TEIFI, a solo show by Falmouth University 2019 MA graduate Isabella Campbell

Isabella Campbell presents a long-term body of work revolving around the river Teifi, set in the heart of West Wales.

PRIVATE VIEW: Saturday 3 August 17:00 - 20:00
(and at other times by appointment)

Image from the series  TEIFI  by Isabella Campbell

Image from the series TEIFI by Isabella Campbell

TEIFI is a long-term body of work concerns the phenomena of the river Teifi that Isabella lives beside in rural West Wales. The series aims to reflect the river’s filmic qualities, and her relationship with it from photographing and walking through its surroundings day to day since June 2016. The work conceptually revolves around the idea of the 'sensory plate of perception' through photography. This opens up a philosophical enquiry into the phenomenology of perception, duration and transparency, which collectively form the Teifi phenomena.

Image from the series  TEIFI  by Isabella Campbell

Image from the series TEIFI by Isabella Campbell

The building in which the exhibit will take place is at The Corrugated Barn near Moylgrove. It is located within 40 acres of wild meadows, woodland and garden, which you will be welcome to walk around. The view overlooks the Carningli mountain near Newport (Pembs).

Image from the series  TEIFI  by Isabella Campbell

Image from the series TEIFI by Isabella Campbell

You can find the exact location of The Corrugated Barn here, which is more accurate than what it says on Google maps.

For light refreshments to be organised, please RSVP your interest via getting a free general admission ticket.

Sophie Harris - Taylor: Epidermis. The Printspace Gallery, London.

Francesca Maffeo Gallery are delighted to present ‘Epidermis’, a solo exhibition by photographer Sophie Harris - Taylor, celebrating the beauty of imperfection. 

© Sophie Harris - Taylor, courtesy Francesca Maffeo Gallery

© Sophie Harris - Taylor, courtesy Francesca Maffeo Gallery

© Sophie Harris - Taylor, courtesy Francesca Maffeo Gallery

© Sophie Harris - Taylor, courtesy Francesca Maffeo Gallery

EXHIBITION DATES 6th - 13th September 2019

PRIVATE VIEW Thursday 5th September 2019 7.30-10.00pm
RSVP info@francescamaffeogallery.com
+44 (0)1702 345005
m – 07970 846 497
info@francescamaffeogallery.com
francescamaffeogallery.com

VENUE DETAILS
THE PRINTSPACE GALLERY 74 Kingsland Road London E2 8DL
Opening times 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday


© Sophie Harris - Taylor, courtesy Francesca Maffeo Gallery

© Sophie Harris - Taylor, courtesy Francesca Maffeo Gallery

Harris - Taylor shot and interviewed over 20 bare-faced women across the UK with common skin conditions. The resulting ‘beauty’ shoot aims to break down the stigma surrounding skin issues and celebrate diversity.

“I wanted to create a series of work that empowers and allows women to love the skin they’re in, regardless of what condition they have. Suffering from severe acne throughout my teens and 20’s left me incredibly self-conscious and I longed for ‘normal’ skin. Normality is defined by the images we see all around us. We are led to believe all women have perfect flawless skin - they don’t. Whether not shown or simply disguised, many women suffer from conditions such as acne, rosacea and eczema, most of these women feel a pressure to hide behind a mask of makeup, covering up what actually makes them unique. Here these beautiful women proudly bare their skin” (Sophie Harris - Taylor).

Shot in the style of a traditional beauty editorial, exploring the juxtaposition of style and subject - something seen in opposition to classical beauty. The series’ intention is as a beauty shoot first, the exploration of the skin is secondary. When it comes to body types we have seen the industry swing one way or another, idealising extremes. Harris - Taylor is concerned by this as there is a risk of fetishisation, with this series, she is motivated to record and celebrate the ‘normal’.

© Sophie Harris - Taylor, courtesy Francesca Maffeo Gallery

© Sophie Harris - Taylor, courtesy Francesca Maffeo Gallery

About Sophie Harris-Taylor

Documenting the personal lives and experiences of her own and others, Sophie’s work is effortlessly truthful, approached with a sensitivity and confidence. She is renowned for her images created with natural and ambient light sources, which lend her work an unusual softness and depth.

