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As part of OpenWalls Arles 2020, we are highlighting photographers whose work is connected to this year’s theme: Growth. Find out how your work could be exhibited alongside Les Rencontres d’Arles 2020 at openwalls.co.

The start of July marked the opening week of the 50th anniversary of Les Rencontres d’Arles, the world’s biggest photography festival. To coincide with the commencement of the festival, the very first OpenWalls Arles exhibition opened at Galerie Huit Arles, France, a central gallery near the town’s Roman amphitheatre. As one of Arles’ spotlight locations, the gallery attracts visitors from around the globe, particularly during the busy opening week of the festival. 

The exhibition brings together 50 shortlisted images responding to the theme Home & Away. From the 47 photographers featured in the exhibition, 20 were in attendance at its opening. Among them were Jasper White and Jocelyn Allen, whose photographs encapsulate aspects of identity that are tied to our concept of home.

© James Bain-Smith

White’s photograph, entitled Wall, was taken on Palestine’s West Bank. The image is from his project of the same name, which looks at the effects of the Middle Eastern conflict on the Palestinian community. The work divides a family’s living room into two, using a wall built of their favourite things. In the photograph, toys and family photographs connect two opposing sofas, with an ornate teapot in the centre holding the most significance to the family. “This was my first time exhibiting in Arles,” says White. “It was great to see all the different interpretations to the theme.”

For Jocelyn Allen, the exhibition marks her second time showing work at Galerie Huit Arles during Les Rencontres d’Arles. Allen’s chosen photograph is of herself alongside her granddad, who passed away five years ago. “Being at the exhibition was a nice opportunity to talk about my granddad with people,” she says. “You never know what your work is going to look like once its displayed, but walking into the exhibition, I was impressed. Galerie Huit Arles is such a beautiful space and quite different to most of the venues in Arles.”

© James Bain-Smith

Next year’s exhibition will also be held at Galerie Huit Arles during the festival, and will feature works responding to the theme Growth. Each year, Les Rencontres d’Arles attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city, including the leading names in photography. Make sure your work is there.

For this year’s OpenWalls Arles award, we are looking for work that responds to the theme Growth. We are calling for images that convey a sense of change or transition, which can draw on personal growth, or the changes that one witnesses in everyday life.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to exhibit your work during Les Rencontres d’Arles. Apply to  OpenWalls, your invitation to Arles.

© Bryony Fraser
© Bryony Fraser
© Bryony Fraser
© Urszula Tarasiewicz
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