Archisle : The Jersey Contemporary Photography Programme, hosted by the Société Jersiaise (Jersey Society) in the British Channel Island of Jersey aims to promote contemporary photography through an ongoing programme of exhibitions, education and commissions.

    The Archisle project connects photographic archives, contemporary practice and experiences of island cultures and geographies through the development of a space for creative discourse between Jersey and international practitioners.


    The Archisle project is host to a biennial open photography exhibition. For the Archisle  #1 Open Photography Exhibition 2011 photographers were invited to submit a portfolio of photographs responding to following brief:

    ‘Certain natural environments have figured prominently in humanity’s dreams of the ideal world: they are the forest, the seashore, the valley and the Island.’ [1] Islands, both real and fictional, have inspired artists and writers since antiquity. But islands can be sites of paradox: prison or paradise, exiled to or exiled from. [2]

    The physical and cultural borders of islands define and challenge the lifestyles of their inhabitants and shape insular and external perceptions about them. Small islands have limited natural resources and their economies can be based on a limited range of activities. [3] Island artists may find inspiration in their distinctive settings but must respond to challenges of isolation and remoteness from artistic movements and trends breaking in ‘mainland’ urban centres.

    Islands support unique and fragile ecosystems which are vulnerable to environmental stress and invasive species. Today, Island Studies [4] is an active field of research seeking to define the nature of islandness, ‘…a complex expression of identity that attaches to places smaller than continents and surrounded entirely by water.’ [5] The medium of photography provides a useful tool for interrogating this concept. To mark the launch of the Archisle project, photographers are invited to submit a portfolio of three photographs responding to the theme of ‘islandness’.

    The resulting exhibition featured the work of ten international and eleven Jersey artists.

    View the Archisle #1 Exhibition here>>


    1 Tuan, Y-F, Topophilia: A Study of Environmental Perception, Attitudes and Values, 2nd edition (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990); quoted by Baldacchino, G, ‘Editorial: Islands, Island Studies, Island Studies Journal’, in Island Studies Journal vol.1 no.1, 2006, p. 11.
    2 See Hay, P, ‘The Islanders Speak, and Others Hear…’, in Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, summer 2003, pp. 204-205; Baldacchino, G, 2006, p. 5.
    3 Festa, M, et al, ‘‘Islandness’ as a Resource (Amenity): a look at how being small and isolated has found a place in a globalizing world’, Proceedings of the 6th International Congress on Coastal & Marine Tourism 2009, Accessed February 24th 2011.
    4 For background on Island Studies see online resources at:; ; and Accessed March 9th 2011.
    5 Stratford, E, ‘Islandness and Struggles Over Development: A Tasmanian Case Study’, in Political Geography 27, 2008, p. 160.