Hidden Worlds

East Meets West 22/23

FORMAT Festival, QUAD and GRAIN Projects collaboration  

Obscuring truths, subverting realities, and navigating private and collective histories are themes reflected across socio-political structures in the UK and abroad. Through the Hidden Worlds, sixteen different visual artists from across the UK engage with topics of identity, memory, body, family, place and power to expose new perspectives and unravel the ‘hidden’ beneath the seemingly familiar.

Over a six-month period, this collective group has participated in the East Meets West Programme organised by GRAIN Projects, FORMAT and QUAD. Through a series of workshops and ongoing collaboration, the artists have grown a creative and nourishing community, and developed a public programme of exhibitions, talks and workshops as part of FORMAT 2023 in Derby across the opening weekend and beyond. The Hidden Worlds exhibition consists of photographs, moving image, installations, archival images and documents, through which the artists capture and uncover the concealed and the overlooked, dismantling established narratives. Through the diversity of their projects, the exhibition explores the ‘hidden worlds’ that coexist within and outside of ourselves, recognising the complexity of the unseen.

This multidisciplinary approach seeks to challenge linear documentary story-telling conventions and to allow for a plurality of voices and experiences to be seen and heard, unravelling the multiplicity of ‘hidden worlds’. The exhibition and programme of activity that will be presented have been designed to question the boundaries of visual storytelling, delve into the meaning of hidden perspectives and encourage visitors to enter into a dialogue and exploration.


East Meets West is a FORMAT Festival, QUAD and GRAIN Projects collaboration made up of a series of masterclasses for emerging photographers from across the UK. The professional development programme offers photographers the unique opportunity to take part in presentations, portfolio reviews, and advice sessions with leading professionals. The experience is immersive and provides an opportunity for practitioners to take the next step in their careers. The programme is open to photographers nationwide. It is supported by Arts Council England, Birmingham City University and the University of Derby.