COLWYN Bay is set to become a massive photo gallery once again next week.

The Northern Eye International Photography Festival returns for its second year with an ever-growing line-up of artists' work displayed throughout the town for two weeks from Saturday, October 7.

Featuring more than 20 free pop-up exhibitions within the town’s empty spaces, shops and businesses as well as National touring exhibition SIXTEEN at Coed Pella, the new county Council offices in the town centre.

The two-yearly festival is organised by Paul Sampson, curator of Oriel Colwyn - the only dedicated photography gallery in North Wales - whose inaugural festival in 2017 attracted more than five and a half thousand visitors to Colwyn Bay.

He said: “We have partnered with the Aberystwyth Eye Festival, which is held every other year. This is their fallow year, so we fill the void with this event, which is why it’s called the Northern Eye International Photography Festival.

“On Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 the festival plays host to a special Speakers Weekend event at Theatr Colwyn. This is a rare chance to hear top names in the profession, such as Magnum’s Olivia Arthur, John Bulmer and Wales’ own Dan Wood.”

“Other speakers are Brian David Stevens from London, who recently exhibited a striking ten-year project photographing war veterans each Remembrance Sunday following the Cenotaph ceremony; Tessa Bunney whose work includes ‘The Women of UCT6’, documenting an all female unexploded bomb clearance team working in Laos and trained by the Manchester based Mines Advisory Group (MAG); and Joanne Coates, who is based in the North of England and who is interested in working life and class inequality.

“There will also be a chance for ticket-holders to book a slot with a speaker and have their own work critiqued - a very rare chance to get such professional advice and guidance.”

Each of the exhibitions is free, for more information on the itinerary visit

Day tickets for the Speakers Weekend start at £35, and full weekend tickets £65, available from or by calling the box office on 01492 556677.