Beauty in Imperfection: reclaiming our aesthetic sensibility

Now in its fourth year, Reclaim Photography Festival returns to the West Midlands from April 2019. The programme includes responses to our international open call: Beauty in Imperfection: reclaiming our aesthetic sensibility. 

We will also be offering a special exhibition from our 2018 regional Black Country project Windows into Industrial Worlds, in the West Midlands, UK.

Beauty in imperfection: reclaiming our aesthetic sensibility

The aim of this year’s festival is to return to the essence of our Reclaim Photography manifesto, by reclaiming the best in art photography. This year our festival theme is Beauty in imperfection: reclaiming our aesthetic sensibility.

Wabi Sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional.  Leonard Koren, ‘Wabi Sabi for artists, designers, poets and philosophers’, 2008.

In this year’s open call, the festival sets out to explore the aesthetic value of Wabi Sabi, as described by Koren, by proposing that there is beauty to be found in imperfection, impermanency and incompleteness, thus creating an aesthetic consciousness.

The intangible qualities of beauty and imperfection assumes a transcendental significance within photography, directing the sensibility of the viewer to look beyond the immediately apparent and to search deeper within oneself for meaning and essence.

Aesthetic consciousness can be explored either through the use of photographic processes and techniques, the photographer’s artistic interpretation, from the subject matter, or by a combination of all three.

Participants were encouraged to respond to this theme through the use of analogue and cameraless photography (including historical and alternative processes) or digital photography (including photo painting, photo-montage and digital printing skills).

To read more about each artist please visit our What’s On page. To read more about the exhibition, please visit our exhibition page. Click on the link to download our RPF2019 Beauty in Imperfection downloadable pamphlet and view our festival programme on issuu.

Key words:art, beauty, culture, decay, despondency, emotion, existence, fleeting, fragility, humility, Japan, life, loneliness, melancholy, memory, modesty, nature, object, silence, simplicity, solitude, transience, unconventional and Wabi Sabi.

Gallery Exhibition

Beauty in Imperfection


Light House Media Centre

Chubb Buildings, Fryer Street, WV1 1HT

6 January – 30 January 2020*

Mon – Fri 9am – 8:30pm

Sat & Sun 45mins before first film until 8:30pm

*Extended until 28 February 2020



Anastasia Vovk, Atsushi Fujiwara, Attila Pasek, Chris Byrnes, Irena Jurca, Jo Stapleton, Josie Purcell, Ky Lewis, Lesia Maruschak, Liz Harrington, Maizhou Yuan, Mariia Ermolenko, Marko Umicevic, Megan Jill Daly, Mélanie Patris, Melanie Walker, M. Judit Horváth, Molly McCall, Nettie Edwards, Paul Biddle, Sandro Crisafi, Sayako Sugawara and Yasuhiro Ogawa.

Gallery Exhibition

Windows into Industrial Worlds


Himley Hall and Park

Himley, DY3 4DF

6 April – 30 June 2019

Weds – Sun 11am – 4pm

Every day during school holidays



Andrew Crawford, Bradley Pearce, Ken Harrison, Peter Hodgson and Phil Loach.

Our Awards

Reclaim Photography Festival is proud to announce our fourth Festival awards. Our team of Festival curators have selected a range of prints for our gallery exhibition hosted by the Light House Media Centre from 6 January – 30 January 2020. Awards for our gallery exhibitors include:

*exhibition alongside internationally renowned photographers;
*exhibition exposure in a main city gallery;
*inclusion in exhibition marketing and promotion campaign.

Work Experience Opportunity – Reclaim Photography Festival is offering work experience opportunities for young people to assist with the planning and delivery of our special international gallery exhibition.

NB: Please note all details are subject to change.

Maxine Watts – Founder and Artistic Director of Reclaim Photography and Festival (RPF) West Midlands UK. RPF offers an annual programme of collaborations, events and exhibitions; dedicated to showing the very best in art photography. Recent work includes producing A Cartography of Dreams for Dimbola Museum and Galleries with artists: Paul Biddle, Tami Bone, Jonah Calinawan and Fran Forman and Industrial Might, in celebration of 40 years of the Black Country Living Museum.

Our Sponsors

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners, sponsors, supporters and venues, for their help with this year’s events, exhibitions and talks, and Reclaim Photography members for inviting us to host our fourth UK international Reclaim Photography Festival.

Framed For You      Brierley Hill
Haldon House, Suite 7, 385 Brettal Lane, Brierley Hill, DY5 3LQ
Telephone: 01384 76132

Framed For You is a respected professional picture framing company with twenty years experience. They offer a fully bespoke service for local artists using the best materials, and offer a competitive pricing structure, free no-obligation quotes and a friendly helpful service. Make sure you visit Framed For You at

Palm Laboratory       Birmingham
69 Rea Street, Birmingham, B5 6BB
Telephone: 0121 6225504

We offer all types of film and photo processing services, digital photographic printing, scanning, mounting and photo books. We pride ourselves on our friendly helpful service, as, likeminded people, we have a love of the photographic image. Make sure you visit us at and join us on Facebook.