Typically portraiture based, with some elements of place and surrounding, she uses people to express her own preoccupations and concerns. Although seemingly diverse in subject matter, and to an extent documentary, there is consistently some element of her own vulnerability. Regardless of content, Sophie’s work is crucially bound together by aesthetics, always seeking to in some way glorify that which is not conventional.

Sophie’s work has been selected for the BJP Portrait of Britain, Creative Review Photography Annual, nominated for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, The Renaissance Photography Prize and The Young Masters.

She is represented by Francesca Maffeo Gallery.

Loupe 10 Open Call

Loupe, a free magazine featuring a diverse selection of contemporary photography.

Image by  Luke Archer

Image by Luke Archer

ABOUT

Issue 10 will be our first themed edition, and we’re kicking off with the weighty topic of national identity. In the glare of recent events, we want discussion around the topic, from all sides.

We’re looking for projects that explore citizens’ relationship to their country, both positive and negative. You might have photographed, white supremacists in America, a border dispute, Brexit in the UK, or your own feelings towards your home country.

Despite the hefty title we are looking for work on a macro and micro scale; you might have spent years documenting a whole country or only days with an individual. The work can be heartbreaking or humorous – so long as it’s an engaging and well executed body of work.

HOW TO SUBMIT

PHOTOGRAPHY 

We are looking for work from all genres of photography, be it fine art, documentary, fashion or commercial. There are no limits; as long as the work connects with our theme of national identity we want to see it. Send either a link to the project on your website or up to 10 web rez jpegs and a short project statement to submissions@loupemag.com.

Please note we cannot accept any form of file sharing link, so make sure your images are small enough to attach to a single email.

BOOK DUMMY SUBMISSION 

If you would like to submit, please send a PDF of your book dummy to submissions@loupemag.com. Please note if you are selected to be featured you will need to send a physical dummy to us. Copies will be returned, although if you live outside of the EU and the dummy is large / heavy we may ask you to make a contribution to the cost.

WRITERS

If you would like to pitch an article, story or write for Issue 10 please email submissions@loupemag.com.

The deadline for submissions is the 5th of August 2019

A Q&A with Arts University Bournemouth 2019 graduate Ellen Stewart

We recently called for work from both BA and MA photographers who are graduating from a UK university course this year. We’ve made selections and are in the process of conducting interviews and uploading new work to Photograd which you can find here.

We selected Arts University Bournemouth BA (Hons) Photography 2019 graduate Ellen Stewart to support for the next year. You can find here an informal Q&A with Ellen to find out more about her work and plans moving forward.


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Hi Ellen, your work really stood out to Photograd due to its unique subject matter and well presented scenarios. Before we begin to support your work over the next few months we would love to find out more about what your goals are. Can you start by telling us about your university and Free Range experience? Hello, I’ve just graduated from the Arts University Bournemouth. The university itself has supplied me with the most valuable mentorship throughout my three years and has great inter-disciplinary links with other subjects. Coming from a painting background the course has given me such an expansive view of photography and its relationship to wider culture. Free Range was a great experience to collectively fund and organise our course to participate. Participating as an exhibitor opened up so many options for my work to be seen by industry professionals not only through the exhibition itself but through their social media handles, it’s been a really exciting time. One of the most educational parts of Free Range was understanding how putting a large scale exhibition works; the packaging of work, transportation, curation, advertising etc. 

Although you aim to confuse and question associations with private space, I think we can all relate to a few images in your series especially. Where did your inspiration come from and how do you plan to move forward to further play with your viewer? I really like this idea of creating confusion within subjects and objects that are familiar. I feel the inspiration came from that prior to this series I was creating work away from the home trying to photograph subject matter that I didn’t understand in a way to understand. I started to think more about mediating on the concept of playing with imagery that I seemingly do understand and physically pushing it to an extent where it is no longer familiar to me but it was important to me not to include any ‘strange’ objects or people. The strangeness had to come from removing, placing or collaging as such, mundane everyday items and family members to try and explore the bizarre in the normal. Joanna Piotrowska has been a big inspiration on my work especially going to her exhibition at the Tate was really intriguing and has a lasting effect on me. Moving forward I’ve become more interested in how little I can change to make the photo strange and vice versa in how much I can change by still using familiar imagery. 

