Two men and one woman smiling looking over a developed negative test strip in a darkroom tray in a darkroom setting

Redeye member and photographer Claire Walmsley Griffiths and photographer Lisa Holmes, are both running brilliant photography communities up North and we wanted to spread the good news and celebrate the work they're doing - read on to find out more!

Artists Claire Walmsley GriffithsNicola Lewis Dixon, Donna HanniganHenry Iddon and Helen Kay run the Blackpool Community Darkroom, based at Aunty Social, Topping Street, in Blackpool, Lancashire. Blackpool Community Darkroom is a shared space for fledgling and experimental analogue photography; a community darkroom for people to share, learn, refine and explore their photography skills.
Blackpool Community Darkroom is a collective space for the darkroom curious and photographers with and without experience. The founding artists are also the support practitioners, their shared approaches in practice relate to community and social experience, accessibility, representation, alternative photography practice and elements of well-being and creativity.

They offer workshops, professional development activities and residencies, along with space to explore and experiment. The space will be shaped by the community and regular sessions can be noted and booked through their social media channels including photography walks and socials, inductions, print and negative development. Feel free to email them with any questions.
Most of their equipment has been donated or is second hand, should you have any equipment you think they could make use of, please drop them a message.

The Blackpool Community Darkroom practitioners have been brought together through a mutual interest in creativity, community and well-being, with Blackpool almost always highlighted for disparaging statistics they hope the space might help create a new narrative for Blackpool. Their aim within the next few months will be to explore alternative approaches attached to the community, green and built spaces in Blackpool using anthotypes and sustainable development. They have just enjoyed their first Photo Gram Disco making images from found objects such as tape cassettes and botanicals - they want The Darkroom to be a welcoming environment where creativity inspires creativity.

Henry Iddon and Claire Walmsley Griffiths have also recently acquired roles as Photography Champions with Photoworks UK | Commissions new photography, produces exhibitions which promise support to The Darkroom for research and development and exploration into Blackpool's Photography landscape seeking out wider connections and opportunities in a place known for its photography history and with the possible expansion of The Grundy Art Gallery and the opening of the new Blackpool Showtown Museum Blackpool feels very exciting.

For further information on the Blackpool Community Darkroom, check out their links and contact details below:

Aunty Social: 

Photo credit: Blackpool Community Darkroom


Claire's recent Arts Council England supported collaboration with diverse photography group The New Langdale Project NEW LANGDALE PHOTOGRAPHERS - EXPLORING DIVERSITY THROUGH CREATIVITY is about to be staged for 12 months alongside the renovation of one of JC Robinson's Buildings. Stanley Buildings which sits on Kings Square on Church Street close to the Town Centre Fresh plans submitted for £6m refurbishment of Blackpool's Stanley Buildings - Blackpool ( The group images will create frontage for the building throughout its overhaul exploring Robinsons Buildings that they have documented over 6 months to tell a story of community and connection to the built environment, with many of Robinsons buildings related to health, education and transport it's an exciting new outcome for The New Langdale Photographers who have also enjoyed support from practitioners Donna Hannigan and Elizabeth Gomm.



Photo credit: Photo Hub North 

Lisa Holmes has been a photographer for over 20 years and a lecturer in photography for 10 years. Alongside her teaching and commercial work, Lisa is the Founder and Director of Photo Hub North CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise driven by a belief that everyone should have access to photography, the arts and culture and the opportunity to express themselves in a supportive environment. The Photo Hub based in Keighley, West Yorkshire, engages with the local community through photography workshops, public project and providing both analogue and digital facilities.  At the heart of The Photo Hub is the desire to teach and promote more about sustainable photography practices. As part of this, funded by the Arts Council and supported by Impressions Gallery, they are currently creating the countries first Eco Darkroom which focuses on using plant-based chemistry and environmentally friendly techniques. They are also working in collaboration with a brewery to create a reliable and sustainable plant based developer from the waste products of the brewing industry.  In 2022 they won Social Enterprise of the Year and in 2023 they launched Creative Earth Network, which looks to bring together artists, groups, organisations and businesses who are committed to making photographic and artistic approaches that are sustainable and better for the environment. In 2024, they will be holding their first sustainable photography and arts festival, Creative Earth. 
Their services are:

Lisa will also soon to be running a festival in 2024 with Impressions Gallery called 'Creative Earth Eco Fest' - this will be designed with the community, for the community, and have environmental sustainability at its heart, the idea for the festival was born from Photo Hub North’s passion for helping people respond to the current environmental crisis in a positive, creative way. 
Keep up-to-date with the latest on this via the Photo Hub's Instagram.

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