Ultimate Format | Format Women Photographers 1983 – 2003

14 FEBRUARY – 22 MARCH 2003

This exhibition celebrates two decades of photography and marks the end of FORMAT, a unique all-women agency that was dedicated to documenting the world from a different perspective.The photographs in the exhibition reflect the concerns and issues of the past two decades.

When FORMAT was set up in the early eighties, discrimination against all kinds of difference was commonplace. Times and attitudes have changed. FORMAT not only documented these changes – in personal relationships, family structures, political movements – it was also a part of the movement that helped bring them about. It reflected and participated in the fight to achieve authority and a sense of entitlements for women in particular, but for other disregarded groups as well.The exhibition records the clash of ideas and beliefs: in the home; on the streets and between individuals. Pictures range from intimate portraits of women priests in England to protests against the Narmada Dam in India; from ANC exuberance in South Africa to desperation on the face of a Kurdish asylum seeker in Bradford. Throughout the exhibition runs a sense of empathy between the photographer and the photographed.

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Even though the agency itself has closed, the ethos of FORMAT lives on in the continuing work of the individual photographers – in their particular outlook
and ideas. FORMAT’s membership grew over the years with photographers including Jackie Chapman, Melanie Friend, Sheila Gray, Paula Glassman, Judy Harrison, Pam Isherwood, Roshini Kempadoo, Jenny Matthews, Maggie Murray, Joanne O’Brien, Raissa Page, Brenda Prince, Ulrike Preuss, Mirium Reik, Karen Robinson, Paula Solloway, Val Wilmer, Mo Wilson and Lisa Woollett.

Ultimate Format

The majority of the FORMAT stock is now available through the Photofusion Picture Library. Visit our online picture library or call 020 7733 3500 for more details.