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What does the everyday and the epic mean to you? The statement comes from the publication that accompanied the South Bank Centre’s exhibition The Epic and the Everyday in 1994. The catalogue presents one of Andreas Gursky’s photograph View over Cairo comparing the epic scene of the vastness of the metropolis with clothing lines of the everyday realities of the people that live there. This juxtaposition of how we perceive the epic photo with the underlying markers of banality began to shape how I started to see the everyday and epic in photographic terms. From creating my own series my relationship with ‘The Everyday and the Epic’ started to change and it began to mean if we can see every day as epic and how far or little do you have to change the everyday to make it epic. It’s still a statement which interests me and I’m constantly changing what it means to me and how to explore it.

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In your submission you mentioned that you'd like to make new images to expand this series. Have you got any particular scenarios in mind that you're hoping to shoot? Yes, I feel very lucky in the place that I am with my series as I’m only just beginning to piece it together and have a lot more to experiment and work with. I’ve begun to start spending days in my childhood house noting down the general day to day workings of the mundane routine of the people and objects within it. I have some specific scenarios in mind in the experimental stages to start working more in the night and how this can have differing effects to the day scenarios presented. I’ve also begun thinking more about the tiniest change, that I began to mention earlier, that I can do to scenario compared with the largest which is also another initial stage I’m going to begin with. 

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Ellen Stewart PG 08.jpg

You also mentioned that you'd like to study for an MA in the future, how and why have you come to this decision? Have you got a university in mind that you'd like to study at? My plan on studying an MA in the next few years came from some of the lectures we had from MA students at my University exploring how their work has changed and grown since studying at post-graduate level. Although reading Lucy Soutter’s article in Source magazine a few years ago comparing the advantages and disadvantages of studying an MA in Photography, ultimately concluding you don’t need an MA to become a successful Fine Art Photographer. I feel as an individual I’ve really loved the network of mentoring I’ve received as a BA student trying to define my practice. Comparing to having mentorship in a few years when I’ve come to terms and distinguished my practice more, really excites me to see how it can be pushed even further. I’ve gone to the RCA shows for many years and the level of photography is so inspiring as well as Westminster and Brighton.

All images from the series  In My Fence Wall

All images from the series In My Fence Wall

As Photograd works as a supporter, advice giver, feedback provider, and whatever else you might require over the next year or so, where do you see your work taking you? What is your ultimate outcome? My first idea is to create a photobook of the series which really excites me as I haven’t created a project which I thought was suitable for the book form yet. The photobook being a new aspect of my work has been the only way so far I can see some kind of resolution for In My Fence Wall. I suppose my ultimate outcome is to keep trying to visually work out and explore the relationship with the everyday and the epic to a stage where I can feel somewhat finished with the questions I’m exploring. 

'With the Name of a Flower' by Vera Hadzhiyska - An MA Photography solo exhibition

With the Name of a Flower by Vera Hadzhiyska

MA Photography solo show

3rd - 7th September 2019

Four Corners Galley (121 Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, London E2 0QN)

Preview night: Tue 3rd Sept, 6 - 9 pm
Open: 4th - 7th Sept, 11 am - 6 pm

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Krasimira Butseva, a solo exhibition at EEP Berlin

EEP Berlin presents Balkan Mine
solo exhibition & events

Private view: 11th of July, Thursday 7PM

Open daily: 12th - 14th July 2019

Address: EEP Berlin's Gallery Space. Liegnitzer Str. 34 | 10999 Berlin

Balkan Mine is an extensive research of the shifting layers of history, memory and trauma related to the forced labour camps of the Bulgarian communist regime (1946-89) by photographer and researcher Krasimira Butseva (1994, BG).

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In a multimedia installation including film, photography, sculpture and layers of sound, she is recreating her personal journey through the spaces where a dictatorship was once enforced at its hardest. This ongoing project starting in 2016 is Butseva’s collection of accounts of victims and a record of her own subconscious and fragmented experience of history as an outsider. By letting the spectator become part of the intimate narratives of both the survivors and the artist, she is able to construct an image of unseen historical events and formulate a bridge between past and present, thus referencing the unspoken trauma carried within a society and its future generations.

