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.
Cynthia MaiWa Sitei
This year’s MA photography graduates offer unique insights into how contemporary photographers work and it has been thrilling to view the variety of submissions as one of the selectors. They are consciously and seriously contributing to influential cultural shifts which is both impressive and fruitful. I was particularly drawn to work that proposed a risk and excitement, a sense of mutual exploration and speculation, as well as projects that are thought-provoking and left room for the audience to engage in conversation. Because very few contemporary photographers make and present work in isolation, I was truly impressed by the graduates who pushed themselves to develop personal projects which transcended the current trendsetting themes and follow their own trajectories. It showed their dedication, commitment, and confidence in their vocation as photographers of today and tomorrow – that they are here to make their mark, grow and develop in the industry of photography
Selector's Comment: Rajvanshi’s project, 'Lines of Flight', combines aesthetic rigour with ethical engagement setting a standard for future visual artists. Her integration with images, drawings and text are both playful, conceptual, and inviting which shows a deep interest in challenging and pushing the medium of photography. It grabbed my attention immediately and I found myself lingering in that experience because the drawings and the images are so intertwined that I needed to be able to feel the movements. Rajvanshi explores and expresses the theme of memory in an exciting and thrilling way that leaves the audience wanting more.
Selector's Comment: Lin’s work is about identity but expressed in a way beyond words. She is able to draw us into close proximity to things that we don’t necessarily want to be close to while at the same time changing how we perceive them in the process. Her methodology and installations are captivating and prove that photography can convey complex ideas effortlessly in a minimalist way and not be perceived as inaccessible.
Selector's Comment: There is a clarity in Etchells’ work that I admire, 'A Reasonable Degree of Likelihood' takes you step by step into the experience faced by refugees and asylum seekers in the immigration system. His perspective as a human rights lawyer becomes an intentional intervention of guiding his audience into the complicated bureaucracy that is the immigration system. Because there are many parallel realities and narratives being told concerning refugees and asylum seekers, Etchells’ approach is experimental and wide ranging. I am reminded that our minds are often being invaded by legions of half-truths, prejudices, and false facts, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr noted.
Selector's Comment: In 'Our Hidden Room', the details that matter are very small within the landscapes, which makes the viewer become more alert to every inch of the picture. I sense a deep curiosity to explore and a rich desire to engage with the audience about forgotten and lost memory, personal trauma, and conflict. A desire to draw his audience into his personal space and I was left wanting more.
Selector's Comment: What is striking about Staniforth’s collages is the effect they have on you as the viewer – the more I look at them the more I feel as though I am falling into a trance or a dream and thinking about dreaming. I am both fascinated and challenged by Staniforth’s body of work.
Selector's Comment: I was drawn to Lundin Osvalds’, 'Dear Maria', because I admire the clarity of ideas and arguments presented in the film, and rather than attempting any kind of neat overview about mental health, Lundin Osvalds’ use of personal and historical archival materials to document the vast topic in Sweden was captivating.
Selection by Jodi Kwok ▸
Assistant Curator at Derby QUAD
Selection by Sabina Jaskot-Gill ▸
Senior Curator, Photographs - National Portrait Gallery
View Submission Guidelines ▸