Photograd interviews Nicholas Priest

To accompany the new edition of PGZ, we have interviewed some photography graduates from the submissions received for the Photograd blog. Here we have an interview with Birmingham City University graduate and current MA student at the University of Gloucestershire Nicholas Priest.


Where did you attend university and what year did you graduate? I attended BCU and graduated in 2009 and I am currently undergoing my first year of my MA at the University of Gloucestershire.

Image from the series  A46

Image from the series A46

Tell us about your time at university. Have you got any stand out moments you can tell us about? I loved the freedom of university and was able to look at a few and mediums in the visual communication course before continuing with my love for photography. I actually transferred from the LCC in London to BCU and from marketing and advertising to visual communication as I found myself bored in lectures and bored of writing essays and all I wanted to do is to take my camera out (and that’s all I did do).

In my second year we were given a documentary photography brief and at this time I was unsure about man area or my area of photography, field and overall real identity in photography. This module and my introduction in to William Eggleston and Stephen Shore through the lectures and tutorial taught me to think about visual story telling. This project really gave me my indemnity and I want to know everything and anything to do with documentary photography and where ideas and thought process are communicate from ideas and research in to visual communication through documentary photography. 

Image from the series  A46

Image from the series A46

What themes do you explore in your work? I really enjoy just getting lost. I have always dropped myself in a location and walked. This use to be with headphones and the latest indie band on but it is now without headphones and listening to the area and the environment and having some sort of guidance through sense of place.

I like to think about a story and narrative before I go and give myself some background knowledge of an area to then try to depict and communicate without the viewer ever being there. This has developed into adding people and trying to portray the person again without the person meeting them and getting some thought process of communication through my photographs. 

I want to try and give the viewer new knowledge through the obvious and documentation of the everyday and through the ideology of sense of place and geographically location of time and space. 

Image from the series  A46

Image from the series A46

Tell us about your series. What's important to you about the A46? Who inspired you? How did you feel when revisiting locations from such significant times in your life? I have seen a lot of the A46 within my 31 years; Burton Farm tip, where myself and my Dad would take trips at the weekend with hedge cuttings and unwanted trinkets to dispose of and give to the Hospice shop. Alcester to Coventry is where my Dad would drive me to football games and I now drive myself up and down this part of the A46 to in and around Stratford and still playing football. My Dad drove up and down the A46 as a national sales man for different companies and I will never forget the orange lollies from Little Chefs that he would bring home and the small BP albums that we used to collect. Towards Coventry, I remember taking a bus with my Mum as a young boy to get a cyst removed as my Dad was working away and we only had one car. Warwick Hospital is just off the A46, where I have visited for twisted ankles, getting wisdom teeth removed and more recently with my Mums Mum passing away.

About 8 years ago, my parents moved from Stratford upon Avon, where I had grown up with my sister and moved down the A46 to Bidford on Avon, we helped them move and I have lived in the house a few times; after university and after a break up with a girlfriend. 

Image from the series  A46

Image from the series A46

I remember working with adults with learning disabilities and I was driving with my ex-girlfriend in the car and was in a consistent mood and mind set of overthinking, which let me to overthinking while driving and I pulled out of a junction at Longbridge Island. Myself and my girlfriend at the time where fine, but this lead me take a step back within my life and leave that job to seek and get help for this over thinking. I got counselling and went on anti-depressants and close to a year later, I had pushed and made myself the person I am now.

I teach photography at the College in Stratford where I was first taught and grew my love for photography, I live in a house in Broadway with my girlfriend and my overthinking is near but gone. I now drive to just see my Mum in Bidford more today as we lost my Dad a few years ago in a freak accident, were we also lost our family Dog. I visit my Mum and her new dog regularly and my Mum comes to watch my play football for a local village team; Welford that my Uncle helps to run.

Sense of place and relationships are journeys, where it is good or bad memories, we change, places and landscapes change, family and friends, live changes. Visiting the A46; I took these memories to where I knew, stopping and walking and documenting what I remember to what has changed. This went up to and just passed Coventry. I then drove and walked where I didn’t know and that was from Coventry to Grimsby and Cleethorpes visting the centre and the outskirts alongside the A46 road. Documenting other memories and what could have been mine if I lived close to that area of the A46. 

As you move from Twkesbury all the way up to Grimsby and Cleethorpes more of the nation voted out in the recent Brexit vote. I wanted to try to show this, and document changes from place to place; documenting the change and giving the viewer a sense of place and idea of change from; little chefs to Starbucks and McDonalds and to portray a portrait of Britain and the real people and the roads and journeys we take.

Image from the series  A46

Image from the series A46

Depending on the outcome of Brexit and the future of the UK, where do you see your photography taking you in the future? Brexit has become an absolute farce. Whether you voted remain or leave. The notion that the people that ‘run’ this country would rather lie than govern the country, for the people is absurd. 

With the arts world this is already no funding and galleries have to charge more than I believe that they would want to as there is no backing and cuts are being made left, right and centre within the arts. 

This filters down to artists and graduates trying to get their work into galleries, exhibitions and enter them in to paying competitions, but there are platforms like Photograd that can use their platform and social media to help photographers be seen and keep them enthusiastic and motivated to continue with work and create new work. 

Image from the series  A46

Image from the series A46

My time with photography has been up to and down and projects have come and gone and some have been finished. With the Brexit outcome I can see myself carrying on with expressing narrative through my documentary photography and this may with the outcome of Brexit and documenting people and places; like my new project the A46 and what, who, and or might be affected by Brexit.

How do you feel your series communicates the current state of the UK? What would you like your viewer to learn? I think my series gives an idea of sense of place, change of landscape and the idea of psychogeography of urban and rural environments. I want to show the viewer the nostalgia of a road and relation to myself.  To show a journey and the change of the how far the a service station has come, to observe buildings and infrastructure, cafes, signs and overall semiotics, and be hopeful that the viewer can resonate with the series and the journey and see different landscapes from west to east of the A46 through; edgelands and into environments where different people voted remain and out.

Image from the series  A46

Image from the series A46

Have you got any exciting future plans? I am about half way through the A46 and starting to get a good vocabulary and looking more in to the contextual side as the project grows. I have been looking in to the road trip through David Company’s The Open Road alongside looking into work after Robert Franks Americans. The main homage has been to Paul Grahams  A1; The Great North Road and the nostalgia of Grahams journey on an ‘A’ road. These photographers, their visual communication, and my thinking through my MA so far has lead down a path of psychogeography; before and psychogeography today and the idea of walking. This has come from readings in to Merlin Coverley, Patrick Keillers Robison series, Doreen Massey’s For Space and Paul Farley and Micheal Roberts Edgelands which are helping my understanding the idea of walking, place, representation, awareness and a vocabulary to go and continue to shoot for my essay into the ‘A46’. 

I have also begun to plan a project around villages in Britain and abroad with the idea of Brexit being a very narrative throughout. 