Curated by Krasimira Butseva & Maya Hristova.

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Public Programme

13th July | Saturday 5pm
Remembering whilst Forgetting / In conversation Krasimira Butseva & Maya Hristova

Curator Maya Hristova talks to Bulgarian-born-London-based artist Krasimira Butseva about her exhibition 'Balkan Mine', which includes a series of films and photographs investigating the collective silence and denial of the human rights violations of the communist regime in Bulgaria. 

14th July | Sunday, 4pm
Trauma as Ritual / Reading & Writing Group

Krasimira Butseva will do a series of readings of texts which have influenced her work on 'Balkan mine'. From excerpts of fictional stories to history books, artists’ texts and archival documents, this session will blur the lines between real and imagined allowing for the artist’s narrative to come across. The reading will also be followed by a writing exercise in relation to the themes discussed.

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About

Krasimira Butseva has an MA & BA degrees in Photography from the University of Portsmouth, she has exhibited her work at Seen Fifteen Gallery, London (2019), Phoenix Gallery, Brighton Photo Fringe (2018), In motion / Prototype, Sofia, Bulgaria (2017), Four Corners Gallery, London (2017), Pingyao International Photography Festival, China (2016) and Uncertain States / Mile End Art Pavilion, London (2016). She's also a co-creator of Revolv, a photographers' collective working with British universities and art institutions, with the goal of discovering new experimental forms of creating and teaching photography in the form of lectures, workshops and exhibitions.

krasimirabutseva.co.uk | IG: krasimirabutseva
revolv.org.uk | IG: revolvcollective

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EEP Berlin is an independent platform for contemporary photography from Eastern Europe. Its focus lies in exhibiting the work of Eastern European artists, emerging and established, and presenting it to Berlin audiences.

eepberlin.org | IG: eepberlin

BA Photography graduate Instagram Takeover - Eva Jonas

We recently called for work from both BA and MA photographers who are graduating from a UK university course this year. We’ve made selections and are in the process of conducting interviews and uploading new work to Photograd.

We selected University of Brighton BA (Hons) Photography 2019 graduate Eva Jonas to takeover the Photograd Instagram from 12th to 18th August. You can follow Eva on Instagram here too.


That Thing Over There that surrounds and sustains us

It is the human condition to attempt to render the inaccessible, accessible, creating far-flung spaces beyond their own local geography. This expression of the exotic is still seductive to both the photographer and the viewer, inundated as they already are with such images in modern culture. Beyond this lies a cultural and historical web of damage and displacement of the natural world, as a result of human exploration and expansion. Nature presented as an exhibit, an exhibition, dictates our experience of it. What do these spaces tell us about human aspiration, the obvious contradiction and the longing for connection to the natural world?

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Images from the series  That Thing Over There that surrounds and sustains us

Images from the series That Thing Over There that surrounds and sustains us

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2019 photography graduate call for work - the results!

Big thank you to everybody who submitted to our most recent call out. We were overwhelmed with brilliant work which made the judging process a difficult one.

Nonetheless, here are the results.

The BA graduate we are rewarding with an extended Instagram Takeover is:
Eva Jonas

The 2 BA graduates we would like to interview are:
Katie Bywater
Charlotte Macaulay

The BA graduate we would like to support and represent for a year is:
Ellen Stewart

The MA graduate we are rewarding with an extended Instagram Takeover is:
Elena Helfrecht

The 10 Highly Commended MA graduates are:
Loreal Prystaj
Haven Tang
Samantha Johnston
Xinyi Liu
Vera Hadzhiyska
Chloe Evelyn
Ringo Chan
Daniel Lee
Zak Dimitrov
Isabella Campbell

Image from the series  that Thing over there  by Charlotte Macaulay

Image from the series that Thing over there by Charlotte Macaulay

Image from the series  In My Fence Wall  by Ellen Stewart

Image from the series In My Fence Wall by Ellen Stewart

Image from the series  Mise-en-scène  by Samantha Johnston

Image from the series Mise-en-scène by Samantha Johnston

Image from the series  Plexus  by Elena Helfrecht

Image from the series Plexus by Elena Helfrecht

Image from the series  Bright Eyes  by Chloe Evelyn

Image from the series Bright Eyes by Chloe Evelyn

Keep an eye out on Photograd and our social media channels for interviews, more images, and takeovers over the Summer.

