Each year as part of Graduate Photography Online we ask a number of professionals from the world of photography to review all the MA/MFA work submitted and choose their favourites. We hope this makes an interesting introduction to the project as a whole.
It's been wonderful having the opportunity to look through the bodies of work submitted and see such a variety of approaches. I was impressed with the confidence and curiosity with which the students tackled the medium, the strength of their vision and the sensitivity towards often uneasy subject matter. Photography is currently at a really exciting stage and the malleable and progressive nature of the medium was also palpable throughout the selection presented here. It was interesting to see that staged/constructed methodologies predominated among the various categories and to observe how new technologies can propel renewed creative processes and thinking, both in theory and practice. The work here makes a valuable contribution to re-invigorating discussions about what photography is, does and needs.
Selector's Comment: Mandy Barker collected detritus she found over time along beaches and re-organized it in strange, solar-system like shapes in her studio. Barker's obsessive, colour-coordinated arrangements hover between a state of chaos and structure, magical still-lifes of the mundane and discarded.
Selector's Comment: This is a very moving body of work that delicately deals with the process of mourning. For one year, Tim Doak documented the life of Jason Smyth, who, after the death of his wife, built a pigeon loft on the roof of his local church. The loss and loneliness that has enveloped Jason's life is palpable in the images yet there is also a sense of hope and calm determination to carry on.
Selector's Comment: Gortázar's photographs of the European Parliament offer an insight into the interior of an institution that is a remote yet intrinsic part of our lives. In these futuristic as well as 'common' looking spaces, there is little trace of the human within the minimalist aesthetic. Despite this, everyday markers of use, a crack in the wall, a fire alarm, an unplugged security scanner, remind us of the banal realities of everyday bureaucracy.
Selector's Comment: Working with portraiture in new and interesting ways is a difficult undertaking. I found Jesús Madriñán's hyper-real portraits very arresting. Taken in London nightclubs, I liked the painterly, chiaroscuro quality of the photographs and the way the central, illuminated figure is the quiet focus, yet one is equally drawn to the dancing crowds in the background.
Selector's Comment: I was intrigued by Maione's performative and fresh approach to self-portraiture. Taking on multiple personalities, from posing as a terrifying snowman covered in shaving foam to photographing his hairy bellybutton annotated with a sticker, his images mix the comical with the absurd, revealing the darker traits of the human psyche.
Selector's Comment: There is an edgy and sometimes menacing atmosphere in Torry's seemingly banal 'family' photographs. This ambivalence leads us to ask if they are found, re-worked or constructed? Film-stills or photographs? It appears as if an incident is occurring just outside the frame - about to happen or has already happened. An intriguing and charged body of work that evokes issues of memory and the reworkings of time.
Selection by John Duncan ▸
Editor, Source Photographic Review.
Selection by Andrew Hunt ▸
Director, Focal Point Gallery.
View Submission Guidelines ▸