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Geoff Sims (self portrait)

© Geoff Sims

Bethany Kane

© Nicola Saunders

Bethany Kane self portrait

© Bethany Kane

News

Geoff Sims inaugural bursary awarded to photographer Bethany Kane

A photographic bursary set up by family friends and colleagues in memory of Geoff Sims, mac birmingham’s former director, has granted its inaugural award to local freelance photographer and Northern Soul enthusiast Bethany Kane. Given on 13 July, which would have been Geoff’s 72nd birthday, the £250 award will enable Bethany - who is also a contributing photographer to the Photographic Youth Music Culture Archive, fund an exhibition, highlighting the identities and practices of younger Northern Soul aficionado’s across the UK, which will be exhibited at mac in 2017.

Bethany will use her award to cover developing, printing and purchasing film for her exhibition. She’ll be using her medium format Mamiya 645df camera, opting for a high grain film to capture the raw, gritty essence and rebelliousness of the Northern Soul subculture. The images will also be used to increase the range of work within her portfolio.

Commenting on the bursary, Bethany said: ‘I’m so pleased with the award, it will enable me to produce additional work for my portfolio, whilst developing as an artist and preparing for my first major exhibition in Birmingham. So far I have been covering the costs of equipment and processing myself, using freelance technician work along with a job in a local café to raise money for personal projects.’

She added: ‘mac has always been a place of great inspiration for me, and the opportunity to exhibit there as a result of winning the Geoff Sims Bursary will allow me to reach out to new audiences, whilst receiving recognition for my photography, which I’m passionate about – it has given me a real boost and the impetus to continue as an artist.’

Prior to Bethany’s exhibition at mac, she will be using some of the bursary for her exhibition at Birmingham City University’s Parkside Gallery. Entitled: All Because of You: Northern Soul Portraits, a photographic exploration of young Northern Soulies in Birmingham and the Midlands from 23 January to 24 February 2017*.

Dorothy Wilson, mac CEO and Artistic Director said: ‘Geoff Sims was committed to artists, especially those at the beginning of promising careers. It’s fitting that Bethany has chosen to focus on young people within her upcoming exhibition, revealing a subculture with international origins now rooted across the UK. We look forward to seeing the results of Bethany’s work in the coming months and sharing it with mac audiences across generations.’

Geoff Sims was Director of mac from 1989 to 1998, Project Co-ordinator of the mac/sampad building project, 2006 to 2010 and honorary mac archivist from 1998 to 2014. He was also an accomplished photographer. The fund is donated by friends, colleagues and family and was set up to support emerging photographers with strong links to mac, contributing to outlays such as: professional development or professional practice costs, help with training, artists fees, travel costs or other relevant opportunities.

To apply for a bursary contact Nicola Saunders, Fundraiser at mac birmingham at: nicola.saunders@macbirmingham.co.uk.

For press enquiries please contact Marcia Springer, Senior Marketing and Communications Officer on 0121 446 3237 or email marcia.springer@macbirmingham.co.uk.

* The Northern Soul project is a collaboration with researcher Sarah Raine, BCU PhD student (School of Media) and forms part of her work entitled: A Little Togetherness: Exploring the individual narratives and scene discourse of young Northern Soulies in the UK and Spain.

mac has always been a place of great inspiration for me, and the opportunity to exhibit there as a result of winning the Geoff Sims Bursary will allow me to reach out to new audiences, whilst receiving recognition for my photography, which I’m passionate about – it has given me a real boost and the impetus to continue as an artist.’

Bethany Kane

Geoff Sims was committed to artists, especially those at the beginning of promising careers. It’s fitting that Bethany has chosen to focus on young people within her upcoming exhibition, revealing a subculture with international origins now rooted across the UK. We look forward to seeing the results of Bethany’s work in the coming months and sharing it with mac audiences across generations.’

Dorothy Wilson, mac birmingham CEO and Artistic Director

Chloe

© 2016 Bethany Kane