Fleur and Arbor interview Jennifer Atcheson

To accompany the new edition of PGZ, we approached industry experts to select from submissions received a photography graduate they would like to interview for Photograd. Here we have Fleur and Arbor co-founders Jasmine and Olivia interviewing University of Ulster graduate Jennifer Atcheson.


How did this project come about?

My original project West came about in 2009 as part of my BA Photography studies. After returning from a project in Cyprus about the city of Famagusta, which lies along the Turkish and Greek Cypriot border, I began to reflect on why I was fascinated with this area. 

Having grown up less than a mile from the Northern Ireland / Republic of Ireland border, the answer was clear and I felt compelled that this would be my next project. I photographed the area where I grew up, both the border and people where Tyrone and Donegal meet. Almost a decade later and this project has become more important than ever. 

Currently I am working on a project under the title of Bordertownland where I am exploring all counties along the border, my main subject of interest is the people and portraits within the landscape.

Image from the series  Bordertownland

Image from the series Bordertownland

What is it like to photograph a place that is so familiar? Was there anything that surprised you? It’s alien and familiar at the same time. For many the border areas have a lot of attached anxieties, and although I remember little more than the border checks and the impassable minor roads cratered or obstructed with cement blockades, it still gives me an uneasy feeling even in the most beautiful landscapes. Locals are inquisitive about why you are idling in theses areas, sometimes met with support and sometimes with suspicion, either way it doesn’t go unnoticed. 

What has surprised me most is how it all feels very much like a temporary effort now that I look at these places again. The bridges look utilitarian and inexpensive, the old checkpoint and customs plots left in a state of somewhat maintained disuse, even some old cement blockades remain having been moved only feet from where they once stood. 

Image from the series  West

Image from the series West

How has your career as a Camera Assistant influenced your photography style? Working in the Film and TV influences my work mainly in the way that I have little time to spare to pursue photography. A minimal working week for me is 50 hours and I have just recently worked an unusually long 16-hour day. But having said that I love my job and my career and lifestyle are difficult to differentiate. All my working hours I am constantly thinking about cameras, lenses, filters and light. In my spare time I rarely go a day without thinking about Photography. I have worked with some of the most talented and experienced Cinematographers from around the world who I would never have otherwise met.

Photography is almost like a language and for me the more technical understanding you have, the more fluently you can use it to communicate. My photography has changed technically and I know more intuitively how to achieve a shot, but my style has changed very little. My photography is not in any way cinematic and is a world away from how my short films look. For me Photography and Cinematography are closely related but more akin to cousins than siblings. 

Image from the series  West

Image from the series West

Why did you choose to shoot both the landscape and portraiture? For me landscape and portraiture separately are limited in expressing this subject and my main interests are for the representation of the people within the border areas. Photography is always poses the question of how to represent a subject within a single frame and this is where the landscapes come into play. Most of these people would be directly affected by the reinstatement of any kind of a border. Their lives and work are strongly connected to and dependent on the land. 

You're developing a short film, can you tell us about your process? I haven’t started shooting the short film such as yet, but this piece I would say it is more of a moving image Photography piece rather than a regular Film. It will expand on the photographs with the sound recordings being the most important part. I intend on interviewing the people I have photographed about the border and their feelings towards Brexit, yet the outcome will not be a straight documentary type film.

Image from the series  West

Image from the series West

What does Brexit mean to you? Before I comment I feel I need to state that I have friends and family on both sides of “the divide” both religious and political.

Brexit means a border. Hard or soft, either way, and if it is happens between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland it would more than likely result in at least the closure of one family members small business, and the downsizing of a currently booming Film and TV industry. The reality for myself and other family and friends would be disastrous for our livelihoods and many would have to move away for work even if they wished to stay here.

Brexit has serious consequences for Northern Ireland and could be the catalyst for the destruction of the current fragile state of “peace”. Already in the past months we have witnessed a car bomb in an open public place and in a separate incident, the fatality of a Journalist in a shooting during a riot. Northern Ireland is going to be the most directly affected part of the UK, but seems to have been nothing but a complication and an afterthought to the representing politicians.

Pagy Wicks interviews Ben Milne

To accompany the new edition of PGZ, we approached industry experts to select from submissions received a photography graduate they would like to interview for Photograd. Here we have Semi Magazine founder Pagy Wicks interviewing University of Gloucestershire graduate Ben Milne.


Image from the series  Over the Water

Image from the series Over the Water

Pagy Wicks: Really loved Over the Water. How did you come about deciding to document the differences in economic wealth in Liverpool and Birkenhead? What fueled you to create the photobook?

Ben Milne: Thank you. Well technically I was fuelled by my university deadline, haha, but really I wanted to make a piece of work that had some familiarity and discoverability to it. I was born in Birkenhead then lived within ten miles of it growing up so it just felt right to learn more about an area that is close to home rather than try and tell a story about wealth in a community that hasn’t really got a place in my soul.

PW: Ah right, so this was for university initially? I really like that last line, deciding to document a place that has a relationship with you the photographer. What is your relationship with Liverpool? Did your inside perspective reveal any new insights into the wealth divide, or even Birkenhead in general, you maybe hadn't noticed before?

Image from the series  Over the Water

Image from the series Over the Water

BM: Yeah I made the work for my final major project. My relationship with Liverpool is quite simple, it’s just a place that is fun to visit but in terms of the project it’s got a very visible contrast within such a short space, that being the river Mersey. That contrast is down to a few things, job opportunities, scale, the city status itself but EU funding plays a huge role. Liverpool’s waterfront (as viewed from Birkenhead) was hugely funded by the European Union, while Birkenhead gets some funding it just doesn’t carry the same weight. 

Having a little inside perspective was revealing in the sense that it seemed to allow people to talk more openly with me, not so much about their own current opinion on Birkenhead but more of the pathos they have towards the past. The lady pictured behind the bar is 72 years old and she recounted with a sense of joy about “the good old days” when the streets were full and the Mersey ferry was not just a tourist vessel but a business commute, for many. Things move on, that’s a given, but it feels as if a replacement never came for Birkenhead. It’s almost been forgotten.

Image from the series  Over the Water

Image from the series Over the Water

PW: The image of the old woman behind the bar is almost poetic, it's one of the very memorable images from the book for me. What sort of questions do you hope arise from a reader about the distribution of wealth illustrated by the juxtaposition of Birkenhead and Liverpool? Particularly in relation to the UK leaving the EU?

BM: Thanks very much, I like that one too. She was cool. 

I hope it raises questions about the importance of communities that experience loss and the need for them to be rebuilt in some sort of beneficial way. The model is literally there, 1000 metres away in Liverpool. Not to say that Liverpool doesn’t have its own issues with community neglect but in terms of two waterfronts the importance of European funding is there in the Albert Dock, not only to see but to enjoy. The fact that Birkenhead voted to Leave is no surprise as it’s not really benefited from the crop. It does however highlight a possible future for the UK without the EU. Investment will have to come from alternate means and the question is will those means come? And will they ever see an interest in Birkenhead the same way the EU saw an interest in Liverpool?

