Photograd exhibition catalogue

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Sophie Abbott - Huddersfield University, 2015 Do you still love me darling? Sophie Abbott is an artist working with constructed narratives, universal emotion and storytelling. Abbott's project Do you still love me darling? is a project referencing memory, time, relationships and the re-appropriation of imagery. Using ‘found’ letters containing years of dialogue between a young couple living in the time of the Cold war, the narrative explores elements of romantic love, possession and insecurity. Places in which the couple visited become visual metaphors for the turbulent and emotional feelings experienced during their relationship. Feelings of loss, intense love, desire and despair are demonstrated, paired with archival documents gathered from a series of locations. Whether a flower from the ladies garden, or decaying images found at an RAF site in Germany, the project aims to discuss themes of memory, loss and the inevitability of present turning into past. 

Andrea Allan - Manchester School of Art, 2014 The Village As the city focuses on the idea of community, the village starts to fragment. Its boundaries become blurred by the influences of infrastructure, technology and expansion. The work explores the myths created by popular picture postcard portrayals of the English village. The accompanying text refers to personal narratives, a combination of overheard conversations and personal experiences.

Jocelyn Allen - London College of Communication, 2014 5th January 2015 II is from Amalgamated Anomalies, a self portraiture series that followed three projects that were about learning to love and accept myself and my body. Anxiety is something that runs through all of my projects, but this was the first one that mainly addressed it. Since moving to London in late 2010, I had primarily been making self-portraits in my bedroom as I had been too scared to make them outside. I told myself that as long as I could make images that I had not made before then I was allowed to stay inside, so for the project I desperately searched for ways to make new photos in the same space as my previous series had mostly been made. The project came to a natural end when I forced myself to photograph myself outside.

Alastair Bartlett - University Campus Suffolk, 2014 Sandlings Alastair Bartlett is a recent graduate from UCS Ipswich. He received the Metro Imaging Graduate Award for his third year project Here We Are. One of the photographs from this series was also shortlisted for the Renaissance Photography Prize 2014 which was exhibited at Getty Images Gallery, London. Alastair worked closely with Metro Imaging and his mentorship program on his ongoing series Sandlings. This work intertwines his childhood memories and his innate need to document the surroundings. In 2015 work from the series was exhibited in both the RPS International Print Exhibition and the AOP Awards. In 2016 his work has been shortlisted in both the Fotofilmic Film Photography Prize and the Magenta Flash Forward Awards.

Leticia Batty - University of Westminster, 2015 Steel City ‘A town like Sheffield assumes a kind of sinister magnificence’ - George Orwell Sheffield is a town with its identity forged from its industrial past. This project stands as a testimony to this; an account of the defining structural elements that shape a city. In this series the pragmatic yet intimate nature of the images project the effect of the grind of industry over the city of Sheffield. 

Charlotte and Georgia Bennett - University of East London, 2016 Made Strong Michelle was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at 19. After learning of her diagnosis Michelle found it hard to understand. With not much visual aid on hand she was scared. Having both known Michelle from the age of 11 she confided in us about her diagnosis. Admittedly, neither of us truly understood or new about MS, this seemed to be a reoccurring pattern when telling people of her diagnosis. During the summer when the both of us were figuring out what to do for our final major project, we decided that Michelle’s story had to be heard and that people needed to learn about MS. Charlotte took on the project and Georgia assisted throughout the year creating Made Strong a photographic book. A year later the three of us are still working together with the MS Society and we now are expanding our creative ideas through film. 

Rachael Bint - Coventry University, 2015 Photographs of Friston Forest Friston Forest is a largely beech plantation situated within the South Downs National Park. The site is owned by South East Water and predominantly managed by the Forestry Commission. Land was let on a 999-year lease to the Forestry Commission who started planting the forest in 1926. Although it may appear, the site is not ancient or semi-natural. Photographs of Friston Forest considers an area of managed landscape. The pictures look overgrown and uncultivated, casting dense shade on the understory. These photographs focus on a desolate site of dense woodland. They suggest how nature has the innate disposition to disregard the enforcement of regulation and control. My journey follows no linear narrative; I made the work by walking through the forest, reading the landscape and translating my experiences. Drawn towards nature, and man’s intervention upon it, the series extracts elements of managed wilderness that manage to feel wild. 

Kieran Boswell - University of Salford, 2016 An Observable Occurrence In modern philosophical use, the term ‘phenomena’ has come to mean what is experienced is the basis of reality… This image, from the series - An Observable Occurrence explores consumerism, objects and the use of colour to manipulate perceptions.

