About 2018-07-06T08:42:42+00:00


Through The Lens Festival of Photography (TTL) wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the initial idea by Steven Kilmartin; the founder for this project. Steven felt that a celebration of all things photographic needed to come to Hastings, to complement the town’s celebrated artistic creativity over the Coastal Currents weekend. As Hastings currently has some wonderful art and photographic groups and a plethora of creative minds, it seemed an ideal location to launch this event, and bring the towns of Hastings and St Leonards to the fore in terms of photographic representation.

Steven quickly recruited wife Jo, an experienced event’s organiser, to assist with coordinating the event, invaluable as Festival demands began to grow and develop even further than initially expected! Thanks to Jo, things happen when they should, schedules are adhered to and communications are kept lovely and open!


Steven Kilmartin

Steven has a BA Hons in Photography which he gain in 2016. At present he is undertaking further studies with an MA in Fine Art at the University Of Kent and is looking forward to start his second year. In the last three years he has been fortunate to have been able to exhibit work in London, Kent and Sussex, with projects that have taken him as far a field as India.

He has also been an active member of the Zoom Arts Group in Hastings and had the opportunity to exhibited his work at their gallery in Warrior Square, as well as Stade Hall.

Steven is the originator and event coordinator of the Through The Lens Festival Of Photography, which will take place at St Mary In The Castle in 2018. If successful he hopes to make this a biannual event. The inspiration for TTL came from living in the very art driven town of Hastings. Full of festivals all year round, Hastings only lacked the opportunity to view photography. So the idea came into being.


Jo Kilmartin

Jo Kilmartin has successfully ran her own business for over ten years. She along with her husband have in recent times been generating projects that have included property development both here and in Europe and now she is prime instigator of Through The Lens Festival Of Photograph 2018.

She has also been a press officer for The Zoom Arts Group here in Hastings. Her duties included press releases and Zoom promoter with a natural ability to organise and communicate, she is a strong driving force.

Jo is now planning a project to create affordable artist studios for the Hastings area. The studios will be eco friendly, inspiring environment made from shipping containers. The project will be up and running in late 2019.



I have been a photographer for nearly ten years and the camera is an integral part of my life as it captures moments every day that resonate with me and visually speak to me. It has enabled me to express myself creatively and to recognise the beauty in the every day.

I currently work freelance photographing local festival events and also undertaking private commissions for individuals and commercial purposes.

After successfully completing an HND in photography, studying has become something of an addiction, and so I am about to complete my final year of a fine art degree to enrich my knowledge and take my art forward. I am looking forward to this challenge!

I am a Secretary for a local Arts group – Zoom Arts, who, with our own local gallery space, keep me on my toes managing exhibitions for more than 20 artists in the group. We also hold two major exhibitions each year at a well known local venue and undertake several projects throughout the year. The self funded, and ‘accessible to all’ group has gone from strength to strength and has really created a positive name for itself in the town.

As well as partaking in the Zoom exhibitions I have produced several of my own solo exhibitions. My favourite and most noted one being in July 2016 which was an appreciation of my favourite area of France – Languedoc. ‘Liberte, Fraternite & Egalite’. I found this cathartic for me to produce, curate and hang, especially in the light of Brexit.

Having two young children I am also interested in involving them in the craft of photography, and there has been many a rainy day spent in the darkroom, creating images. There really is such pleasure to be had from seeing children’s faces as an image appears in a darkroom tray.

I am passionate about fundraising for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust (as my daughter has this condition) and have organised many fundraising activities over the years, raising in excess of 50k (to date) and I am particularly delighted that TTL will be donating some money from this event to the Trust.

Cystic Fibrosis Trust


mariam curator

Mariam Sudzhadinova is a freelance curator and exhibition organizer.

Mariam was born and raised in Finland by a her Russian and Azeri parents who immigrated to Finland from Russia in 1993. She was raised part of the Swedish speaking community in Helsinki, and was able to enjoy a happy childhood in Scandinavia where she attended the Swedish school system. Finland is where she acquired the love and passion for Art, design and nature, and her cultural Finnish heritage remains a big part in her life and career.

Mariam’s parents instilled an early love for knowledge and Arts in her, as she spent most of her childhood surrounded by Art, nature and travel. Her family was always surrounded by artists, Mariam’s grandfather was a sculptor in Azerbaijan where he had a fruitful career. In summers, Mariam would spend months in rural Azerbaijan painting with her grandfather and taking care of animals on their property.

She moved to the United Kingdom in 2012 in order to attend the University of Kent. There she studied History and Philosophy of Art for three years under the supervision of Michael Newall, Ben Thomas and Grant Pooke. After graduating with honors, she pursued a Master’s degree in Curating which she achieved in 2016. During the four years at the University, Mariam focused her studies and research around Art Philosophy, focusing heavily on Modern and Contemporary Art.

During her time at the University, Mariam had the privilege of writing two successful exhibition proposals and was able to curate two shows based on these. The two projects, titled “Beautifully Obscene” and “Curio” both produced printed catalogues where she published her writing.

Since graduating from University, she has decided to stay in the United Kingdom to pursue a career in the creative sector, and she is looking forward to the future exhibitions and projects she will embark on. So far she has been able to work on several projects since graduating from University but is still looking for a permanent position.

Inspired by a multi cultural range of artists and creatives, Mariam is currently expanding her portfolio of experiences by engaging in various creative projects in Kent.”


rebecca gerken

Rebecca is a photographer originally from Battle, who grew into her camera in the seaside town of Broadstairs. She likes to photograph many things, mainly people as she can actually have a conversation with them. After graduating from Canterbury Christ Church University in 2014, Rebecca had the opportunity to work as Director of Photography on a feature film shot entirely in and around Ramsgate, before going on to work for two children and baby portraiture companies once filming had completed. She now resides in Bexhill and works as a freelance photographer.


Dave Brabants

Dave Brabants worked for many years as a Sound Recordist and Audio Engineer for BBC TV Film Unit. Since becoming freelance in 2000, as well as carrying on shooting documentary film around the world, he has specialised in providing audio facilities and expertise for small music festivals, theatre productions, conferences and other events more locally based in the UK.


st mary in the castle