Spatial Awareness | Issue #7915

Cover image © Sebastian Bruno

British Journal of Photography‘s new issue introduces a new format and a new team, alongside interviews with photographers and curators which interrogate the theme Spatial Awareness, explains editor Diane Smyth

The September issue of British Journal of Photography is themed Spatial Awareness, a motto we’ve liberally interpreted. For Argentinian Sebastián Bruno, who made our cover image, this awareness refers to Wales – a country he expected to live in for a few months but went on to make his home. For Ettore Moni, the space is a studio he’s set up at home in Parma, a free zone in which people can simply be. Tarrah Krajnak’s spatial awareness references her personal history, as someone born in Peru and brought up in the US; it also includes the idea of taking up space, as a woman photographer reclaiming the studio, or an artist who has shot, printed and installed her work in a single performance.

Spatial awareness also has an alternative twist concerned with how to show work. Letha Wilson, Gareth Phillips, Sofia Karim, Maya Rochat and Alix Marie discuss how photography features in their installation-based practices, and the impact this experimentation has on meaning. We’ve also interviewed four curators on how they approach images and physical space, and in another article, Audrey Hoareau, director of the Centre régional de la photographie Hauts-de-France, explains the institution’s relation to its surroundings in a post-industrial former mining community.

As this brief introduction suggests, with this issue we’ve attempted to slow down. BJP is now a quarterly magazine rather than a bimonthly, monthly or weekly, as it has previously been . Going quarterly means we’re less wedded to the news cycle, and this gives us the opportunity to reflect. Rather than always covering exhibitions in advance, we can now show how they were done. Instead of always reviewing books ahead of publication, we’re free to engage with their physical form. With complex photobooks such as Maciejka Art’s Hoja Santa, this feels more appropriate than scrolling through PDFs. In addition we have expanded the number of pages and added extra articles.

Finally, a word on our new editorial team. I’ve taken over as editor after four years freelancing; I previously worked at BJP from 2003 to 2019. Deputy editor Ravi Ghosh, who also runs the BJP website, joined at the start of the year from Elephant magazine. And Philippa Kelly, a regular at The Guardian, continues as our staff writer. We will each be bringing our different angles to the intriguing photography world.

BJP’s Spatial Awareness issue is available via the bjpshop