Krasimira Butseva - University of Portsmouth, 2016 Slices of Red Slices of Red explores personal and social memory in relation to identity and politics. With the use of vernacular photography and family narratives I illustrate the commonality of experience, behaviour and belonging. The stories recounted from first person’s point of view obliterate the individual to create a collective narrative and reference the ideologies of Eastern European communism. The work questions the photograph usually regarded as a document of the real in relation to the notions of indexicality. The constructivist design creates a contrast between the movement’s ideology and the concept of the project, allowing the truth to slip out through the slices. 

Jason Carden - Hereford College of Arts, 2014 At no other point in history has the potential for second-hand experience obtained such zenithal proportions. With the advent of new – postmodern modes of visual communication and dissemination, we observe and find familiarity within the immeasurable aggregation of Western visual culture. But what do we really see? We live our lives as an habitual, digital feed-back loop, experiencing a perpetual cutting-edge purgatory which negates the act of witnessing. Rather we document for later - easy consumption at our leisure - the lives we veto. My work, seeks to explore notions of the ontology of mass Western digital culture in the Baudrillardian sense and what constitutes the vernacular within a wider photographic context. 

Caitlin Chescoe - Arts University Bournemouth, 2015 Volunteer Volunteers are present in every area of society, yet their contributions largely go unacknowledged. My work is the outcome of my engagement with a number of charities and organisations that rely heavily on the time volunteers provide to support their community and the environment. Each individual has their own particular reasons for committing and I aimed to provide an insight into the chosen lifestyle of these ‘hidden’ members of the community. I have chosen to document a combination of staged and brief encounters with the volunteers whilst they were engaged in a moment of reflection. 

Victoria Chetley - University of Brighton, 2015 This image is part of an untitled larger body of work exploring what it means to belong somewhere. My mother is Costa Rican, and I’ve always felt a much stronger affinity with her birth country than I do with mine here in the UK. Some of my strongest childhood memories are from Costa Rica: spending long, sprawling summers in the heat, burning my feet on the sand, seeking shade under long palms with the iguanas and the feral animals. As an adult I’ve found myself desperately trying to capture those childhood feelings in a photograph.

Liam Collins - University of Cumbria, 2015 Audiotypes Audiotype images are created using a unique photographic process; they are a combination of a long exposure portrait and a visulisation of a recording of the subject's speaking voice. The images contain more of the person than a traditional photographic portrait, they contain their voice and their mannerisms but captured in an abstract way. 

Declan Connolly - Newport University, 2015 Views of a Mountain Views of a Mountain questions the validity of memory and nostalgia, the Snowdon of my youth. In winter the mountain is cloaked in white and often hidden in cloud, this is when I climbed its face most often; therefore my memories of this mountain are eternally shrouded in white. A snow covered, towering force lurching out of the landscape of my childhood. Each mountain is a small piece of the oldest mineral existing on and making up Snowdon's structure. The four hundred and fifty million year-old quartz is collected from the mountain's peak and hand carved without physical reference from memory to resemble Snowdon's image. The sculpture that now becomes an icon of the fantasy is then photographed where it was originally collected on the summit and left in situ, adding their height to the original peak and once again forming part of Snowdon itself. 

James Dobson - University of Brighton, 2014 Tumuli are sepulchral mounds dating as far back as the Neolithic; strange, manifestations in the contours of the land, the origins of which might be difficult to determine for the passer-by, possessing an ambiguity as to whether they are natural formation or human design. Indeed these funereal structures exist at the intersection of natural and cultural histories; built of the land itself and, as such, subject to the same natural phenomena that govern the appearance of our landscape through time whilst bearing witness to the endeavor of successive cultures as locations for medieval folk moots, gallows poles, and more recently plundering by thieves. This series forms part of a wider body of worked named This England, Old Already that looks at aspects of the landscape through the lens of a figurative archaeology as a counterpoint to prevalent, nostalgic notions of rural England. 

Marcus Drinkwater - University of the Arts London, 2016 At the Gates of Europe Due to a hardening of immigration legislation and heavy border reinforcements, the Balkan route for migrants wishing to gain entry to Europe is currently at a standstill. Whether attempts are made on foot or in the ram-packed lorries of profit-driven smugglers, those desperate to reach Western Europe face sub-zero temperatures and infamously brutal police forces. In the central Belgrade, with no heat, a single, meagre source of clean water to and finite sustenance to share between such a number of people, every day is a battle for survival in what is informally referred to amongst migrants as ‘the Squat’. To save themselves from frostbite in temperatures known to fall below -15C at night, people burn railway sleepers and flammable products taken out of bins, providing them heat at the cost of toxic fumes. 

