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Special Guest Selector - Karen Downey

Special Guest Selection by:

Karen Downey

Senior Curator, Belfast Exposed

Overview: In terms of general trends, there appears to be a strong interest in social documentary practice, with a clear strand of work that is highly subjective, expressive and often therapeutic in approach. I found some of the 'staged/constructed' work interesting in terms of the hybridization of the medium and expanding photographic practice in relationship to text, sculpture and video. I was surprised to find so few students working with found photographs and archival material using strategies of appropriation and collage. Similarly, I expected to see more collaborative and participatory work. I encountered a high level of technical competence, which was impressive in itself and enjoyable to look at. For those planning to work outside a commercial field of practice, I would encourage further conceptual and critical rigour, thinking through and beyond formal, aesthetic considerations to devise visual strategies which really interrogate a particular social or personal issue. I would recommend presenting an edit of no less than five images, if possible, to give some sense of the work and practice as a whole. Ideally the edit would be accompanied by a web link to more of the photographer's work, biographical information etc. Many of the statements seemed a little over aspirational in terms of language use and intentions for the work. I would suggest all that is really needed is a line on general idea or subject, approach and methodology/process. It would be interesting to read a line or two on critical problems encountered and how these were addressed. It would also be interesting to read a line or two on specific influences on the work, be they photographic or other.

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Ruth Gonsalves Moore

University of Ulster - BA (Hons) Photography

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Selector's Comment: A clear idea. Confidently executed. An interesting formal proposition that is both figurative and abstract. A universalising point of view of a person at prayer, which pays close attention to particular aspects of devotional practice: dress, body language and interior environment. The work astutely side steps the problems of religious identity politics in Northern Ireland, while at the same time providing an intimate, insider view of a relatively closed area of life.

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Craig Wye

University of Brighton - BA (Hons) Photography

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Selector's Comment: A curious take on the 'low grade' aesthetic and limited perspective of images depicting violence, terrorism and war as proliferated through online news and networking sites. Despite developments in high-definition, digital imaging technologies, our access to and experience of the wider world is increasingly mediated through low quality images, which, despite their lack of detail and highly generalized content, are typically associated with ideas of authenticity and truth.

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Luke Brown

University of South Wales, Newport - BA (Hons) Documentary Photography

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Selector's Comment: Luke Brown's series of tidal swimming pools is expansive in scope; an impressive typology of man-altered landscapes extending around Britain's coastline. His approach is on the one hand, cool and detached, typical of the influential Dusseldorf School of Photography, and at the same time, responsive and immersive. While the light is generally consistent, the perspective necessarily varies from place to place. One can imagine the photographer scrambling around in difficult terrain trying to negotiate the best viewpoint. The outcome is a series of dynamic compositions (best viewed in full on his website), which conjure an image of Victorian era seaside resorts, and leisure time for the working and middle classes of industrialised Britain.

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Alex F. Webb

University of Brighton - BA (Hons) Photography

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Selector's Comment: A documentary style account of a mysterious historical happening, which plays with photography's contingent relationship to fact and fiction. The series is presented as a collaboration between the photographer and (fictitious?) local historian and is made up of found photographs and landscape work, combined with observational and staged images. References abound from science fiction to conspiracy theory, the cinema of nuclear paranoia, British rural horror and much more besides. A beautifully tangential work, which speaks about photography's relationship to the hidden, the invisible and the unknown.

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Philip Gibson

City of Glasgow College - BA (Hons) Photography

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Selector's Comment: Philip Gibson's work and statement compliment each other well. The statement is succinct and honest and offers real insight into the thinking and activities behind the work. The work departs significantly from the supporting statement and can be viewed, not so much as a series but as a set of experiments. In different ways, each image resolves a complex combination of conditions: location and quality of light, subject, composition and reference(s).