We're excited to get things started with those selected.

Photograd interviews Matt MacPake

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 University of Hertfordshire graduate Matt MacPake.


This body of work has been in the making for quite some time. Can you tell us why? Is this your usual way of working? Well it does feel like Brexit has been going on forever, and I feel this project for me at least, began further back than the 2016 referendum.

I started taking photographs at the end of a previous project, To & From the North Circular. Unsurprisingly walking the A406 had left me jaded and I needed a change. So, just for fun I altered my process. I started to work in the opposite way: posed, digital colour portraits became black and white, 120mm film and I started to photograph people from a distance as they walked through my viewfinder. Pretty simple things - but it’s always better to start that way and see how the work progresses. Posed portraits came later but the observational images are still part of this project. That was in 2014-15 and in the beginning I was photographing around Euston and St Pancras, purely because they are busy commuter areas but looking back now perhaps I was drawn to the transport link to Europe.. who knows. 

Image from the series  Whisper City Bones

Image from the series Whisper City Bones

In early 2016, the project started to grow in my mind and by now I had been wandering into various different areas and parts of London. For a while I was just trying little experiments, playing around and seeing where it would take me. Lots of these tests didn’t amount to anything but it was nice to not have the pressure of any deadline and I spent long periods just making pictures. I enjoy working on long form documentary projects but I also enjoy short assignments and often work on a number of separate projects at once. There are more short projects to come. For now, this project remains unfinished although I do feel it’s coming towards an end. Either way, I’m sure many of us will be photographing Brexit and its impact upon Britain & the EU for generations to come. 

Image from the series  Whisper City Bones

Image from the series Whisper City Bones

How do you think London and your series has changed since the vote on Brexit? What sort of differences are you seeing when out making images? I think the whole country has been seeing the effects of Tory lead austerity for years now - homelessness and child poverty numbers are increasing and it’s worrying to think what the future will look like. 

When I first moved to London in 2010 it was an exciting time, I felt like anything was possible and London was a celebration of multicultural society. Most of us got happily swept up in the spirit of the 2012 Olympics, and although I’ve never considered myself patriotic, there was a huge sense of pride and ownership in the country at this time.

Like a lot of people many of my family and relatives outside of London voted to leave the EU, where as I voted Remain. It was and still is a strange time, with the country divided like I’ve never known before. I’ll never forget the awful feeling the morning of the result – a sick feeling in your gut. 

Image from the series  Whisper City Bones

Image from the series Whisper City Bones

This project captures a mood and atmosphere that occurred through this period. I personally feel we’re moving back in time, not forwards. There’s a great sense of uncertainty about our impending future. It wasn’t about who voted which way, that seemed to simplify this idea of what Brexit it is, of course it’s a lot more complex than a yes/no debate. Although we know Brexit is about the UK leaving the EU, no one has any idea of the impact it will have on future generations, and I’m fearful of that. Maybe for me, this feeling is part of becoming a dad for the first time – there’s a tendency to worry more about things you once took for granted. 

You've produced work in colour before but we're curious to know why you've chosen black and white for this work? What equipment have you been using? The world in black and white is a distinctive place - it’s not the world we live in and I like that. It’s a completely new environment where we can record a place we inhabit, but see it with new eyes - this adds a layer of tone that I find intriguing as the images can be more emotive. 

I’ll continue to work in colour but because of this project I believe I’ll always take black and white images too. I’ve made a connection with black & white photography I didn’t have previously. The project may carry on for a while yet, we will have to wait and see. I’m making a dummy of what I have so far but I’d also like to make new work about Brexit that deals with people & their stories in a more intimate and collaborative way. 

Image from the series  Whisper City Bones

Image from the series Whisper City Bones

At the beginning, I started testing with a Hasselblad 503CX, then used a Mamiya RB. But most of the final images from the project are made with either a Makina Plaubel 67 or a Mamiya 7. The Mamiya 7, was my dream camera, this was a birthday present from my wife, who I must say a huge thanks you too not only for this but also her advice & support with my photography! 

