P h o t o R e n g a

PhotoRenga are visual poems inspired by an ancient form of Japanese poetry, renga, in which sequences of short haiku verses construct complex and profound poems.  The beauty of the PhotoRenga idea is that anyone with a digital camera can take part in the workshops we run, and work together to create beautiful, new artworks.  

Everyone takes photographs and chooses one to pass on to someone else in the group.  You then use that image as the starting point for your next picture, and so on... Chains of images form visual poems or PhotoRenga.  There are no fixed starting points, and the PhotoRengas can go in any direction the groups chose.



I have had to isolate during the COVID-19 epidemic so we decided to hold the first ever LockDownRenga... Kate and I were joined by artists Kristel Trow, Zosia Krasnowolskaw and Dafydd Williams. Using ftp and Zoom, we created a real time, multi-location, virtual PhotoRenga... LockDownRenga

We hope to develop the LockDownRenga with Disability Arts Cymru and Ffotogallery into a new online workshop programme for artists, groups and galleries who are isolating or unable to operate normally... Watch this space!

FfotoRenga in the new Ffotogallery...

We were delighted to hold a PhotoRenga workshop for artists and photographers in the fantastic new Ffotogallery space. The first ever PhotoRenga was held at the Ffotogallery Turner House space in Penarth, so it was a fascinating creative experience to explore the new location through a PhotoRenga. See the results created by Zosia Krasnowolska, Camilla Lovelace, Zara Mader, Kristel Trow, Dafydd Williams, and Kate and I here.


Works from the Rookwood PhotoRenga on permanent display

PhotoRengas from the Rookwood PhotoRenga, which brought together inpatients, outpatients and staff from Rookwood Hospital in Cardiff to create new works inspired by the beautiful, historic surroundings of the building, will go on permanent display.  Having been shown at UHW Llandough earlier this year, a small selection of the PhotoRengas were added to the UHW collection and will be installed at UHW Cardiff.


Exhibition at 76m2 Gallery, Pontypool on Friday 13th October

New works produced in a workshop at 76m2 Gallery were shown at 76m2 Gallery in Pontypool from Friday 13th October.  A workshop brought together artists and photographers from Pontypool and Cardiff, creating some of the most articulate and expressive PhotoRengas we've seen.

76m2 PhotoRenga

The 76m2 PhotoRengas will be on display until 31st October, alongside some works produced for madeinroath 2016.  76m2 is a dedicated photography space run by Zosia Krasnowska and Dafydd Williams showing an exciting programme of Welsh and international photographic work.

We were proud to present some stunning PhotoRenga works by participants in the Vision 21 PhotoRenga at Insole Court in Llandaff in August

Vision 21 is a fantastic organisation based in north Cardiff that provides opportunities for young people with learning needs. You can see images from the Vision 21 PhotoRenga summer workshop which was held at the intriguing Insole Court.

We were also especially delighted to hold a series of PhotoRenga workshops for staff and patients at Rookwood Hospital in Llandaff earlier in the year.

The PhotoRengas originally began at Rookwood when members of the BIG group (Brain Injury Group) asked for a project that they could actively take part in after they had been photographed for After - so we were returning to PhotoRenga's spiritual home!

You can see images from the Rookwood PhotoRengas here, which were presented at Insole Court over the summer and which will be shown in an exhibition at the HeArth Gallery in Llandough Hospital in early 2018.

You can also see the results of the madeinroath PhotoRenga workshop held in October last year.

The mir PhotoRenga took place at 28 the Parade in Cardiff - an intriguing venue that was originally built by a shipping merchant at the height of Cardiff's seafaring importance in the late 1800s and was latterly an education centre. The building housed several new commissioned artworks by local artists and act as an exciting performance venue. As well as hosting the mir PhotoRenga workshop on Sunday 9 October, the venue also exhibited the works during the main madeinroath festival weekend on 15/16 October.

If you would like to take part in future PhotoRengas, please contact us by emailing katemwoodward@gmail.com.

You can also see images from the PhotoRenga Does That Include Us? workshops that were held at g39 gallery in Cardiff as part of the Tu Fewn Festival in conjunction with Disability Arts Wales. The workshops ran on Friday 19 August and Saturday 20 August and included both people with disabilities, carers, artists and members of the public.

See the PhotoRengas created on the Does That Include Us? Tu Fewn PhotoRenga page.

The PhotoRenga are inspired by an ancient form of Japanese poetry, in which sequences of haiku construct complex and profound poems. The aim of the PhotoRenga project is to produce a series of short, collective visual rengas using photography.

The project began when members of the Cardiff & Vale Brain Injury Group produced PhotoRengas in an ongoing workshop programme I started in 2010. The group started from Ffotogallery in Penarth, splitting up and taking photographs on various themes. After reviewing the images, one image from each person's camera was chosen and passed on to another in the group. This image was used as the source or inspiration to produce a new set of photographs from which one image was selected and so on...

In April 2016, the Hanbury Road Gallery PhotoRenga was held in Bargoed for photographers and artists. The group started from the Hanbury Road Gallery space, splitting up and individually taking series of photographs around Bargoed. The result was a series of vibrant and visually rich PhotoRengas.

The one-day PhotoRenga workshops have previously been hosted by Ffotogallery in Penarth, g39 in Cardiff and the Hanbury Road Gallery in Bargoed. The PhotoRengas will be produced in an eBook and as an exhibition in the future.

x o x media Photographs by David Sinden, Kate Woodward and the artists: all rights reserved 2020