Each year as part of Graduate Photography Online we ask three curators to review all the MA/MFA 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.
Curator of Photographs
I've really welcomed this opportunity to look so closely at such a diverse cross-section of graduate work. Delving into each and every submission, firstly through the images, then the text and back to the images again, has proven thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening. Seeing the work collectively in this way has given me a better insight to the themes and aesthetics currently being explored nationally. Overall the ingenuity in the work is really impressive. The challenge of selecting my favourites was met through the imagery that I found harmonised most successfully with the concept and where as a set, quite simply, the photographs remained with me.
University of South Wales - MA Documentary Photography
Selector's Comment: Swedish-born Brunzell turned to her home country's renowned export Abba, or rather the tribute acts that keep their music alive today. Tribute acts are a curious phenomenon. I feel Brunzell succeeds in her goal to perceptively convey the grey area between the façade of the character performance and something of the real individual, which to me is the precise element that makes them so awkwardly compelling. I was struck by the composure of the subjects, reminding me of Madame Tussaud's waxworks. The settings people are photographed within convincingly reinforce the contrasts of reality and play.
Ulster University - MFA Photography
Selector's Comment: The subjects Dean has photographed caught my eye for their simplicity in form and structure as a set. Dean's focus on these relics of a pre-digital era powerfully drive home the tactility of the built landscape and our connection, or loss of physical connection, with it. Composed to include the fringes of headland we are reminded of their fragility and disconnect as they teeter close to the edge. I enjoyed the unison of these structures brought together as they are, and particularly the way each becomes its own intriguing and colourful character, emboldened against the neutral skies.
University of Westminster - MA Documentary Photography and Photojournalism
Selector's Comment: Terzza offers a coherent series of images through which I was instantly immersed into the depths of the environment in question. We are offered the natural beauty that the area is recognised for through tight compositions, clarity and rich colour. Concurrently we are presented with a sense of the looming threat the area is challenged with, expressed through the broken, dappled lighting and the protective stance of the protesters. Through what appears to me to be evident empathy with the landscape and people, Terzza documents a scene of protest, yet achieves so through imagery that I found powerfully quiet.
Plymouth University - MA Photography
Selector's Comment: A combination of beautiful portraits and details emerge through this body of work by Strong which immediately resonated with me as a mother of two young boys. The instinctive yet considered concept running through these images is one that indeed strikes a chord, as it would for many parents, and I found that this is articulated effectively through the playful interaction between the boys and the surrounding natural environment in which they are located. There is a distinct timelessness and innocence created here that strongly contrasts with the digital, connected age we have become accustomed to.
Royal College of Art - MA Photography
Selector's Comment: New housing developments dotting the rural landscape are both ubiquitous and yet still surprising in the way in which they materialise, emerging distinct amid their surroundings. Drawing on the 'tribal application of colour' used to define these settlements, Taylor splashes his landscapes with floating strips of colour, almost blowing in the wind, suggestive to me of soft furnishings and freshly applied paint. They transform and animate the scenes, emphasise the notion of transition and make the real buildings almost appear toy-like. Additionally, I really liked the application of the corresponding colours in the framing of the final show.
University of Westminster - MA Photography Arts
Selector's Comment: With nuclear threat once again a topical concern, this series feels acutely timely, albeit not founded on war. The Chernobyl disaster occurred when I was a child myself and I have only vague memories of news bulletins. The event clearly had far greater impact upon Burejza. I like how the juxtaposition of monochrome and bold colour adds to the drama which unfolds through the work; the constructed approach enhancing the idea that nuclear disaster can seem unreal; a scenario played out in fiction. Yet this is conceived through real history. The very direct composition of the mask alone hits home.
Selection by Thomas Dukes »
Curator - Open Eye Gallery Liverpool.
Selection by Olivia Arthur »
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