Image from the series  Over the Water

Image from the series Over the Water

PW: Thanks so much Ben, really excited to see the work develop in the future. The UK feels very divided at the moment, hopefully our conversation, between two people from either side of the coin, will spark something.

BM: Thanks very much, that was fun. It’s great what you’re doing. I look forward to reading the other interviews, especially the leave side ones, they should be interesting... 

Loupe & The Brick Lane Gallery - Another Graduate Show

 
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Ioanna Sakellaraki
A selection from the series Turtles

In an effort to let go of the human obsession for order and rhythm, I led myself adrift in the big wide world. Being away, lost in the strangeness of the unfamiliar, I constantly looked for home but never returned to it. It is said that tortoises crawl about on red earth, going nowhere in plenty of time. They carry their own home with them forever. The power of recalling and rebuilding memory from the nonexistent. Where there is no place to go and nothing to become; the being-ness of human freedom.

IoannaSakellaraki Image 1.jpg

http://ioannasakellaraki.com/
@ioannasakellaraki_photography


Laura van Erp
Single Image (Diptych)

LauravanErp Imagae 2.jpg
LauravanErp Image 1.jpg

@pauravanerp


Alex Currie
Single Image

AlexCurrie.jpg

Anna Perger
Single Image

I do not follow predefined concepts, even though it may be appealing. When I take a photograph, I have to place trust in my own creativity and ideas. In that moment I am a hopeful wanderer locating the already existing image. By exposing myself, the model and I share our vulnerability, which establishes trust and reciprocity. This is the core of my work. The animal inside everyone appeals most to me. I wander together with the person in front of me, unravelling the wilderness in the both of us.

AnnaPerger.jpg

Fiona Filipidis
Series – Velvet

I didn’t know how deep I had gone until I came up for air. I fell head over heels and rolled and tumbled and scraped my knees and bruised my elbows, rolled, rolled and rolled around some more until I was stopped by water and couldn’t roll any more. He branded my soul, weakened my walls and seized it all. It ended; an awakening. Velvet is a cathartic journey I embarked on as a way of coming to terms with the end of my first, overwhelming, tumultuous relationship.

FionaFilipidis Image 4.jpg

Liam Webb
Series – Mother, Mother…

Mother, Mother… is the retracing and reconstruction of Dyfed-Powys Police 1983 operation 'Seal Bay'. 'Seal Bay' is the true story of the most complex drug smuggling conspiracy seen in Britain. Building a cavern out of fibreglass under an inaccessible cove in North Pembrokeshire the smugglers hoped to move cannabis into the UK. Head of the ring was Danish film star Soeren Berg-Arnback. Mother, Mother incorporates and references cinematic lighting and forensic photography. Mother, Mother... presents itself as a crime story through a complex mix of photographs, and objects forcing the viewer to navigate moments ranging from the vapid to the substantial, and to decipher clues as if at a real crime scene.

LiamWebb Image 6.jpg

www.liamwebb.co.uk
@liam.p.webb


Megan Winstone
Single Image

Portrait of Gina Tonic, Welsh body activist and writer, eating chips in our local fish bar in Abercynon, Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales. South Wales is historically absent from a female voice with its strong male presence of mining communities, all male voice choirs and rugby tribes. Gina and I are from similar areas of the South Wales Valleys and wanted to give a realistic look about its communities and characters. Working with a team of Welsh and Wales based creatives, Lily of the Valley shows the true values of life in the Valleys.

MeganWinstone.jpg

Josh Adam Jones
Series – XO

Josh set out to unearth and communicate stories about the expatriate communities of Muscat in Oman. XO concentrates on the relationship between local people and outsiders. With over forty-five percent of the population falling into the expatriate category, Muscat plays host to a rich, diverse and colourful culture. The hospitality and generosity shown by the people of Oman was overwhelming. This project was partly a response to Western misconceptions of the East, and misrepresentations of Oriental values and beliefs. Oman is a peaceful and prosperous country; a sanctuary from the conflicts that affect that part of the world.

Josh Adam Jones Image 6.jpg

www.joshadamjones.co.uk
@joshadamjonesphoto


Jamie Murray 
Series – Folly

‘How do you get the butterfly, starts from there, that’s the transformation. Bottom line is how a man can change.’ Mikey, 2018 This work came about through a series of conversations with individuals who have been incarcerated. Within these conversations the ex-prisoners spoke of what led them to punishment, how they navigated the prison environment, and their eventual transition from institution to freedom. I wanted to hear the stories told by those who had experienced prison firsthand, an approach more akin to a folklorist. The works are a rumination on these private conversations.

Jamie Murray Image 1.jpg

Joe Pettet-Smith
Series – Anarchy Tamed

Gravel roads paved by hand carve through the desert, sheets of rusted metal welded together days before the event make up the City Gates, crowds drift through the dust dressed in haphazard combinations of leather, weathered sportswear and pseudo-military uniforms. This is Wasteland Weekend, the world’s biggest post-apocalyptic festival. The now permanent festival site sits in between the defunct Nevada Nuclear Test Site – where from 1951 a total of 928 nuclear warheads were tested during the cold war – and Hollywood. This is a place where costumes are mandatory, of warring tribes, Thunderdome battles and Mad Max vehicle parades. What started out as a few dozen fans of the films getting together in the desert is now 4,000 enthusiasts from around the world drawn to the promise of chaos and freedom.

JoePettetSmith Image 5.jpg

Rebecca Booth
A selection from the Series – In Case of Emergency

In Case of Emergency invites you to question the treatment of women within Westernized society. Depicting sexual assault, the intention of the project is to bring to light the detrimental effects of objectifying women. Social psychology concluded that sexualization (objectification) affects the way we perceive other people, in that it strips them of certain human attributes, such as a moral sense or the capacity to responsibly plan ones actions (Cogoni, Carnaghi, Silani, 2018). Therefore, it is not surprising to learn an estimated 3.4 Million women in the UK have experienced sexual assault over the age of 16 (Office for National Statistics, 2017). The items shown are targeted at women as a ‘super-cute’ way to defend themselves against assailants. A sickly sweet saviour. The hyper feminization of the products exposes the deep rooted ideology of womanhood in Westernized society.

Rebecca Booth Image 1.jpg

www.rebeccaboothphoto.com
@rebeccaboothphoto

Photograd interviews Alex Jones

To accompany the new edition of PGZ, we have interviewed some photography graduates from the submissions received for the Photograd blog. Here we have an interview with Arts University Bournemouth graduate Alex Jones.


