Students from the University of Derby and Nevada State, USA collaborate to create new work for an exhibition as part of FORMAT23 Festival


06 March 2023

Students from the University of Derby and Nevada State, USA collaborate to create new work for an exhibition as part of FORMAT23 Festival

Image: Golden Night – James Stanford

An exhibition created jointly with Nevada State students features in FORMAT23 international photography festival.

How Love Lives in Two Places will be on show at a new public gallery at the University’s Markeaton Street site, which will be launched at an opening event on 17 March. 

Led by Dr Gemma Marmalade, the University’s Assistant Head of Discipline for Art and Photography, a group of 15 students from the University of Derby’s School of Arts has just returned from a month-long visit to Las Vegas. The undergraduate and postgraduate students, from Fine Art, Fashion, Graphic Design, Photography, and Creative Arts, Health and Wellbeing courses, were guests of Nevada State College’s Office for the Arts and worked alongside Nevada State students. They had their travel and accommodation funded by the Turing UK scheme, the UK government’s programme to provide funding for international opportunities in education and training across the world. This trip followed its first expedition in July 2022, bringing the total number of student contributors to 22. During their stay they attended a range of events and study visits which included working with Avi Kwa Ame – where artists and scientists work collaboratively to support the Southern Nevada landscape, seeking protection of its land by naming it as a National Monument. This project is supported by President Joe Biden.

Amy Morgan, a BA (Hons) Creative, Expressive, Health and Wellbeing student, said: “Exploring the contrasting environmental extremes of neon and the desert sparked in all of us a new energy for creative and cultural thinking. This thought-provoking experience mixed with research-informed guidance really gave a sense of transformation, in our practice and within ourselves.”

During the group’s stay in Nevada, Dr Marmalade was recognised as Honorary Professor of the Arts by Nevada State College. The College also planted a Tree of Friendship on their campus to symbolise the alliance between the two organisations.

Dr Marmalade said: “From my own research and work in the Las Vegas Valley, it is a place bursting with creative energy. The Office for the Arts at Nevada State shares our vision of revelatory creative practice as a highly effective tool for both academic studies and personal growth, stimulating the opportunity for deep learning, which directly translates meaningfully into life-long success and career development.”

At the University of Derby we value opportunities to provide real world experiences for our students wherever possible. It is my privilege to share such life-changing experiences with our students and the incredible friendships we have made along the journey together. To have this partnership honoured in the conferment of my honorary role as professor is hugely humbling and I am immensely grateful.”

Angela M Brommel, Senior Advisor & Executive Director for the Arts at Nevada State College, added: “Nevada State and its Office for the Arts are honoured to have formed this alliance with the University of Derby and its School of Arts, led by Dr Marmalade. Our collaborations provide opportunities for classroom and public conversations about what our work as creatives looks like, the essential contributions of the creative economy to our prosperity, and how the arts contribute to our wellbeing as individuals and communities.”

FORMAT International Photography Festival returns to Derby from 17 March to 9 April 2023 for the very best photography and lens-based media being produced today. 

The biennale festival incorporates QUAD, University of Derby, Museum of Making, Déda, Dubrek, Artcore, City Lab, The Smallprint Company, Derbion shopping centre, Banks Mill, Derby Cathedral and an outdoor exhibition in Derby’s high streets.  The festival also includes satellite venues such as The Wireworks Project in Ambergate and LCB Depot in Leicester. The festival was established by QUAD in 2004 and is the UK’s leading festival of photography and related media, organised by QUAD and CCIRC, (Creative and Cultural Industries Research Centre) of the University of Derby. 

University Of Derby, Markeaton Street

How Love Lives In Two Places,17 March – 9 April 2023

Multi trans-disciplinary exhibition describes the experimental boundaries of both photography and place. A visual dialogue between artists, including students and faculty of the University of Derby School of Arts together with Nevada State College Office for the Arts, USA.

Artists Aaron Bien, Abbie Sunter, Abel Montes de Oca, Adriana Chavez, Alasdair Openshaw, Alexandra Totterdell, Amy Morgan, Angela M. Brommel, Anna Hoess, Archie Terrington, Char Harmer, Danielle Bouchon, Elisha Mae Gascoigne, Ell Hammond, Emily Lawrence, Erick Masih, Erin Swinford-Howe, Fiona Middleton, James Stanford, Jerome B. Romero, Jesse Hudson, Gabrielle Distin, Gemma Marmalade, Glenda Perez-Islas, Haash Ahmad, Keeva Lough, Lance L. Smith, Liam White, Noah Mcclelland, Paige Tighe, Phil Searle, Robbie Liddle, Myron Hensel, Tanya Mansell, Veronica Gutierrez and Violet Burgess.

You can follow @msg.derbyuni  on Instagram for more information.

FORMAT23 ‘What Photography Can Be’ includes 27 exhibitions over 15 venues taking place across Derby over 30 days, from 17 March – 9 April 2023.

Full exhibitions listings can be found at:

FORMAT is organised by QUAD and the University of Derby and is supported by Arts Council England, Derby City Council and multiple partners from the UK and abroad. FORMAT23 Press Launches generously supported by Marketing Derby. For more information please see:

Notes to Editors

High Res images available
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FORMAT International Photography Festival was established in 2004 at QUAD and is the UK’s leading international contemporary festival of photography and related media. It organises a year-round programme of international commissions, open calls, residencies, conferences and collaborations in the UK and internationally and welcomes over 100,000 visitors from all over the world to its biennale. The festival programmes celebrate the wealth of contemporary photographic practice and feature everything from major conceptual works, participative projects, documentary photography, mobile phone imagery to the archive and all that falls between. We are concerned with what is happening now in the scene and beyond, whilst sharing and contributing to it. FORMAT is the place to engage with an incredible range of work from new and emerging photographers alongside that of some of the best-known practitioners in the world. FORMAT is focused on developing opportunities for audiences to see, debate, develop, contribute and participate in the best of what photography is and can be, through our comprehensive professional practice programmes and a yearly international photography portfolio review. FORMAT is organised by QUAD and the University of Derby and is supported by Arts Council England, Derby City Council and multiple partners from the UK and abroad.

Twitter @formatfestival  Instagram @formatfestival FB    

QUAD is an international centre for engagement in contemporary art and film, based in Derby. Its year-round programme focuses on major exhibitions, professional practice for artists, mass participation, commissions, independent film and the creative use of emergent digital technologies. QUAD is a charity focused on intercultural dialogue through supporting diverse audiences to engage, develop skills and contribute to contemporary culture. Year-round, it’s learning, education and participation programmes involve people and communities locally and worldwide in innovative arts programmes. QUAD provides creative participatory and learning opportunities for people in a safe and welcoming environment for visitors and participants. We collaborate and work in partnership with others to deliver activities that make a positive impact on their lives. 

The University of Derby is an ambitious, innovative and modern university offering industry-relevant, expert teaching, from foundation and undergraduate degrees to postgraduate study and research. Derby’s academic strength is backed up by practical experience to ensure its students are ready for a successful career, wherever their talents lie. With more than £200 million invested in the last ten years, the University offers some of the best university facilities in the UK. The University was one of the first UK universities to launch a photography degree, boasting over half a century of heritage in photographic education, and proudly supports FORMAT.

FORMAT provides an unrivalled platform for leading photographers from around the world to gather, show and discuss their work.” – Brian Griffin, FORMAT Patron


QUAD is a registered charity.