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Spacer About the Selector: Spacer Other Selections: Spacer
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Karen Downey is Senior Curator at Belfast Exposed with responsibility for the exhibition and publication programmes. Recent exhibition highlights at Belfast Exposed include Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography (2013) in partnership with The Mac, and solo exhibitions by Allan Sekula and Hans-Peter Feldmann. New work projects have been developed with Nicky Bird, Sylvia Grace Borda, Mark Curran, John Duncan, Melanie Friend, Anthony Haughey, Kai-Olaf Hesse, Claudio Hils, Allan Hughes, Daniel Jewesbury, Dragana Jurisic, Anthony Luvera, Mary McIntyre, Aisling O'Beirn and Michelle Sank. Karen also works as an independent curator. In 2012 she was Lead Curator and Editor for Into the Light: The Arts Council - 60 Years of Supporting the Arts (Arts Council Ireland) and in 2009 she curated Northern Ireland's presentation at the 53rd Venice Biennale with a solo exhibition by Susan MacWilliam. She has extensive experience of book production and has published books with Belfast Exposed, the Arts Council of Ireland, and international publishers, Steidl, Hatje Cantz and Black Dog Publishing.

Lorenzo Fusi »
Director, Open Eye Gallery Liverpool.

David Drake »
Director, Ffotogallery Cardiff.

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Spacer Courses: Spacer Categories: Spacer
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Barking and Dagenham College
BA (Hons) Photography

Batley School of Art, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire
BA (Hons) Contemporary Photographic Arts

Blackpool and the Fylde College
BA (Hons) Photography / Photography and Digital Design

University of Bolton
BA (Hons) Photography

Arts University Bournemouth
BA (Hons) Photography

University of Brighton
BA (Hons) Photography

University of the Arts London Camberwell
BA (Hons) Photography

Canterbury Christ Church University
BA (Hons) Photography

University of Chester
BA (Hons) Photography

Coleg Sir Gar, Trinity Saint David
BA (Hons) Photography

CIT Crawford College of Art and Design
BA (Hons) Fine Art

University of Cumbria
BA (Hons) Photography

University of Derby
BA (Hons) Photography

Dublin Institute of Technology
BA (Hons) Photography

IADT Dun Laoghaire
BA (Hons) Photography

Edinburgh College of Art
BA (Hons) Photography

Edinburgh Napier University
BA (Hons) Photography and Film

Falmouth University
BA (Hons) Photography

University for the Creative Arts, Farnham
BA (Hons) Photography

Glasgow School of Art
BA (Hons) Fine Art Photography

City of Glasgow College
BA (Hons) Photography

University of Gloucestershire
BA (Hons) Fine Art Photography

University of Gloucestershire
BA (Hons) Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

Griffith College Dublin
BA Photographic Media

Harrogate School of Art and Design
BA (Hons) Lens Based Photo Media

Hereford College of Arts
BA (Hons) Photography

University of Huddersfield
BA (Hons) Photography

UCS Ipswich
BA (Hons) Photography

University of Central Lancashire
BA (Hons) Photography

Leeds College of Art
BA (Hons) Photography

London South Bank University
BA (Hons) Digital Photography

Manchester School of Art
BA (Hons) Photography

The National College of Art and Design
Photography and Digital Imaging Certificate

University of South Wales, Newport
BA (Hons) Documentary Photography

University of South Wales, Newport
BA (Hons) Photographic Art

Norwich University of the Arts
BA (Hons) Photography

Nottingham Trent University
BA (Hons) Photography

Open College of the Arts
BA (Hons) Photography

Plymouth University
BA (Hons) Photography

University of Portsmouth
BA (Hons) Photography

UCA Rochester
BA Hons Photography Contemporary Practice

Sheffield Hallam University
BA (Hons) Photography

University of Ulster
BA (Hons) Photography

University of the West of England
BA (Hons) Photography

University of Westminster
BA (Hons) Photographic Arts

University of Westminster
BA (Hons) Photography

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Documentary/Photojournalism

Pages:    1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8   

Commercial/Fashion

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Landscape

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Portraiture

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Staged/Constructed

Pages:    1    2    3    4    5    6   7

Urban/Suburban Landscape

Pages:    1    2    3   

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