Tell us about your time at university. Have you got any stand out moments you can tell us about? I’d been taking pictures for a long time before Uni and wasn’t sure if it was something I needed to study, I was trying to think what my life would look like if I went to uni and wasn’t sure if I would like it. I was sitting there in my room looking at apprenticeships for jobs I wouldn’t mind working, carpentry, arboriculture; outdoor work mostly. But all the people I went to school with were getting married or having babies so I really saw it as an escape before the walls closed in. I was really happy I applied in the end. I felt lucky to be where I was; it really expanded my mind to entirely new ways of thinking about photography and culture. The staff were constantly supportive and the course really challenged me to reconsider conventional narratives in contemporary photography. Beyond the curriculum, my tutors and classmates fostered a great community that I felt was pretty special to be a part of, just looking at our grad show proved that. Most of all I made life-long friendships with incredibly talented people who constantly inspire me and whose support for one another runs contra to the neo-liberal competitive bullshit that pervades the creative industries. 

Image from the series  바람/Wind

Image from the series 바람/Wind

Tell us about your selection of images. What themes do you explore in your work? The photographs I have selected are a small part of a large series I produced in 2017-2018 titled 바람/Wind

The project is a narrative of two bodies meeting in time and space despite incredibly distant beginnings. Through observational snapshot photography the project forms a journal of my relationship with my girlfriend, Nasung, and a journey we made together to her homeland and beyond. The photographs explore distance, connection, time and love.

What initially inspired you to make this series about your relationship with your girlfriend? I wasn’t really making personal work throughout university; I was more interested in exploring other ideas. I suppose an overarching theme of my work is escapism. I had been making a lot of travel projects: I walked across Cornwall, hitchhiked around Iceland and drove to Wales and Northern Spain, I even made an entire road trip series in a video game. I was interested in boredom, time, meditative states, distance; all the kinds of things you think about on a long drive or a rhythmic hike in open spaces.

Image from the series  바람/Wind

Image from the series 바람/Wind

I was thinking about photography’s failure to convey lived experience, I wondered why I should bother making photographs while travelling if there was already 1000s of images like it on the internet, I wanted to figure out how I could overcome this. I wrote a kind of manifesto for my dissertation that attempted to overcome my concerns. I was looking at the photographs of Kawauchi Rinko, Asako Narahashi and Bertien Van Manen, among others; their work was closest to the idea of separating oneself from the act of photographing but still capturing a lived experience. I was reading up on cognitive science and phenomenology. Part of my conclusion - the photographer that is active in their engagement of the world will not only photograph phenomenological experiences well, but they will experience life well.

And so I took the travel work I had been attempting and pulled it deeper into the personal experience; I opened my diary and threw it out there for anyone to look at, whether it was unique or not didn’t really bother me, it was (and continues to be) a beautiful part of my life, shared with someone who I love.

Image from the series  바람/Wind

Image from the series 바람/Wind

Depending on the outcome of Brexit and the future of the UK, where do you picture your photography taking you in the future? Do you think you will continue to make work around this subject? The isolationist, xenophobic bullshit of Brexit is utterly demoralising but not surprising. I’m not sure how well photography can combat these issues, and I personally struggle to find the energy for it. I’m from Cornwall and I had never felt so disappointed in my entire life the day the results came in, 56% of my people had been totally fooled. The cynical, more privileged, part of me wants to give up; how could they have fallen for the lies so easily, why, when Cornwall is one of the areas that receive the most EU support in all of Europe had they voted to reject that. I doubt the solution to these problems lie in photography, it would be much more worthwhile for me to leave the camera at home and go chat to my neighbours, start an action group etc. I love Cornwall, and the Cornish, and I see hope in the younger generations, but with deeper problems such as a seasonal economy, low wages, second homes and so on; young people will continue to leave and old white people will continue to vote to keep things the same. I’m in two minds about the whole thing, give up and leave, or stay and fight. ‘Fighting’ for me would inevitably lead back to photography, since it’s my tool; I have ideas, it’s just finding the energy. I could become very political in my work or I could retreat. 바람/Wind is about connection; the word for Wind in Korean has a similar meaning to hopeful aspiration, which I felt encapsulated love in a way. I was also thinking about the feelings love and connection brings, and photographing things that I related to these feelings: warm ocean water, a summer breeze, clear blue sky; these elemental, natural phenomena that are sensorial and for me, therapeutic. No matter how fucked up this country becomes I think there is hope for connection to prevail.           

 
Image from the series  바람/Wind

Image from the series 바람/Wind

 

Do you think it's important for us to know where you girlfriend is from and where you made these images? It might be, for the audience. But it’s a universal narrative that I believe a lot of people can relate to. What I do believe is important is that the audience understands the significance of the journey and being invited into someone’s life; to see their world and the way they see it.

With regards to Brexit, our country is becoming a much more insular place. Our future has always seemed fragile, having homes 5000 miles apart, but Brexit has only made it seem even more so. Harsher and more hostile rules on Visas and immigration have brought even more uncertainty to our relationship. Despite this we continue to love and be loved, knowing that it may become difficult or even unfeasible in the future. This project celebrates the joy of sharing your life with someone regardless of politics, nationality or distance.

The images here aren't specifically of your girlfriend, but of the landscape and sometimes include a few other people who we don't know. Why have you edited your series in this way? This is just a small part of the much larger body of work. The project itself actually exists as a publication consisting of 5 books (each for a different chapter and location of our journey) and a 14-meter long scroll print with over 100 images displayed along it. The photographs depict my observations on this journey but interspersed throughout there are a large number of portraits of Nasung and our shared experiences. Despite her not being in many of the photographs you can feel her presence in nearly all of the images, whether she was just waiting for me or occupied by her own curiosity, there is a presence of companionship throughout the series. Nasung was also my guide on this trip and so the things we did and subsequently the things I photographed were directly influenced by her. The structure of the project became clear to me suddenly one day. By chance I was listening to a Sun Kil Moon/Jesu album in which Mark Kozelek reads his diary to the experimental accompaniment of Jesu. In the song Beautiful You, Kozelek nonchalantly describes his day; walking down to the beach, reading some emails, watching a documentary on tv, but interspersed through the quotidian lyrics is the chorus of ‘Beautiful You’ repeated in an almost angelic voice in appreciation of his partner; I thought this really captured the way that being with someone can elevate your day the monotony of the everyday. 바람/Wind is part of my diary but it is elevated by periods of appreciation, admiration and thankfulness for sharing my experiences with my best friend.

Image from the series  바람/Wind

Image from the series 바람/Wind

What does your girlfriend think of you making these images? We enjoy making photographs of one another, all my favourite photographs I’ve taken are of her, and she takes all my favourite photographs of myself. Sometimes it feels like if you care about someone then you will make a nicer photograph of them. As for this project Nasung was my collaborator from the beginning, we made the photographs together, made the final selection together and edited the books together. I tried my best to shirk the authority of representation, but at the end of the day this is my best friend, she makes me happy so I want to document that. I was well aware of similar male-gazey works. I wanted her to have a voice, not just in her editing and self-representation, so I asked her to write the introductions to each book. We put a lot of work in to the project together and it’s great to see both our names together on the front cover. It means a lot to me that the project was a collaboration. Of course there I lots of images that didn’t make the cut, and many moments that were never photographed, I think its nice that no matter how much people see in this project they will never no the full story, Nasung and I will always have the moments that only we share.