I had to use what I could get my hands on. I borrowed from friends and on occasion the loan store from the university where I teach. I’m not really a big kit, tech, type of person I’m more about the images and how I make them, but obliviously I love cameras! The best option for anyone is to use what you have. Limitations in what you have available can be a blessing not a curse.  

What would you like for your viewer to take from your images? I don’t want to tell the viewer what to take away from my project, I’m more interested in what different people see within it themselves. Some may think that sounds like a cop-out, but I hope there’s enough in the images to lead people certain ways and leave the audience to bring something to work. I hope that the work demonstrates a tone and atmosphere that’s of the time, but what this is will depend on who you are. There’s a fantastic quote by Todd Hido

“it’s not my job to create meaning, but only to charge the air so that meaning can occur”

Image from the series  Whisper City Bones

Image from the series Whisper City Bones

Brexit has certainly ‘charged the air’ for the last 3-4 years, so I hope that my project has captured some of this in its own way. I used this quote for inspiration throughout the start of the work and it’s something I go back to when looking for new visual approaches. 

I’ve always struggled with words it’s maybe why I was drawn to photography to begin with, although you soon realise that the two go hand in hand. Now I see that photography helps develop my language and understanding

This project has the working title Whisper City Bones, which comes from a quote by Iain Sinclair, which begins “London is a city that sleeps too much.” This appealed to me as it challenges the positive idea of cities being alive and thriving. We all know that London is too successful for its own good and that has a negative impact across the rest of the country. I feel the UK has been asleep for years - we’ve let austerity happen and now Brexit. There’s nothing nice you can add on the end of this is there…

Image from the series  Whisper City Bones

Image from the series Whisper City Bones

There is hope and it’s in the next generation, look at the school kids marching for climate change, so inspiring, they are all heroes! That’s hope & that’s something to believe in!

Photograd interviews Yves Salmon

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 University of Westminster graduate Yves Salmon.


Where did you attend university and what year did you graduate? I graduated from University of Westminster’s Documentary Photography & Photojournalism course in 2017

Image from the series  Moat

Image from the series Moat

Tell us about your time at university. Have you got any stand out moments you can tell us about? It seems such a long time ago now, but as a part-time student my best memories are around having access to some good teachers as well as visiting photographers, curators and designers who shared their knowledge and industry experience with us.

I’ve made some good friends with whom I plan to collaborate with in the future.

The photographic library on the Harrow campus was a big selling point for me. It is a haven but also research across all subject matters was possible because we could borrow from all the different campuses.

Image from the series  Moat

Image from the series Moat

What themes do you explore in your work? On the whole I am interested in journeys that people make, the distance they’ve traveled isn’t the biggest factor. It’s more about their expectations of the place they are going to, what they’ve left behind and the emotional impact of their decision to (sometimes) up root their lives. Testimony is an integral part of my practice so most projects are started with an interview, either oral or in the form of a questionnaire.

Tell us about your series. What inspired you to make work around Brexit? The inspiration for the project came from a conversation with a friend (an EU national) who spoke about his profound shock on 24 June at the result of the referendum. For many people the outcome was felt on a deep personal level. It was a rejection of them as human beings and of the contribution they had made to the UK. Many have been here for decades, raised families and have worked and paid taxes. They felt as though that all counted for nothing.

Image from the series  Moat

Image from the series Moat

How did you find people to photograph? Tell us about your process. I am a born and bred Londoner and I live in the London Borough of Hackney which is one of the most diverse in the city.

The gift of London is that people have journeyed from around the world to be here so there are many local stories to be told. I asked neighbours and friends and I put out a call letting people know that I was looking for people willing to share their thoughts and feelings and be photographed.

For the portraits I rented a space in my local library over a set period and people selected a time within that which suited them. For the interviews I sent them a ten question form which they were free to fill in, however long or short the answers, in their own time.

I knew the end result was not going to be a straight forward Q & A with each image. The responses were not going to be attributed to a specific person.

