Fotonow was set up by Matthew Pontin and Jonathan Blyth. The company’s ambition was to increase opportunities for innovative photographic practice
and education through visual culture, connecting with a broad audience across the South West of England.
We moved to Plymouth and set up our Camper Obscura project! Camper Obscura was initially used for a residency, supported by Devonport Regeneration Community Partnership, but has gone on to become one of our most iconic projects. It was also the inaugural year of our South West Graduate Photography Prize, launched to support emerging artists in the region.
We expanded our team and add filmmaking to our roster of services. The year began with the culmination of our Camper Obscura Devonport residency, with work shown at St Aubyn’s library, Devonport. We also ran our first community archive project, ‘Spirit of Downderry’, leading to an outdoor public exhibition – a recurring theme of our work.
Thanks to Arts Council England and BBC support, we ran the ‘Digital Mash Up’ project. We worked with city centre Big Screens in Plymouth, Bristol and Swindon to create live events using photography, VJ’ing and music.
We received the independently accredited Social Enterprise Mark for the first time, in recognition of our commitment to creating positive social change.
We produced ‘Building Communities’, our biggest film project to date. The film tackles issues of urban planning, and was commissioned by Plymouth City Council and Plymouth Housing Development Partnership to celebrate 70 years of A Plan for Plymouth and the centenary of the three towns joining to form Plymouth.
After four years based in Devonport, we moved HQ to Ocean Studios in the Royal William Yard. We also launched our major HLF funded ‘Island Stories‘ social history project, working in Barne Barton until 2019.