 
Image from the series  바람/Wind

Image from the series 바람/Wind

 

What would you like for viewers to learn from your work? There’s a lot that could be said about these photographs and the narrative they depict. But all I really want to say is that I hope in some way they come even within a mile of describing what it’s like to love and be loved.

Have you got any exciting future plans? In June I will be exhibiting the original scroll and launching 바람/Wind as a self-published photobook in Falmouth (dates announcing soon) and maybe London too.

In September Nasung will have one year left on her student visa, I will make lots of photographs just like always and maybe this will become an epilogue to 바람/Wind

Long-term I’m not sure, see how Brexit plays out, move away, maybe to Korea or a more enlightened European country.

Alex Ingram interviews Luke Archer

To accompany the new edition of PGZ, we approached industry experts to select from submissions received a photography graduate they would like to interview for Photograd. Here we have Alex Ingram interviewing Arts University Bournemouth graduate Luke Archer.


Tell me a bit about yourself. Where are you from? How did you get into photography? I’m originally from North West London, end of the Jubilee Line, Zone 5, deep suburbs! After a few years in Bristol I’ve crossed the river and now call South London home. Photography has always been a part of my life in some form or another, my granddad worked for Kodak all his life and predictably gave me my first film and digital cameras, both Kodak obviously! My other grandad died before I was born but he was a working photographer -  I like to think it’s in the blood!

Image from the series  The Rock

Image from the series The Rock

I didn’t become that engaged with photography until studying A level art, at that stage I was using photography as a starting point, painting over photos, collaging, all sorts. At that time, I went to see a big Diane Arbus retrospective at the V&A, it was a pivotal moment because I realised that photography can be so powerful on its own you don’t need to mess around with it. From that point on its been a love hate relationship where I have studied photography, given up on it and then gone back to it. I finished an MA last year and I’m currently trying to pursue assisting while running Loupe magazine.

What is your relationship with Gibraltar? I have family who have lived there for about 10 years so it’s a country I have always been aware of but in reality I had not spent that much time exploring it. I would visit my family in summer holidays and despite flying in and out of Gibraltar most of the time was spent across the border in Spain. The project has enabled me to establish a much better understanding of Gibraltar.

Image from the series  The Rock

Image from the series The Rock

Talk us through your new project. What is it about Gibraltar that interested you and made you want to produce your work there? I had always thought Gibraltar would make a good subject for a project. I think any location that a wider audience knows little about is going to peak a photographer’s interest. I wasn’t aware of any other photographer’s projects based on Gibraltar so it gave me the chance to get stuck in and not be swayed by any existing imagery.  I knew with Brexit looming that Gibraltar would be a place of interest but also that the media coverage might be one dimensional. I felt it would be a good time to shoot a project that went beyond some of the more alarmist headlines.

Gibraltar has a very high number of Spanish workers who migrate into the country every day for work. How do you think Gibraltar will be effected when the UK eventually leaves the EU? Yes as far as I know it’s around 10,000 Spanish workers who cross the border, not to mention Gibraltarians living in Spain and other nationalities who have decided to live on the Spanish side, normally due to cost. It’s very hard to tell because of the general uncertainty that surrounds all of Brexit. There are some scary worst case scenarios. In regards to the workers it could impact on their jobs but this seems unlikely, it’s in everyone’s interest to keep the border open and flowing as normal, anything that hampers this will likely see protests on both sides. One worry for people living in Gibraltar is lack of food. After Brexit  food that would normally cross the border is will now be going out of the EU and it will be subject to a different level of inspection. Apparently, the Spanish border town does not have the facilities to do this and the food would have to go to another nearby port town and perhaps be shipped across to Gib. The very worst case scenario is Gibraltar could run out of food. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen and I think most people expect a rocky first month or so but that some form of normality will return. 

Image from the series  The Rock

Image from the series The Rock

You described Gibraltar as being "more British than the Brits". Can you elaborate on this? What similarities or differences do you see between life in Gibraltar and life in the UK? It’s not a phrase that I have come up with, it’s something that is often said about Gibraltar and I’m not sure I agree with it now. I think because it’s a major tourist destination, sometimes the Britishness is played up for that crowd, thousands of people get off a cruise ship and want to see the red telephone boxes, eat some fish and chips etc.  Whereas day to day life is more Gibraltarian and by that, I mean infused with its own unique culture and identity, which has more of a Spanish influence than most people realise. For example, a lot of casual conversations on the street will be in the local dialect of Yanito which is predominantly Spanish with phrases and words from other languages thrown in. 

There are of course similarities, in the digital age with TV and internet its easier for UK music and fashion to reach Gibraltar, whereas perhaps in the past there might have been a time delay or a disparity. 

Just like the UK It’s also a country of dog lovers and despite the lack of space there are lot of dogs! 

Did you go to Gibraltar with a preconceived idea of what life will be like there? Did that perception change? It’s hard for me to look back because I’ve spent so much time there over the last couple of years. I suppose at first I was guilty of thinking it would be very British and thus easy to get my head around. I underestimated the Spanish influence: it’s worth noting that often Gibraltarian families have one side Spanish and one side British so of course that is going to come together to make something new. That cultural fusion can make understanding the country and its culture very tricky.

Image from the series  The Rock

Image from the series The Rock

Now I see Gibraltar as a distinct country, it’s just like Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland they are all British but each with their own identity and culture.

Were there any stand out moments during your visit? I got back from a visit earlier this year, and during the trip I spent a day with the police force and went out in really rough weather on one of their fast patrol boats. It was crazy the boat was literally leaping out of the water and then slamming back down. I can’t imagine having to chase and stop another boat using one those, I could barely stay in my seat! I don’t think the images will be any good but it was an experience!

What is your favourite image from the series? That’s a tricky one – I’m not always that confident in my individual images I feel the strength comes from how the images come together as a series.  however, I really like the image of the Iman at the Moroccan mosque.

I always find mosques very calm places and it was a low stress sitting, I had plenty of time and he was a great sitter. I’m pleased that I was able show him in context. Portraits are always the hardest but most rewarding aspect for me!

Image from the series  The Rock

Image from the series The Rock

Do you plan on returning to Gibraltar after the UK leaves to continue working on the project? Yes definitely, I have portrait sittings I still need to complete and a few locations I’m in the process of securing access to. I’m very lucky that I can stay with family so going out is not too much of a challenge financially. A lot does depend on Brexit, now it’s great excuse to get the project out there and bring attention to Gibraltar. If Brexit is disastrous then I might be out there photographing the impact. However, I hope that whatever happens  is minor, as a country its survived sieges so I’m sure it will cope with whatever Brexit throws at it!  In the long run, I hope the project will be framed more around Gibraltar’s unique landscape and identity and Brexit will be more of a footnote.

What's next for you? Are you currently working on any other projects? I have a long list of projects I would love to shoot but it’s going to take several lifetimes to get through them all! I have previously been bad at finishing projects so I would be nice to see this one in print before moving on. I do have one project idea that is more focused around technology I just need to research it to make sure no one else has shot it already! 