Anne Erhard - London College of Communication, 2016 From the trees we run between Based on the ancient legends of the world tree, a central axis supporting heaven and earth, this project expands into a poetic study of the notion of origin, the cyclical nature of devotion, and the anonymity of craft. Traditions of building open up a circumnavigation of sites of worship; surpassing landscape as visual construct and returning to land as graspable object. Drawing from countless mythologies of the forest, my concern lies in keeping visible those fragments of knowledge embedded so deeply in collective memory they are on the brink of eclipsing themselves. Collating multiple narratives into a story of endurance, this body of work oscillates between the boundaries of the found and made. Layers of imagery are eroded, gathered, and compressed again by the force of interwoven histories; a built land gradually reveals its marks of engagement and possession. 

Marie-Louise Garratt - Plymouth University, 2016 Hippophagy This work aims to address the question of the continued survival of ponies on the rugged landscape of Dartmoor. Because of their hardiness, the ponies are able to continue to survive on the moor throughout the whole year, making them fundamental to the conservation of the landscape. Today Dartmoor Conservation Meat, an organisation whose aims ultimately are to conserve the ponies, is creating a market for Dartmoor pony meat around Devon. By eliminating a specific age group it promises to maintain a stable population. This issue raises ethical dilemmas and forces us to question whether we have the right to kill and eat healthy animals, especially those that thrive within a semi-wild landscape? By photographing the ponies in their habitat, I aim to display their deep affinity with the land. The pony in this image, is confronting the viewer, and (we can imagine), imploring them to consider the ethics of ‘conservation meat’ and whether this course of action really has a role in twenty-first century Britain. 

Lisa Gillies - Nottingham Trent University, 2016 Under The Fog The fog that falls over San Francisco is a very common phenomenon. This image was taken during my time in California, which happened to be during the fog season. It is part of my travel & landscape collection of images where I focus on the elements of the earth, especially the weather. This image was captured as the fog was descending down from the hills before the buildings were completely devoured by its presence, not to be seen again until dawn. 

Jim Grainger - Nottingham Trent University, 2015 Church of the Trinity Llandrindod Wells rests in a valley between a series of running ridges and the famed healing waters that gave so much to the small Welsh town. Poorly connected to the outside world and largely forgotten to the annals of Victorian ‘boom’ towns, it is a landscape in decline – a 19th Century phenomenon. This small series was made in July of 2016 during the high season, enjoyed for a moment and then put aside for other distractions. Llandrindod Wells occupies the very same space; the ephemeral nature of wet-plate photography, barely containing the sitters and betraying their minute movements in time, reconciles itself with the fleeting existence of the Welsh town. The memory of a once popular spa-resort and the moments of a summer since gone linger in some distant thought – a holy veneration pervades all.

Chloe Hayes - Arts University Bournemouth, 2014 Border, Isla Del Sol During a trip of firsts, first time back packing, first travel outside Europe, first use of an iPhone, Chloe Hayes documents her experiences both beautiful and humorous (she thinks) across South America. Endeavoring to see the solo voyage with her own eyes and expose the wonders on her memory, the artist was determined not to view every moment through her lens, firstly seeing, taking in and then capturing by choice. After all, recording is 70% looking, 30% drawing. These recordings or photographs are published on numerous platforms in the form of a travel diary written on hostel PCs and in internet cafés with no café, an Instagram takeover with Photograd every weekend of the journey, the artists first and only Instagram devoted to the travels and several articles and blog pieces post return. The culture hit reignited the artist’s love for the colour, the encounter and the beauty and art of composition.

Holly Hennessy - Arts University Bournemouth, 2015 Face Off Face Off is a video installation representing the iconic and symbolic nature of the Police uniform. Designed specifically to evoke power and authority, the uniform is psychologically intended to appear authoritative and to have a profound psychological impact on those who view it. The male Police officers were each recorded in their uniform for one minute in a private social environment. As the camera lens interrogates them, their power and authority increasingly becomes ruptured creating unease and vulnerability. The work evokes historic references from the mug shot to Warhol's Screen Tests. The subjects wear different uniforms, one formal and one casual. The work is not intended as a critique or deconstruction of the Police but represents the veneer of authority the uniform shows and how the lens is able to penetrate it. HDV, 7 minutes, 2016 

Tom Illsley - Nottingham Trent University, 2015 Aircraft taking off over Hatchford Brook from the series There’s No Herons Today Birmingham Airport receives thousands of international passengers daily. These visitors travel from the four corners of the globe, flying over the surrounding area without intricately seeing the beauty of the landscape below. This series of images highlights the landscape and its history to these travellers that frequent the sky above. Figures from Birmingham Airport show that 8 million people live within one hours drive of the airport, but less than 40% of them use it. The work counters the impressions of areas such as Marston Green, widely considered an area of deprivation and deterioration, but one with many hidden beauties; in spaces such as Hatchford Brook, isolating an 18hole golf course between the airport and its flowing water. I consider these photographs to be a truthful representation of this periphery, displaying how the land is viewed, used and mediated. 

