Each year as part of Graduate Photography Online we ask a number of professionals from the world of photography to review all the BA work submitted and choose their favourites. We hope this makes an interesting introduction to the project as a whole.
I was struck by the diversity of the work presented and by the range of approaches. However, given my particular interest in subjective and conceptual forms of social photography, the artists selected include those whose themes reflect their interest in specific aspects of society. I am very interested in forms of contemporary documentary or post-documentary practise in which there is a subjective dimension and works in which the photographer's relationship to the subject is significant. I am also interested in the relationship between past, present and future, in the ways that traces of history - whether family, culture or ethnicity - are manifest in the present. I am also intrigued by the way that emerging artists draw from their elders, sub-consciously but also, often, self-consciously in the creation of their work.
Selector's Comment: Henry Lowther's depiction of children from a travelling community uses a mater-of-fact presentation that gently challenges our own expectations and prejudices. The directness of the poses is both challenging and tender. Although this type of street photography is familiar from work by Albrecht Tuebke and others, this is a moving series that transcends the present to address the future.
Selector's Comment: Jon Willetts' approach to detail provides a compelling composite image of an unfamiliar community through its cataloguing of the objects, possessions and signs encountered in the interiors shared by a group of Benedictine nuns.
Selector's Comment: Giorgia Pistoia uses close-ups of hands, to explore African identity, and by focusing on specific African subjects in Dublin uses this particularity to avoid distorting universalism. The result is a revealing depiction of a distinct community.
Selector's Comment: Ray Hegarty's tender depiction of the aging process may recall John Coplans, but is intensely personal in its referencing of the photographer's father. The aging body of one individual is depersonalised though formalism to achieve something universal as well as intimate.
Selector's Comment: Theresa Moerman Ib's poetic work draws from her family's history as collectors and tinkers in ways that are as poetic as they are descriptive. The subjects are often prosaic, even banal, but the power of the photographer's imagination turns each object into something personally meaningful and significant and each picture into a small epiphany.
Selector's Comment: Kevin Traynor's depiction of the make-shift structures used for pigeon breeding in Glasgow is a metaphorical way of addressing solace and masculinity. Each work is individual, strange and intriguing, but the series also gains strength from its thematic consistency. By employing a variety of viewpoints Traynor avoids the type of typographical classification to be found in the work of the Bechers.
Selection by Sean O'Hagan ▸
Writer on photography for The Guardian and The Observer.
Selection by Kirsten Lloyd ▸
Associate Curator, Stills, Edinburgh.
Selection by John Duncan ▸
Editor, Source Photographic Review.
View Submission Guidelines ▸