CATALYST is a 7 month mentorship program produced by IC Visual Lab in collaboration with Bristol Photo Festival for those who wish to further their personal career and, importantly, to expand their approach and ways of photographing and exhibiting. The program is open to local based, national and international practitioners who are at the beginning of their creative career. We are aiming to create an intersectional variety of participants that bring a plurality of visions and approaches. Through this program we hope to offer a long term opportunity to 6 photographers who will receive support from a team of mentors with experience in various creative fields (artists, curators, designers, editors, arts management…). The aim is for participants to continue and finish a body of work to be exhibited as part of the exhibitions 2021 Spring program in Bristol.

"This programme seeks to emphasise the importance of the creative process with the help of an experienced team of mentors that will challenge and guide participants into a more energetic and experimental approach towards photography”

The mentoring program will be mainly delivered using online platforms so the participants won’t need to travel to attend every session.

CATALYST | Mentorship Program produced by IC Visual Lab in collaboration with Bristol Photo Festival and with the support of the Arts Council of England.

If you have any questions about the program please send us an email to [email protected]




- There are no age or geographical restrictions for applicants.
- Applicants should have a maximum of 3 years photographic practice.
- Applicants shouldn’t have had a solo show previous to the application deadline of this programme.
- Any creative practitioner who uses lens based media as part of this practice. We are also interested in those who combine their practice with other mediums (video, sound, technology, sculpture, artist books…)
- Applicants should already have a work in progress that fit into the theme proposed.


This program is delivered in collaboration with Bristol Photo Festival where the resulting work developed by CATALYST participants will be presented. The theme of the first edition of Bristol Photo Festival is “A Sense of Place”.

To photograph a place is to describe a location that has been shaped, nurtured and even contested. It can define the frontier between nature and culture and hint at the complexities of ownership and access. It can be attended by competing narratives and polarised histories, whether they lean left or right. It can shape our understanding of the world and the qualities that come to define us and it can be about belonging, about appreciation and knowing a place so well that it is like no other. The components of cultural landscape elements play a significant role in defining the sense of place. These components are people, landform, water bodies, climate, economy, social, political which influence on the identity of place.


- A monthly session of 1h with a personal mentor
- 2 additional sessions of 1h with other mentors from the team and program coordinators
- £350 artist fee
- A featured interview + portfolio in Bristol Photo Festival website
- Production costs of a group exhibition as part of the Bristol Photo Festival Programme in Spring 2021. Also the opportunity to present this work publicly with a talk, performance or action


Julián Barón
(Artist / Educator)

Born 1978 , Castellón, Spain. Lives and works in Segorbe, Spain. Julián Barón mixes photography, video, sound collage, installation, books and other media. His goal: to offer unorthodox points of view and weaken the rigidity of the collective imagination and official speeches that build memory, history and identity through pictures. The body of visual work he has developed reacts to convulsive sociopolitical events and allows him to take a critical position.


Lebohang Kganye
( Artist )

Lebohang Kganye (b. 1990, Katlehong) is an artist living and working in Johannesburg. Kganye received her introduction to photography at the Market Photo Workshop in 2009 and completed the Advanced Photography Programme in 2011. She also completed her Fine Arts studies at the University of Johannesburg in 2016 and forms a new generation of contemporary South African photographers. Although primarily a photographer, Kganye’s photography often incorporates her interest in sculpture and performance. Over the past six years she has participated in photography masterclasses and group exhibitions locally and internationally.

Colin Pantall
(Photographer / Writer / Educator)

Colin Pantall is a writer, lecturer and photographer based in Bath, Europe. He writes for a range of publications including World Press Photo, Magnum Photos, The British Journal of Photography, Photomonitor, and Source Magazine. He teaches at Falmouth, Bath Spa, and the University of Gloucestershire and will be running an online series of lectures this September linking contemporary photography to global, historical, and theoretical perspectives. His photography focusses on domestic environments and family, and include his projects Sofa Portraits, All Quiet on the Home Front, and My German Family Album, projects where the conflicting narratives of family, environmental and political histories collide.