#PHOTOGRAPHY Magazine’s Genea Bailey interviews Jordan Turnbull

To accompany the new edition of PGZ, we approached industry experts to select from submissions received a photography graduate they would like to interview for Photograd. Here we have #PHOTOGRAPHY Magazine’s Genea Bailey interviewing University of Gloucestershire graduate Jordan Turnbull.


Curating #PHOTOGRAPHY Magazine has introduced me to many fascinating bodies of work, those that resonate most are projects with a compelling narrative, which is essential when it comes to issues of importance such as Brexit. Jordan Turnball’s series A Rock and a Hard Place explores beneath the surface of Gibraltar, revealing the troubling core of a British territory in political limbo and shedding a light on an overlooked community. 

Image from the series  A Rock and a Hard Place

Image from the series A Rock and a Hard Place

What was it about Gibraltar specifically that moved you to make this body of work opposed to other territories within British jurisdiction? I was researching possible ideas for my Final Major project knowing that I wanted to focus on something Brexit related because this was the biggest change to happen to the country in decades and it would affect how Britain interacted both internally and with the rest of the of the world.

I was reading a ‘Financial Times’ piece detailing the issues surrounding the “Irish Backstop” and after finishing the piece there was a related article on Gibraltar and how Brexit would affect the tiny overseas territory. I did look into other territories such as Helena and Ascension but Gibraltar’s ease of access and the way the inhabitants had showed their loyalty to Britain in the past only reinforced my vision that the work would hold greater resonance there.

Gibraltar appears to be a haven caught among generations of consistent turmoil between irreconcilable governments. Having explored and documented the culture, in what way do you think this has affected Gibraltarian people and everyday life? I think, to a degree, this has affected the Gibraltarians. I have heard about fisherman being hassled after the Brexit vote went through and threats regarding the border have been made before although nothing too concrete has been put in place as of yet. It does seem to me that each generation of Gibraltarian has got to prove where their loyalties lie, as if those who had voted in 2002 would feel any less British than the generation who voted in 1967, with both outcomes resulting in resounding favour of British sovereignty. 

Image from the series  A Rock and a Hard Place

Image from the series A Rock and a Hard Place

I can completely understand why they would feel very frustrated and a little bit apprehensive that any movement politically that Britain or Spain makes could unearth this issue again and go to a peoples vote, which having spoken to Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia, would no doubt result in the same outcome of the previous two. Gibraltarians are British, although territorially not part of the mainland, which means that Gibraltar has a balancing act on its hands in keeping both Spain, its neighbour, happy while continuing with a proud British identity. 

Your work shows an unwavering loyalty to the UK despite the Gibraltarian people having overwhelming voted to remain. Do you think this support will falter once exit negotiations have come into full effect, especially with Gibraltarian economy relying heavily on Spanish trade and open borders? I think this would be more difficult to foresee because things can change so quickly and go in the opposite direction to what was predicted. There are a couple of things that make Gibraltar such a unique place. One being that they are almost entirely self-governing and completely self-financing which allows them to create their own budgets which in turn has shown economic growth possibly when other EU members have not. While I was there I noticed just how much construction was happening in the area, owing to the high demand for development of properties within an area which is still seen as very attractive to businesses establishing themselves. Gibraltar does rely on Spain for construction and other materials so hypothetically if they chose to cut off these links by a hard border it could have detrimental affects on Gibraltars economy. On the other hand Gibraltar single handedly accounts for 25% GDP of the overall southern region of Andalucía through employment and purchasing of these aforementioned materials so Spain would have to determine whether to lose such a positive partner and think about the social and economic implications of those actions. 

Image from the series  A Rock and a Hard Place

Image from the series A Rock and a Hard Place

Has creating this work shifted your viewpoint on Brexit and what it means to be British? In short regarding whether my viewpoint has been changed, no, it has not due to the fact that there have been no positive steps to come out of the whole process. We have gone through the initial transfer talks, parliamentary meetings to summits and thus far are no closer to agreeing a deal with the EU than when we started in June 2017. 

To be British, for me, is to be proud of my country, respectful and have a sense of belonging. It's also a privilege especially when you turn on the news and see some of the other events that are happening in other parts of the world and I do think this is disregarded a lot of the time. Making the work certainly reinforced my pride in Britain as there’s a real neighbourly atmosphere within Gibraltar shown through the decorative Union Jacks on almost every street as a way of reminding people of their history, back in the UK we only get that robust togetherness feeling when a World Cup is on or its one of the Royals birthdays, but when it happens its certainly a great feeling. 

Image from the series  A Rock and a Hard Place

Image from the series A Rock and a Hard Place

Do you have any plans to continue the project or any other Brexit based work? I do have plans to go back to Gibraltar and continue the project, there’s a few other photographers making work over in that corner which is good because its got a lot to say for itself and the people are really interesting. Brexit is an absolute goldmine for photographic work not just politically but on a social level too as something will always be shifting further down the line so its good to see other creatives exploring these changes. 

I have certainly been taking notes on other potential situations that are developing or will develop when and indeed if we do eventually leave. Theres an argument that if we leave we could capitalise on greater trading with India, The UAE and Japan which could throw up some interesting narratives with opportunities to travel. We will also more than likely feel the effects of Brexit for years to come so there will constantly be new opportunities for work arising closer to home.

Homeland - an open call from Revolv

Publication & workshop by Revolv.

‘’Mud is sweeter in your homeland, than honey anywhere else.’’

We are seeking photography & writing from emerging artists and writers, responding to the theme Homeland to participate in a publication and a workshop. The meaning of home is in a state of flux - starting from the search for a better future to the displacement of individuals as a result of political and economic events.

Photography is a vital tool conserving and narrating the roots and routes which shape one’s journey. People become nomads, adapting to temporary residences and an unsettled lifestyle, wherever they happen to ‘dock’. While images can encapsulate seconds of the present, writing is capable of shining light on unspoken stories, repressed affairs and private accounts of the notion of home.

We would like to collect individual and intimate, global and collective experiences in relation to homeland, in order to present multiple ways of perceiving the idea of belonging.

Fifteen creatives will be selected to participate in a publication which will be supported by a one-day workshop taking place in New Cross, London. Homeland publication will also include the work of guest artist Dafna Talmor and Martin Seeds; the design and production will be in collaboration with Victoria Kieffer.

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Submission guidelines

In order to submit, you need to:

 1. Be an emerging lens-based artist working with digital, analogue and/or experimental photography OR an emerging writer who works with poetry, short stories or academic essays.

 2. Attend a daylong workshop on the 22nd of June in New Cross, London where ideas of the physicality and functionality of the publication will be developed further.

3. Although the open call is free of charge, selected artists and writers will be asked to contribute with £15 towards materials, production costs and the launch of the publication.

