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.
The mix of carefully considered, finely executed and accomplished series of images together with work that brings the verve of on-going investigations in technique and subject matter has made the initial trawl through all the entries a rich experience - and the final selection extremely difficult. I enjoyed both, and include both, believing that the verve of work-in-progress, and series that were less resolved, but included some strong or provocative images, deserves celebrating as well as more complete and cohesive work. The breadth of ambition across the entries is exciting and I am impressed by the diversity of interpretation in some categories, disappointed in others. The documentary and photojournalism category drew by far the most entries, suggesting that many students find that a narrative, how ever loosely interpreted provides a useful structure to develop a project. Finally, on-line viewing offers the world but at times - and this is a tribute to the work - I yearned to see it in print form or an installation, to understand more about the photographer's creative decisions in areas such as scale, sequencing and printing, key elements in a body of work and its interpretation.
Selector's Comment: This series stands out; Lelliot uses precisely selected locations, careful crafting and the cumulative strength of the series to make a potent and allusive body of work. I love the framing - corners, doors, a slightly off kilter viewpoint, the threatening intersection of a staircase, the aggressive angle of a floor tile - that opens up many potential narratives.
Selector's Comment: This is a confident entry with one intriguing portrait and an image that positions the work as an installation. This quasi-scientific portrait is elegantly executed and Marmalade constructs a palpable connection between the pigeon and herself. Fascinated, I went to her website. Sexual politics inform a diverse body of work that is fresh, fun, and brilliantly conceived.
Selector's Comment: These compelling portraits, from the documentary and photojournalism category, draw on rich Caravaggist lighting and the intensity of the sitters' exchange with the photographer/viewer. They transcend time, identity, and gender. The interior shots create a visual counterpoint, and set up a story, but with no indentified link to an individual sitter, their strength, like the portraits themselves, lies in their ambiguity and mood.
Selector's Comment: I was drawn to this quiet set of animal and plant paintings that Shelly found in the Irish landscape. I liked the decision to look at natural history through an unusual approach to found imagery, and admired the finely tuned selection of elements he chose to create his own work. The cropping and reframing of the previous visual content together with the use of the surface weathering and deterioration creates a beautiful and sensitive series resonant of the Greek and Roman murals that I love in Italy.
Selector's Comment: Fyfe's work explores ways of working with landscape to investigate place, memory and time. I liked the claustrophobic, urgent and slightly unnerving mood she creates by pushing the pictorial, reducing information with depth of field, vertiginous viewpoints, and layering. She holds the tempo by controlling the palette and containing the location.
Selection by Louise Clements ▸
Artistic Director of Quad and Format International Photography Festival.
Selection by Brian Dillon ▸
Writer on photography for The Guardian, New Statesman and Artforum.
Selection by John Duncan ▸
Editor, Source Photographic Review.
View Submission Guidelines ▸