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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Sustainable Prospects – Unseen, Amsterdam

As part of the MA Photography Face-to-Face event, I had the opportunity to visit the photography-focused art fair ‘Unseen Amsterdam’. In its sixth year, 53 galleries from 14 countries displayed work from established as well as up-and-coming artists and photographers.

Presented in Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek, the venue is quite spectacular.  The park is beautiful and contains many historic factory buildings.

The Westergasfabriek (Western Gas Factory) ceased production of gas in 1967 leaving behind a polluted site that could not be used for housing. In 1992, the site started to be used on a temporary basis for many creative and cultural activities. In 2003 the site was cleaned up and reopened.  A new kind of energy was felt on the site – the energy of creative and artist exploration and expression.

The main exhibition of Unseen was held in the Gashouder (Gasholder). This iconic building is the centrepiece of the park.  It is a large circular space with an impressive cast-iron ceiling.  There are no pillars in the space (only on the edges), which makes it ideal for a photographic exhibition.

The scale of the space is impressive to say the least.  As an engineer, I spent some time just looking and admiring the interior.  The ceiling structure is spectacular.

A huge marquee next to the main exhibition housed a photobook sale on a huge scale.  I could have spent hours in there too.

The images below are my visual record of the venue. Further blog posts will consider some of the work on display.

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