To accompany this year's submissions Source has asked a number of respected figures from the world of photography to select their favourite sets of images from all the work submitted.
Special Guest Selection by:
Head of Photography, Science Museum Group
Overview: It is great, as a curator, to get the chance to review new work by emerging photographers in this way. I get to see work I may not otherwise see, and projects that have developed since I last saw them. It's tough, as a photographer, to distil your project and your ideas into eight or so pictures but it is perhaps the essential discipline. I hate being asked to identify trends in new photography and it is hard to generalize about such a broad collection of photography. We've lived in artistically plural times for a long time now, and I think all the traditional genres and modes are intact and useful points of reference and departure for most photographers. The challenge is to find your subject and its form and execute it in a way that is distinctive and meaningful. Many of these photographers here have done just that, and I have chosen six projects that I particularly like.
Royal College of Art - MA Photography
Selector's Comment: Tom Hatton's pictures have for me real presence and real purpose. They do a very difficult thing: they speak about the refugee crisis without cliché or sanctimony or voyeurism. They are conceived in an artistic rather than a journalistic mode that is nevertheless not aestheticized. I admire the way his voice is low key and that is what gives his pictures their quiet power.
Royal College of Art - MA Photography
Selector's Comment: You're always looking for something fresh and I have never seen this before: an artist's self-portrait made by exploring the 'psycho-geography' of her right thumb. The title alone is a winner. I like the fact that the images seem to find their inherent form: the process leads to the pictures and there's minimum subsequent elaboration. Their form is thus pure, surprising and strong. Yet it is not an exercise in abstract formalism. Ayesha's photographs propel you into the arena of digital profiling with all the issues of control and discrimination that implies.
London College of Communication - MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography
Selector's Comment: I find these photographs heartbreaking but also human and warm. It's a classically good documentary project. The subject is hard-won: it must have been extremely challenging to access these 'internats'. Jadwiga draws our attention to a current human tragedy in a way which is involving rather than blunting. I found these people in Belarus stayed with me for quite a while.
University of Westminster - MA Photographic Studies
Selector's Comment: This could have been a disparate collection of images given there are found photographs alongside urban street scenes and posed portraits. I think Laetitia has cleverly gathered the separate threads to work as a whole - and this in itself reflects her theme: that there's not one story but many contributing stories. She makes the images cohere visually because of the way 'space' is figured: the empty foreground of the street scenes for example is echoed in the empty recto of the found pictures.
Plymouth University - MFA Photography
Selector's Comment: I like the way that you also find yourself looking for Martha. And when you find her there is an intensity, an energy around her in the picture. This could have ended up too sweet and girly, but it has an edge to it. Sian's distinctive colour palette gives it strong elegiac mood and thus reinforces her theme.
University of South Wales - MA Documentary Photography
Selector's Comment: This is rather Moriyama-esque in style, but I found myself warming to the metaphoric ambition of it. A burning nocturnal light contrasts with the stygian blackness of the River Taff. This brutal opposition of black and white stands for the dividing line between conscious and unconscious. In 'Cardiff de nuit' there's a dark undertow and an expressive intensity the Surrealists would have been proud of.
Shoair Mavlian »
Curator, Tate Modern.
Cliff Lauson »
Curator, Hayward Gallery.