Grace Jackson - London College of Communication, 2015 The Sea my Safe Place As a continuation from The Fractures of our Soul, the series The Sea my Safe Place explores the idea of the similarities of our human body to the body of the coast. After being sexually assaulted I spent much of my time at the seaside, writing everything down I could not say out loud, I gave the sea my secrets. It became my haven and therefore it was where I first felt safe again, safe with being outside, being around people, it was where I learnt to have somewhat trust in humanity and that was because of the sea’s calming influence. I hope to bring the sea indoors with the series. 

Jacob King - University of Gloucestershire, 2016 This image comes from a body of work by Gloucestershire graduate Jacob King. Jacob's work focuses on the migration crisis that has gripped Europe over the last few years, and specifically on the refugees who relied on the refugee camp in Calais before it's full closure in October 2016. Image taken in April 2016, Afghan refugees play cricket in the recently demolished southern area of the ‘jungle’.

Matt MacPake - University of Hertfordshire, 2015 To & From the North Circular Considered by many to be one of the noisiest and environmentally damaging roads in Britain, the uncertainty of the road’s development since the 1970s has caused urban decay and criticism for lack of progress and a poor pollution record. Notwithstanding its reputation, the road represents a significant artery carrying a regular life-flow of people and goods through, around and out of the city. The road is an essential blight on neighbourhoods through which it passes, representing a significant issue for government and local communities. This project highlights the life surrounding the road; local people going about their day and moments of natural beauty captured against the backdrop of the rubbish-strewn concrete edifice.

Elanor Marielle - Middlesex University, 2015 Outsiders Dealing with mental health issues as a young person comes with many things to navigate. As well as the stress of having to manage your own thoughts and anxieties, people will often not know how to treat you once they know, something that can make the experience of owning to a mental health problem even more painful. These are the people who are not only dealing with conflict within themselves, but also conflicts that come with demanding to be heard and respected when living with illnesses that aren’t visible and are painfully misunderstood.

Katie McAtackney - Norwich University of the Arts, 2016 A collaboration with Jo Flowers Katie is a technically adept photographer and a thoughtful and intuitive artist. Her body of work is versatile with a constant visual approach - she seeks out the everyday beauty in her subjects. She captures a candid realness that commands a deeper meaning than might be connoted on first glance. Preferring to shoot on film, her aesthetic is raw but tender, finding beauty in imperfection, and polish in the detail of everyday life.

Chris Mear - Staffordshire University, 2011 In 2014, I met the author of the Facebook page, Coalville Photographed. His name is Graham Ellis. Over the course of the following two years I made a series of short films, and a collection of photographs, observing him as moved through the post industrial landscape we both, coincidentally, call home.

Stephanie Mortimore - Hereford College of Arts, 2016 Pisces from the series Gemini Stephanie’s photographic fascination is driven by a consideration of the medium’s relationship with time, memory and transience. The photograph is a form of posthumous communication, projecting transitory appearances into the future; the print depicting corporeal bodies embalmed in the photographic emulsion like insects in amber. Through her creation of Gemini, she engaged with photographs of unknown sitters, lost through time, connection and memory. She interpreted these sitters as constellatory bodies, giving them a bearing in time and space; astrological constellations pierce the photographic surface, transforming the formal into the fantastical. They are lost and reborn.

Freya Najade - London College of Communication, 2009 Along the Hackney Canal The image is part of my series Along Hackney’s Canal. In this project I explore the landscape of the canals and surrounding sites in East London, Hackney. I am particularly drawn to this area for its beauty, which is different from the perfectly ordered English gardens and parks, or the wild, uncivilized nature of oceans, mountains and forests. The further you follow the canals to the east and north, the more indecisive the landscape seems to become, between civilization and wilderness, trimness and negligence, vital beauty and gloominess. The city appears and disappears trying to juxtapose nature and centuries of human urbanization.

