This week Ffotogallery unveiled their new home in the former Methodist Sunday School in Cathays. 

It has been a long journey for the organisation to find a place to call home, and this was echoed in both Director David Drake and Chair Mathew Talfan Davies’ speeches on the night. 

Matthew said: “Many of you will know about spaces we’ve looked at, spaces we’ve evaluated, places we’ve almost got across the line… despite all of that it has been worth it to arrive at this spectacular location.” 

Ffotogallery, the national photography agency for Wales, has signed a 10 year lease with the team spending the last three months on site making it fit for purpose. They’ve moved their office, library and archive, production facilities and educational resources into the building. 

Speaking of the hard work done by the team to transform the space, David said: “We all felt so relieved that we had somewhere that was ours, and we were prepared to go the extra mile”.

At the housewarming, we explored the space and enjoyed the photography. The walls were filled with mostly black and white photography from Ffotogallery’s Archives including a commission by David Bowden, work by technical photographer, John Wiltshire and a project by Cardiff-based photographer Faye Chamberlain that was part of Diffusion 2019. The only colourful body of work on display in the space were a few from Maciej Dakowicz’ series, Cardiff After Dark, a striking portrayal of St Mary’s Steet’s vivid nightlife

The large church windows allow light to fill the open plan room from many directions. This, alongside the white walls, minimalist décor and black and white photography makes for a spacious and stylish look.  

They will be developing a longer term plan and a fundraising campaign in order to further fulfil their vision for the space during the next two years. 

Speaking of the importance of engaging with the community, David said: “Before we start talking about the building, we need to talk about the community that we’re located within.”

Speaking of the future, David said: “We think this is a great venue for music, film screenings, conferences and we’ll also be sorting out licencing to run a little café that will sell alcohol and coffee, it will be a good way of getting people into the building to appreciate the photography.”

Ffotogallery’s vision for the space tallies with their vision for Wales. Mathew said: “This ambition is not simply to create a home for Ffotogallery, but a home for photography in Wales.”

You can find out more about Ffotogallery’s new home here. The organisation is also looking for new trustees.

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