British Abroad (2015 Bluecoat Press) Alcohol & England (2014 Bluecoat Press) and England Uncensored (2012 Emphasis), which was a Pictures of the Year International photography book award finalist.

Written contributions have been commissioned for the New Yorker, Telegraph magazine and a number of photography journals.

TV credits include What is it to be English? and Brexit Leavers’ Voices Burnley for Channel 4 News UK.

Dench is Co-Curator of Photo North Festival UK and OM System Ambassador.

ODESSA, UKRAINE – AUGUST 26: Two paddle in the sea wearing the Ukrainian soldier flag coat of arms trident on a military uniform on August 26, 2023 in Odessa, Ukraine. Several beaches in Ukraine’s Black Sea city port of Odessa were officially reopened for swimming for the first time since the start of the Russian invasion, bathing remained banned during air raid alerts, an Anti-mine net was placed in between two piers to prevent swimmers encountering shallow-water mines many of which were dislodged by flood waters from the destruction of Kakhovka dam under control of the Russian military. The opening of the beaches has been a welcome respite from the tensions of war. (Photo by Peter Dench/Getty Images)
© Peter Dench



For over 30 years, Tessa Bunney has photographed rural life, working closely with individuals and communities to investigate how the landscape is shaped by humans. From hill farmers near her home in North Yorkshire to Icelandic puffin hunters, from Romanian nomadic shepherds to Lincolnshire flower farmers her projects reveal the fascinating intricacies of the dependencies between people, work and the land.

‘FarmerFlorist’ was exhibited at Oriel Colwyn in 2019 and published by Another Place Press as part of their Field Notes series and in early 2020 her exhibition ‘Otherwise Unseen’, bringing together four series which explore various rural communities in Europe and Southeast Asia was shown at the Side Gallery in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

Recent work includes ‘Made out of Orchards’ which was commissioned, published and exhibited by the Martin Parr Foundation and ‘Going to the Sand’, an ongoing personal project collaborating with Morecambe Bay fishermen which was published by Another Place Press in 2023.

She is the recipient of the TPA/RPS Environmental Bursary 2023 to work with fishermen from the Teesside and Yorkshire coast to tell their story following the devastating wash-up of crabs and lobsters on which their livelihoods depend.

Tessa regularly gives talks about her practice to a wide range of community groups, galleries, schools and universities. She is currently photography lecturer at York St John University.

John and Michael Wilson cockling, Flookburgh, Cumbria, January 2020 ©Tessa Bunney
Paul Chant, Piltown Farm, West Pennard, Somerset ©Tessa Bunney

To make things fair we will only release details of the speakers and tickets for these on a monthly basis.



Scottish photographer Niall McDiarmid has been living and working in London for more than 30 years. However, he is best known for travelling across the country producing colourful and celebratory street portraits from the North of Scotland, all the way south to Cornwall.

His work has been exhibited at a variety of galleries and museums across the country and internationally including the Martin Parr Foundation, the Museum of London and of course, Oriel Colwyn and its outdoor projects across towns in North Wales. In coming months exhibitions of his work will be held in Spain and Belgium.

In recent years his work has moved in new directions including a long series entitled Nightfall which focusses on the early evening transition between day and night. Even though Niall grew up on a small farm in rural Perthshire, this series of images shot across the UK reflects his intense love for city spaces. At the same time the work has an underlying sense of melancholy often associated with dusk.

Niall will talk about his ongoing projects, his continued joy in making daily street photographs and the restless urge to continue journeying across the UK.

Walworth, South London – Feb’ 2022 ©Niall McDiarmid
Bermondsey, London – Jan’ 2022 ©Niall McDiarmid



MOHAMED HASSAN, originally from Alexandria in Egypt, has been living and working in Pembrokeshire, in west Wales in the UK since 2007.

Living and studying in Wales has been pivotal to his journey as an artist as he becomes more connected to the people, communities and land of Wales. As a result of these experiences he is devoted to continue his journey as a Welsh artist, graduating with a 1st class honours degree in Photography from Carmarthen School of Art in 2016.

As an artist with dual nationality, Mohamed’s projects explore his identity as part of an ever expanding diasporic community based in Wales.

The constant feeling of displacement and questions of identity are forever present.

When Mohamed first arrived here he felt as if he was in a dream, and as he discovered and explored more of Wales found inspiration in the rugged landscapes around him. As a newcomer to Wales he has also become captivated with its rich and artistic culture and language, steeped in ancient folklore and song – and has a continuing fascination in documenting his direct experience of people and the land.

Mohamed has been creating photobook dummies and we are pleased he will also be sharing and talking about his thoughts and processes for making these.

Mohamed has been shortlisted for several awards and competitions and his work has been exhibited at the prestigious Mission Gallery, the Waterfront National Museum in Wales the Trajectory Showcase Competition Exhibition in Shoreditch, London, Nova Cymru 2018, and a portrait was included in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait exhibition 2018 at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

More recently Mohamed has exhibited 4 images in ‘Facing Britain’, curated by Ralph Goertz at Kunsthalle Darmstadt Museum Goch – touring to Koslar and Krakow in 2022. In Wales, the ‘Many Voices, One Nation 2’ exhibition supported by the Senedd and exhibiting at Ffotogallery included 11 of his images and he has also had 5 images included in the Oriel Davies ‘Responding to Rembrandt’ exhibition.



Richard Billingham (born 25 September 1970) is an English photographer and artist, film maker and art teacher. His work has mostly concerned his family, the place he grew up in the West Midlands, but also landscapes elsewhere.

Billingham is best known for the Photobook Ray’s A Laugh (1996), which documents the life of his alcoholic father Ray, and obese, heavily tattooed mother Liz. Billingham adapted this into his first feature film, Ray & Liz (2018), a memoir of his childhood.

He won the 1997 Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize (now Deutsche Börse Photography Prize) and was shortlisted for the 2001 Turner Prize. His work is held in the permanent collections of Tate, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Government Art Collection in London.

Billingham lives in Swansea on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales and holds professorships at Middlesex University and the University of Gloucestershire.