Photography

1. A series of up to 5 images

2. An artist statement up to 300 words

3. Short bio up to 150 words

Send everything in one pdf (up to 5mb) to info@revolv.org.uk by the 10th of June 2019.

Writing

1. Brief description of the writing up to 150 words

2. Writing up to up to 1500 words

3. Short bio up to 150 words

Send everything in one pdf (up to 5mb) to info@revolv.org.uk by the 10th of June 2019.



An interview with female photography group, Uprooted

UPROOTED features six female artists from different cultural backgrounds working with a distinctly diverse approach: photography, installation pieces and works on paper. The unexpected fusion of each artist’s practice leads to a metaphorical understanding of the concept uprooted. The exhibition celebrated the not-yet possibilities when something or someone is rooted out from its familiar locations.

Private view: 29th May 2019, 6-9pm

Dates: 30 May - 2 June, 12-6pm

Location: Arts Hub Gallery. 509 Creekside, Deptford, London SE8 4SA


Tell us about Uprooted.an.exhibition. Who does the group show consist of and have you all studied photography? We are an evolving group of six female artists from different cultural backgrounds, where photography is at the core of what we do. The Uprooted exhibition will consist of a diverse approach including, photography, installation pieces and works on paper. We all studied MA Photography at University of the Arts London in 17/18. 

Image by  Clare Hoddinott

Who or what motivates members to continue making new work?  Our practice is research driven, so this sparks ideas and experimentation. We support one another to activate momentum to try things out and create a safe space to celebrate our achievements and our failures. 

How did Uprooted.an.exhibition come to the surface? What were the initial ideas and inspirations? We wanted to create a group of women to support one another in the next phase of our artistic journeys post studying a Masters. We wanted our work to be seen beyond the UAL network, to create and curate something that we had full control over and to try things we weren't able to do within an educational institution. We were inspired by the common threads running through our works and wanted to build a show around the unexpected fusion of each other’s practice which leads to the metaphorical understanding of the concept uprooted

What is the group’s biggest achievement to date? This is our first exhibition together. Watch this space… 

Individually, we are busy exhibiting elsewhere including, Photo London, Arles in France, Thomassen Gallery in Sweden and The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle. 

Image by  Nazanin Raissi

What's the main goal for Uprooted.an.exhibition? The exhibition celebrates the not-yet possibilities when something or someone is rooted out from it’s familiar location. We hope that each person that comes to the show will find something that resonates with them when thinking about the concept behind uprooted

Image by  Laura Blight

Image by Laura Blight

How can photographers get involved in what you do?  Anyone is welcome to come along to the private view on 29th May between 6.00-9.00pm and the exhibition will remain open till the 2nd June, so do come along and say hi. The majority of the artists should be around most days too. Otherwise you can e-mail us info.uprooted@gmail.com or follow us on Instagram @uprooted.an.exhibition to get in touch. 

Image by SandraF

Image by SandraF

Give one tip to new photography graduates. Perseverance. Things can take time. Our show has been 6 months in the making due to a few hiccups and hurdles, particularly in finding a suitable, affordable and available space in London. 

What does the future have in store for the group? We want to progress and expand our individual practices, collaborate with other artists and engage with the local community in practical ways.

2019 photography graduates - an open call

Photograd are looking to reward and represent a number of 2019 photography graduates who have studied on BA and MA courses in the UK.


BA graduates

  • 2 graduates will be rewarded with an interview on Photograd which will be promoted across social media channels, newsletter, and to connections in the industry.

  • 1 graduate will be rewarded with an extended Instagram takeover from Monday 15th to Sunday 21st July 2019.

  • 1 graduate will be represented by Photograd for a year. This will include Photograd coverage of any new work, exhibitions, or book releases. Use of the Photograd blog and Instagram account where relevant, and introductions to connections within the industry. We will discuss with this graduate ways in which we can represent and support them.

MA graduates

  • 10 graduates will be selected as ‘highly commended’ and will have work presented on Photograd. This work will be promoted across social media channels, newsletter, and to connections in the industry.

  • 1 graduate will be rewarded with an extended Instagram takeover. This can be scheduled for a later date to suit the graduate.

All successful graduates will be added to the Photograd mailing list and will be sent an exclusive discount code for the online shop.


Eligibility and terms & conditions

  • Open to 2019 photography graduates who studied in the UK only, either on a BA or MA course. Please email with any questions.

  • Entries will only be accepted via photograd2019@gmail.com by the deadline given. No late submissions will be accepted.

  • Make it clear in your submission email if you do not want to be considered for any of the rewards listed above.

  • Copyright of all images submitted will be owned by the photographer.

  • Photograd retains the right to use selected images for the intended purpose of the website, and related social media accounts for promotion. Credit will always be given.

Things to include when making your entry

  • University and course.

  • A 200 word max series statement.

  • BA graduates: a short paragraph telling us why you would like to be represented by Photograd. (Your plans, goals, and things you’d like to achieve within the next year and in the future. Things you have set in place for the next year, and how you think Photograd could support you but not in a financial sense.)

  • 10 - 15 images attached to the email at 10 inches on the longest side at 96dpi. Download links such as wetransfer will not be accepted. Links to websites will also not be accepted.

  • Website and social media handles.


Submissions are free as always but donations are greatly appreciated. Making a donation will not affect how work is seen, selected, or promoted by Photograd.

Deadline for submissions: midnight, Monday 1st July 2019

Pre-order Photograd's next Brexit themed zine

This Brexit edition of PGZ supports a number of photography graduates who studied in the UK. These photographers have been given the opportunity to showcase work made around the theme of Brexit under the current climate in the UK. Select photographers have been interviewed by professionals within the industry for this zine.

With a wide array of subject matter, this publication brings to the forefront current situations and opinions across the UK amidst our controversial decision to leave the European Union. Both positive and negative stories presented here give readers the opportunity to consider and reflect, make changes and move forward.

Photograd has plans to release a second volume of this Brexit zine later in 2019 with a possible printed edition to follow.


Pre-order customers will be signed up to receive the Photograd newsletter and will be sent a link to download this zine when it’s released.

Use the code 85AK39N for 10% off any pre-orders.


Here are a few images and spreads from the zine to get a taste of things to come.

Image by  Bridie Lewis  who has been interviewed by  Joanne Coates  for this zine

Image by Bridie Lewis who has been interviewed by Joanne Coates for this zine

Image by  Kat Dlugosz  who has been interviewed by  Hanna-Katrina Jedrosz  for this zine  "Now I feel Scottish... my life is here, my home, my business, my partner and almost all my friends. My son was born here and feels Scottish. All of his life was here. Brexit could potentially rob me of everything I have built in 20 years, when I came I was young, now I am not. Starting again somewhere, and alone, frightens me. I have half-heartedly looked at going elsewhere but it looks difficult."  Uta, 47, from Germany, 20 years in Scotland, with her son Daniel, 18, born in Scotland

Image by Kat Dlugosz who has been interviewed by Hanna-Katrina Jedrosz for this zine

"Now I feel Scottish... my life is here, my home, my business, my partner and almost all my friends. My son was born here and feels Scottish. All of his life was here. Brexit could potentially rob me of everything I have built in 20 years, when I came I was young, now I am not. Starting again somewhere, and alone, frightens me. I have half-heartedly looked at going elsewhere but it looks difficult."