Dragana Jurišić (Artist / Educator)
Dragana Jurišić is an ex-Yugoslav artist based in Ireland since 1999. She works predominantly through the medium of photography, film and installation. Jurišić's practice explores the issues of gender, stereotyping and the effects of exile and displacement on memory and identity. Born in the former Yugoslavia and now living and working in Dublin, Dragana Jurišić received her PhD from the European Centre for Photographic Research in 2013. She is a Visiting Fellow at the University of South Wales and Assistant Professor in Dublin City University. Working primarily with image, text and video, she has shown her work extensively and won numerous awards. Dragana Jurišić exhibits widely internationally.

Sarker Protick (Artist / Curator / Educator)
Sarker Protick has developed a practice that combines the roles of an image-maker, a teacher and infrequently a curator. His works revolve around the subjects of temporality, materiality of time and the metaphysical prospects of Light and Space. Working with Photography, Video and Sound manipulation, Protick has formed a series of works that are built on long-term surveys rooted in his home country, while simultaneously exploring ideas that blurs the notion of geopolitical boundaries. Incorporating detailed observations and subtle gestures, his works propose a subjective space, often minimal, vast and atmospheric. Protick is interested in themes such as alteration of land and border, colonial relics and modern ecological emergencies. His landscapes, portraits and photographic series engage philosophically with the specificities of personal and regional histories. Sarker Protick is a faculty member of Pathshala South Asian Media Institute and Co-curator at Chobi Mela International Festival of Photography.

Francesca Seravalle
(Artist / Curator)

Venetian, independent curator majored with a first class degree in Conservation of Cultural Heritage, winning a University fellowship at Magnum Photos Paris’ archives, over the past ten years she has collaborated with over sixty photographers including Koudelka, D’Agata and Kessels. Her works as a curator, writer and researcher include Dalston Anatomy by Lorenzo Vitturi book (SPBH, 2013) and solo shows in (Foam Museum, CNA Luxembourg, The Photographers’ Gallery); Shining in absence book (AMC – Kessels, 2015); Mother Nature (RVB – Kessels, 2015); Alex & Me and Coda by James Pfaff books (Montanari, 2016, 2018) and solo show at Street Level Photoworks Gallery; The Y by Alba Zari (Witty Kiwi, 2019) book and show (Maxxi); Era mare book by Matteo de Mayda (bruno, 2019). Seravalle, previously leader of the group of curators and archival researchers at Fabrica, has been Tutor for Fashion, Art and Cultural Context BA at Istituto Marangoni in London and Tutor for the Photobook and SelfPublish BA at London South Bank University. She supports artists in developing the concept and the layout of their books and exhibitions.


Alejandro Acín (Artist / Designer / Educator)
Alejandro Acin is an artist, designer and educator based in the United Kingdom. After working for more than four years in an archival institution, he uses his personal practice to investigate contemporary uses of visual archives. To expand the understanding of self-publishing he uses photography, film, collaborative strategies, site-specific installations, publications and digital platforms to convey his ideas. His work has been exhibited in the UK, Italy, Spain and Colombia. Acín is also founder director of IC Visual Lab, an artist-led organization based in Bristol (UK) that produces and supports contemporary photography across audiences. In 2016, he founded ICVL Studio where he collaborates with other artists and organizations as a designer and art director in printed/digital publishing projects and exhibitions. He is currently associated lecturer in Documentary Photography at the University of South Wales.

Safia Belhaj (Designer)
Safia Belhaj is a recent graphic design graduate, from the University of the West of England, who is based in Bristol, UK. Having grown up in, and a citizen of, multiple countries her work is inspired by culture and identity. Her versatility across multiple mediums, although she as a passion for print, means she is able to work on a variety of different projects. Her latest collection of work revolves around exploring how to keep culture alive and reviving her own dying culture. A storyteller at heart, she uses this skill to help others tell their own stories.


Arts Council of England, Bristol Photo Festival, The Guardian, 1000 words, Bristol 24/7 and WEX equipment.