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:
International Photography Curator, Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Overview: Participating in the review of the Source Graduate Photography Online 2016 was a great opportunity to review the many submissions from students around the country and to get a sense of what ideas and themes are emerging this year. From deeply personal projects to documenting international current affairs, the broad scope of the work submitted was both engaging and inspiring. As has been the case in the past, documentary photography/photojournalism and staged/constructed photography were among the most popular of categories, representing the largest number of entries overall, but I was struck by the caliber of work submitted in every category and it was difficult to arrive at just six selections. There were many portfolios I wish I could have seen more of - and for some I did explore the photographer's websites to satisfy my curiosity and learn more. Often times the most successful projects were based on a simple concept or idea that was executed well, reminding me that a photographer is often challenged with making the viewer 'see' the world anew or from a different angle.
Leeds College of Art - BA (Hons) Photography
Selector's Comment: In 'Hudson Valley', Lydia Meredith focuses on an area of New York State where there is a rich agricultural tradition. She portrays a number of farmers from the region who are dedicated to sustainable farming. Her portraits, made with a medium format camera, capture these individuals with sensitivity and respect. Alongside the portraits are images revealing various aspects of the farming life - a basket of corn, meandering chickens - that imbue the entire project with a wonderful sense of detail and nuance. As a viewer I can appreciate the photographer's profound connection with her subject, as she has portrayed a real sense of the people and the place.
UCS Ipswich - BA (Hons) Photography
Selector's Comment: 'Can You See The Sea' by Rachael Williams is a subtle enquiry into the East Anglian coastline from the perspective of the seafront benches found in the region's resort towns. While the popularity of these British beaches has waned in recent years with less people holidaying in these places, the bench remains a constant presence - unchanged but for the dwindling number of tourists who perhaps utilise it. Indeed people are not even present in Williams's images, but interestingly her photographs become populated by us. By simultaneously providing the view from the bench and the view of the bench, she effectively immerses the viewer within the composition.
Ulster University Belfast - BA (Hons) Photography
Selector's Comment: I was particularly drawn to Mary Hamill's project for both its beauty and subversive message. On first look, 'Semper Augustus' appeared to be a series of flower portraits - an array of single tulips against a black background. Semper Augustus is in fact a type of tulip, but the tulips in Hamill's photographs are actually tampons. Hamill has taken what is essentially a feminine waste product and turned it into a beautiful thing. Her subversive act is all the more powerful a statement considering that in 2016 women are still dealing with policing of their bodies against a constant backdrop of a perceived feminine ideal.
Leeds College of Art - BA (Hons) Photography
Selector's Comment: Ben Renshaw's 'Flex' project is a well-executed portfolio of fashion images that are, at their heart, expressions of light, form and composition. Great care has been put into the planning and creating of the photoshoots, which result in images that are both inventive compositions and exercises in formalism. There is a distinct dynamism to the work and already a keen sense of authorship. I look forward to seeing more of his work in the future.
Bath Spa University - BA (Hons) Photography
Selector's Comment: In his project 'Extractions', Oliver Webster, explores Welsh identity through a series of landscape photographs that record the decline of the extraction industries in the country. The physical scarring of the land is evocatively captured in these sumptuous photographs that have a delicious palette of greens, browns, blues and blacks. Devoid of people there are, however, signs of human presence from the abandoned buildings and structures to the very physical alteration of the land. Webster has successfully recorded the very imprint of mankind on this area, but in so doing reveals the lasting effect of the landscape in shaping national identity.
Edinburgh Napier University - BA (Hons) Photography
Selector's Comment: Rosie Davison's 'An End of Terms' documents the final days of a high school in Northern England that is about to close. Having the perspective of a former pupil, Davison records both the essential characteristics and the subtle nuances of the school in a series of photographs that reveal the classrooms, gym halls and the people within. While there is an obvious personal connection to the place for the photographer, what she has succeeded in capturing is the sense of nostalgia that many of us experience upon leaving school and moving on through life. Her engagement with, and passion for, the subject is palpable in the work.
Angela Glienicke »
Picture Editor - Greenpeace.
Mike Trow »
Picture Editor - British Vogue.