Each year as part of Graduate Photography Online we ask three curators to review all the BA work submitted and to make some recommendations. These are published both in a supplement in the magazine and here on our website. We hope this makes an interesting introduction to the project as a whole.
It has been revelatory to participate in Source Graduate Photography Online 2017. The process of short-listing was made difficult and lengthy by the high standard of work, and if I had not been limited to just six finalists, I could have found a lot more to say about a host of great projects. I wish all the graduates the best of luck with their future careers and look forward to rediscovering them down the line!
University of South Wales - BA (Hons) Documentary Photography
Selector's Comment: Giya Makondo Wills' 'They Came from The Water While The World Watched' depicts the co-existence of indigenous and appropriated faiths in South Africa through the lens of the artist's own mixed identity. Employing subtle signifiers she reveals the uncanny nature of a place and people formed by opposing cultures. I was particularly struck by the use of light in these images, which have faith and mysticism at their heart. Here, light is not just a technical agent but becomes an active protagonist in scenes that are animated by something invisible.
University of Portsmouth - BA (Hons) Photography
Selector's Comment: Ben Hatherly's photo-story 'You Take the Best Cat Home' about a cat 'best in show' is a witty and pointed look at the strange yet serious world of competitive breeding. More than simply documenting the event, his artistry skillfully captures the multiplicity of power struggles and personalities at play in this microcosm of breeders, judges and pets. From the tight-crops of faceless inspectors evaluating the uncomfortable entrants' attributes, to the rosette adorned cages showcasing proud felines in their element, the photographer has managed the art of story-telling with nuances, and from many different points of view.
IADT Dun Laoghaire - BA (Hons) Photography
Selector's Comment: For 'Cara Park' Sinead McCarthy has handed the camera over to her subjects - twelve children from an Irish Travelling Community - to capture an insider point of view of an often misunderstood and marginalised group within society. This process allows for complete trust between the appointed photographers and the photographed, avoiding a clichéd response to a popular subject matter. These images, although of children, have a distinct rawness, which is conveyed by the graininess of the point and shoot compact cameras. The subjects, themselves, present a mixture of innocence and confidence, which I find refreshing, and which could be attributed to their empowerment by the camera.
Middlesex University London - BA (Hons) Photography
Selector's Comment: Thomas Wynne's 'Ground Control' is a fascinating experiment in depicting an ethereal and ever-changing subject matter: the sky. Reminiscent of John Constable's Cloud Studies these atmospheric investigations into colour, mood, distance and landscape go beyond the realms of science and meteorology. This inquisitive playfulness is explored to its maximum potential through the artist's choosing to create and manipulate these works in the darkroom. I was excited by the infinite possibilities and images this project suggests, each one a unique abstraction of time and place.
University of Portsmouth - BA (Hons) Photography
Selector's Comment: Archie Munro's 'Through a Glass Darkly' satisfies a universal curiosity that is held by most about 'the other'. His photographs, which peer into his oblivious neighbour's illuminated kitchen and bathroom, at night, are at once banal and insidious. The use of formalism in this series with its strong black outline framing the action - the effect of looking through a peephole - is particularly successful, and helps to increase the sense of tension that comes with each new image. I enjoy the thrill of being kept wondering with this work, safe within the familiarity of its domestic setting.
Plymouth College of Art - BA (Hons) Photography
Selector's Comment: Sam Lyne's 'My Dearest Beatrice' was one of the most touching projects of all. This personal history piece makes use of an extensive archive of photographs and letters to recount the story of the artist's Great Aunt and her beloved, who met during the Second World War. The extraordinary collection of portraits of his Aunt in front of awe-inspiring mountain scenery recalls the compositions of the German Romantics. Each photograph follows the same intriguing principal of presenting the Aunt from the back looking into Nature. As if Nature were the subject, rather than the Aunt. The images are created in the style of a postcard perfect view to send a message back home from abroad or from beyond - as if they had been knowingly created at the time for the artist to use today. Despite being old photographs, they emanate a real sense of natural vitality and bring the reality of a life lived long ago firmly into the present.
Selection by Ivy Lahon »
Picture Editor - Save the Children.
Selection by Salvatore Vitale »
Editor-in-chief - YET magazine.
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