Tom Owens - University Campus Suffolk, 2014 Muntons, Stowmarket: taken from the series Edgelands Owens is extending his successful Edgelands series to include ‘Agridustrial buildings’ in our East Anglian landscape. This digital image is from part of the series shot on site at Muntons of Stowmarket. The main body of work is sponsored by ‘Kodak alaris’ and is still being shot on film along with additional digital pieces. Owens hopes to be able to have sufficient Agridustrial buildings to exhibit along with Kate Jackson who paints brutalist structures from photographs she makes. This is a long term project.

Henry Rice - Hereford College of Art, 2016 Tokyo from the series Mapping I have tried to encapsulate what it is to remember a place, the place, the journey that was undertaken, the sights, the sounds, the memory. The memory however is never a clear image, a solid static representation. Memory moves it twists and warps over the coming months upon reflection, details thought unremarkable suddenly jump out as critical, and the essential becomes unimportant. To try and express this, I have chosen to take photos taken on the same day and location. Fused together they become a confusing medley that expresses the memory of the place. 

Ellie Rickard - Arts University Bournemouth, 2014 Negative Anthropology Negative Anthropology explores the connotations of photographic appropriation, and issues of consent when utilising found imagery. By removing the faces in the photographs, it allows the unknown subjects to retain their privacy, but also erases their identity.

Ameena Rojee - University of the West of England, Bristol, 2014 El Camino I am intrigued by people, culture and the land, due to my very mixed heritage - a blend of Spanish and Mauritian, and I was born in and grew up in South London! I experienced an incredible variety of different cultures and worlds as a child, and still now as an adult. It greatly influences and informs my work today. This image comes from my in-progress work on the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, a city in north-west Spain where it is believed that the body of St. James the Apostle lies. I undertook the journey partly as a mental and physical challenge, as well as with the intention to further explore the Spanish side of my roots using photography and exploring the pilgrimage itself.

Christoph Soeder - University of South Wales, Newport, 2015 Emily from the series Unfading Unfading shows women affected by alopecia, a hair loss disease the exact cause of which is unknown, as is any promising cure. Affecting 1,7% of the UK’s population and causing complete or partial hair loss, alopecia is not a life-threatening condition but for most people means a severe psychological shock and threat to their sense of identity. Gwennan Thomas, participant of the project and advocate of the charity Alopecia UK in Wales says that ‘loosing her hair can make a woman feel vulnerable, naked and often less feminine and powerless against contending with the latest hairstyle trends or fashion statements. However for many, an inner strength is revealed which is both astounding and beautiful.’ The women in the photographs have taken off their wig, a few already years ago when they decided not to disguise their hair loss anymore, some for the first time in front of the camera.

Christina Stohn - University of Westminster, 2014 Haussegen Devotional objects as testimonies of belief have been part of homes in the Black Forest for centuries. Displaying religious icons served to convert a living room into a prayer room; this enabled residents in this Christian region to express their devoutness even when they were unable to get to church. Praying in private gave them more flexibility to follow their faith than was allowed by liturgical rules. However, over the last few decades, there has been a significant decrease in membership figures in Christian communities. Alongside this, the influence of the Christian Church is disappearing from our social life and the religious dimension of cultural identity is at risk of extinction within an increasingly pluralistic society.

Andreea Teleaga - University of Sunderland, 2015 ERASED Looking at the contemporary Romanian Society from a post-revolution perspective, I am seeking justifications and answers regarding the present status of the Romanian identity. Several aspects that sustain a nation are in decline, such as history, traditions and national values. Questions come across often and it seems like the answers get to surface. After almost half a century of Communism and 25 years from its fall, its ghost is still walking through the former communist country. An entire national identity was eroded and the memory of the landscape started to fade away. 

Becky Warnock - London College of Communication, 2016 The Colonised Eye The Colonised Eye, which quotes the Nigerian poet Ijeoma Umebinyuo, ‘you are not alive to please the aesthetic of the Colonised Eye’ is an exploration of my relationship to, and understanding of, the role of photographic image within the politics of representation. Using early images from my own practice as a photographer, NGO imagery and media sources, I try to unpick the politics and ethics around modes of representation of Africa within a post-colonial context.

Alice Wills - University of Huddersfield, 2016 Deluge Deluge is a landscape project based within the Lake District. It focuses on the concept of childhood memories within an ever-changing world and the realisation that nothing ever stays the same forever. I revisited places from my own childhood and explored feelings such as nostalgia, loss and compassion, then conveyed these feelings through my abstract style of landscape photography. I used the 2015 flooding in Cumbria as an underlying theme in this project and explored the movement of water as a metaphor for the constant changes our lives go through.

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