Uta, 47, from Germany, 20 years in Scotland, with her son Daniel, 18, born in Scotland

Spread by  Jakub Junek  who was selected by  Brendan Barry  for this zine

Spread by Jakub Junek who was selected by Brendan Barry for this zine

Spread by  Matt MacPake  who was selected by Photograd for this zine

Spread by Matt MacPake who was selected by Photograd for this zine

 
Image by  Luke Archer  who was selected by  Tom Coleman  for this zine

Image by Luke Archer who was selected by Tom Coleman for this zine

Image by  Deividas Buivydas  who was selected by  Chloe Juno  for this zine

Image by Deividas Buivydas who was selected by Chloe Juno for this zine

Spread by  Lorenza Demata  who has been interviewed by  Tom Coleman  for this zine

Spread by Lorenza Demata who has been interviewed by Tom Coleman for this zine

NEXT EDITION OF PHOTO SCRATCH - APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN

Wednesday 12th June 2019, 6-9pm, RPS House, Bristol

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We welcome applications from working documentary photographers and photojournalists. The only criteria for showing work is that it is documentary in nature, and that you are a professional photographer, not currently in full time education, working in the pictures based industries. 

Applications should be made via this online form.

You will be asked to include in your application:

  • A brief description of your project (no more than 200 words)

  • What you hope to gain from doing Photo Scratch – are there particular issues or questions you are encountering to do with your project?

  • A selection of low res jpegs from the proposed project (no more than 5 pictures, no more than 800kb each in file size)

  • Any information you have about how you would want to display the work (prints, contact sheets, projection, etc.)

  • Two links to where your work has been published or shared other than your own website. This should not be the work you are applying with.


Application time line:

  • Deadline: 5pm Wednesday 22nd May 2019

  • Notification of participation - by Monday 27th May 2019

  • Photo Scratch event - Wednesday 12th June 2019 at The Royal Photographic Society, Bristol 


Please note:

  • Photo Scratch is for work-in-progress only.

  • Photo Scratch is predominantly focused on documentary photography and photojournalism, though projects that reach into the art side of things are also welcome if they are rooted in documentary. Challenging the form is always encouraged.

  • There is no fee to apply or participate, but you are responsible for your own costs associated with participating (transport, prints etc.)

  • Photo Scratch is specifically for photographers who are not currently studying.


Supported by The RPS Documentary Group

Introducing Darkroom

darkroom is a fantastic new facility in Camden Town in north London where you can work comfortably to produce high quality photographic prints.

 
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With a range of enlargers that will satisfy most photographers’ needs, ranging from easy to use Kaiser 35mm/120 enlargers to a range of De Vere and LPLs capable of handling everything from 35mm to 5 x 4.

Initially, you will need to attend a short Induction session with an experienced technician, to ensure you understand how all the equipment works and what standard operating practices are.

Once inducted, as a member you can book an enlarger for a session of independent printing. darkroom provides all essential chemicals (developer, stop, fix, etc.), so all you need to bring is your own paper. darkroom even provides a processing service for films received at least 48 hours in advance.

No previous darkroom experience? Don't worry, darkroom offers workshops to get you started, or if you've mastered the basics there will be more advanced courses too. Head over to Courses and Workshops to find out more and book your first workshop.


Here we have an interview with one of darkroom’s directors, Phil Grey.

Run by a small group of photographers and enthusiasts, based in Camden Town, this fully equipped darkroom offers a co-working space to artists and photographers working with film based photography, as well teaching those keen to learn. The space offers membership, introductory and intermediate workshops, and aims to sustain a film based photographic community. 

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So, starting from the beginning, what motivated you to start darkroom? Well, we’re all film-based photography enthusiasts and felt that there was a need for a co-working space that supports other film-based photographers. Sadly, a lot of darkrooms are closing down, so we inherited a lot of our equipment as we couldn’t bear to see it all thrown away. A number of photographers have also very generously donated equipment they no longer use. 

We’re really keen to support the revival of interest in film based processes that has arisen over the last few years. As well as our membership, and co-working facilities, we offer workshops enabling darkroom access to people who may never have experienced the magic of one before. 

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Why do you think analogue photography is still so relevant today? I think younger photographers, who have always worked digitally, appreciate working away from screens, and slowing down their photographic process. I think there’s an increasing number of creatives who enjoy the discipline of working with film, and the therapeutic experience of spending time in a darkroom. There are also older photographers who are welcoming the opportunity to get back into the darkroom, and have that experience they had when they were younger. Few people nowadays have the equipment (or space to house it), to enable them to have a darkroom at home. 

The  darkroom  team with Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery

The darkroom team with Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery

People who come in to use our space are constantly saying how enjoyable it is to slow down and spend time with a tactile process. They also love doing it in the company of others. It’s become a place to meet people, a place to share ideas, see other people’s work - some members are collaborating together on new projects.

Who is darkroom for? Everyone! Well, everyone who loves, or wants to learn more about, photography and film based processes. It’s for people who want to continue working with film, processing film, developing prints, learning about the processes. We run workshops for new comers and people who want to improve existing skills, as well as offering facilities for those who want to get on with their own work.

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How can those interested, get involved? You can find details of our membership offers and workshops on www.darkroomlondon.org or follow us on Instagram and Twitter. We offer a 20% discount for students and recent graduates!


darkroom membership details

As a user of darkroom you can choose the membership that suits you best. Members are at the heart of the darkroom community. We have different membership schemes to meet different needs, as well as our new gift memberships for your analogue enthused loved ones. 

Resin Coated £60 - Our entry level membership for occasional users. This membership enables you to book your darkroom sessions.

Silver Bromide £250 - For those of you who imagine developing your relationship with us. In addition to your induction, you get four free long or seven short sessions, plus 10% discount on workshops and darkroom sessions.

Platinum £500 - For the safe light junkie. Free induction and one free long session per month, plus 10% discount on workshops, darkroom sessions and bookings at our partner studio 2 Iliffe Yard.

Our friends at Process Supplies are offering all darkroom members an additional 5% discount on their already very competitive prices.

Once you buy annual membership and have taken our mandatory Induction (£20 for Resin Coated members) you can use our online booking to reserve darkroom sessions.

Session Prices

Weekday Long Sessions  £45

Weekday Short Sessions  £30

Weekend Long Sessions  £55

Weekend Short Sessions  £35 

Bulk buy sessions in advance and get one free. Six-pack Weekday £225. Six-pack Weekend £285

Exclusive weekday darkroom use once a month from £80.

One-to-one guided sessions with an experienced tutor from £150

Student Discount: We offer a 20% discount to students on Memberships, and 10% on Workshops and Access Sessions.