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.
It has been a great and very challenging experience to select only six projects from this diverse overview of graduate work. I was particularly intrigued by the wide-ranging scope of themes that were represented; from current political issues around immigration, social housing, distribution of wealth and waste management, to much more personal topics of gender identity, changing family structures and religious beliefs. I was impressed with the quality of work and the thought that clearly went into ordering and selecting images for this online gallery. A strong visual language combined with a particular idea unites all the projects I have chosen. I was also keen to select photographic projects that would showcase the diversity of the medium. It would have been very easy to choose more projects, therefore I would recommend that everyone take a look at all of the submitted portfolios.
Selector's Comment: Lewis Blanch's personal investigation into his family's photography album has led to some surprising and peculiar juxtapositions. Blanch takes seemingly ordinary photographs, and through adding layers and material he masks and disrupts their innate compositions and their original meaning and purpose. Instead of remembering the moments, he reuses the photograph as material and opens up the potential of the image to function in its own right. I am fascinated by the process and artistic vision of Blanch's project.
Selector's Comment: The boredom of daily routines, loneliness, the prison of the house - all of these are themes in Hazel Boyle's intriguing photographic series. Here she portrays the often forgotten individuals that live on the margins of society. Her portraiture is full of empathy, curiosity and tragedy. Her characters - the migrant, the addict, the old woman - perform in front of the camera, but they are not exposed by it, instead they keep their dignity and humanity. It is a heartbreaking study of isolation and dependency that Boyle presents, and I am certain it will stay with me for some time.
Selector's Comment: Serena Brown's photographic portfolio presents captivating scenes of street life with a keenly expressed passion for fashion. In her images youths go about their daily lives in front of shops, takeaway restaurants or playgrounds. The protagonists leave these plain urban facades behind with the help of their joint desire to stand out, which is highlighted by their united dress code - the track suit. Brown captures fascinating moments of self-awareness, overly exposed attitudes and clashing environments, while also subtly addressing social issues around minorities and visibility.
Selector's Comment: Deniz Kemirtlek's sensitive, personal study Loggerheads examines the often-difficult relationship between father and son. In telling images Kemirtlek offers a world of intimacy and trust, but also separation and aggression. The Welsh landscape is the backdrop to these layered images that give a glimpse into a psychological state between childhood and adulthood. This awkward time of growing up is potently and intriguingly referenced here, with photographs of objects symbolising meaningful events: competitions and the changing body, or the parting from parents. Brought together, these photographs present a complex aspect of growing up in a unique and compelling way.
Selector's Comment: In her project Full Gospel Mary Perez compares the intimacy of traditional services in churches to broadcasted religious events. She travelled to South Korea to examine the way a so-called 'megachurch' operates and brought back fascinating images that document the technical and digital side of religion. How can this televised service reach its supporters in a meaningful way and how can it hold up in comparison to direct, human exchange? Perez's project left me with many questions about what a modern religion could look like.
Selector's Comment: Portuguese photographer Beatrize Temudo creates beautiful and devastating images about the effect of wildfires in her home nation. Her poetic black and white images present a landscape scarred from fire and left bare with only few signs of vegetation. Her powerful photographs are a warning to us all and a reminder that we need to take care of the environment we occupy. Temudo's portfolio speaks for itself and is a fantastic example of an emerging photographer who has a clear ecological message, but is able to convey this in abstracted and intriguing images.
Selection by Phil Coomes ▸
Picture Editor, BBC
Selection by Brad Feuerhelm ▸
Editor and Partner, ASX
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