Image from the series  Moat

Image from the series Moat

What's important about the flowers you've chosen for each image? Each flower is a national flower of the 27 remaining countries in the EU. Some countries share the same flowers so there is repetition but this was dealt with by using different illustrations. They were selected from the collection at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew and are all dated between 1837 and 1901 a period which was the height of Empire.

I chose the botanical illustration that I felt was most suited to the composition and the sitter’s expression so this part of the process was intuitive.

Depending on the outcome of Brexit and the future of the UK, where do you see your work taking you in the future? Whether I make landscapes, portraits or still-lifes, I am aware of certain themes that inform my documentary work. Migration and identity and the emotional issues around those themes. I will also continue to incorporate a botanical element into my work, either through the language of botany or using alternative photographic processes.

Image from the series  Moat

Image from the series Moat

Pick one of your images and tell us about the sitter. Despite the viewer being able to see the sitter’s face I have deliberately not identified any one individual. There are approximately 3 million EU nationals living and working in the United Kingdom. The project is about creating a collective voice.

What would you like for viewers to learn from your work? Alongside the portraits there are two books that accompany the images as well as ten anthotypes containing newspaper headlines from UK and foreign press. The books are in the form of ten chapters and these contain the answers to the questionnaire. Interwoven with the answers are ten botanical terms along with their definitions. These are words we also use in the the vernacular, such as stigma, marginal and hybrid.

Image from the series  Moat

Image from the series Moat

This piece of work is layered and everyone will have their own interpretation of the work. Therefore it is not my intention to teach the viewer anything. Perhaps it will encourage people to think about how and why we categorise people and the impact of that categorisation.

Have you got any exciting future plans? Like many people, I have lots of ideas but trying to decide what to pursue next is always difficult. I’ve just had a UV lightbox made so I’m going to finish a project I started last year. Imagery and text are at the forefront of that and it is about work, migration and London.

Also I am collaborating with a fellow MA graduate and we are currently conducting research for a London specific project.

Photograd interviews Michaela Harcegová

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 University of South Wales graduate Michaela Harcegová.


Where did you attend university and what year did you graduate? BA (Hons) Photography, University of South Wales, Cardiff, June 2018.

Tell us about your time at university. Have you got any stand out moments you can tell us about? It was certainly challenging at the beginning, but I really enjoyed my time in Cardiff and at university. To pick one I would have to say my graduation and working towards our graduate show. It was stressful, for sure, but be part of organising and building the show felt amazing. Same with the getting my diploma. I felt huge sense of accomplishment. I am really grateful for everyone who supported me during my studies and help me through the tough times. I met some amazing people which I will be always thankful for.

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What themes do you explore in your work? My most recent work is currently capturing London at night. It’s looking at the city at its most vulnerable, changed after night fall to this surreal landscape, something darker, more mysterious. Deserted street, lit windows suggesting presence of people, in safety of their own homes. The idea and the project are still in progress and developing constantly, but through this work trying to interpret the complexity of this city that feel like second home to me but at the same time I don’t quite belong there. The images reflect firstly my feeling of strangeness, loneliness and anxiety surrounding my move to London and secondly the uncertainty what is going to happen and make sense of the changes that are happening. That sense of divide, anticipation and frustration about this situation that can be felt in the country.

Michaela 1.jpg

My other project attempts to capture and explore something that is essentially an experience in the ‘place’ that is at the same time ‘no-place’: bus stop. This experience is unique but at the same time the same. Something ephemeral. Waiting for a bus. The images were captured at night, illumined only by bus stop light, people become ghostly figures in the strange world. They could easily be taken out of dreams with everyone being able to associate their own experience with theirs. It is also something that lingers in our mind no longer than a dream with us sleep walking, operating on auto-pilot and avoiding boredom anyway we can. Strangers barely acknowledging each other. Place of lost time and waiting.

Tell us about your selection of images here. Why have you chosen to photograph the city at night? There is something surreal about the change between day and night. It’s like stepping in to different reality. The more dreamlike and darker version of it. I am really captivated by this change the poeticism of it. As I mentioned before, I am trying to capture the vulnerability, loneliness, and the sense of not quite belonging and night helps me translate this in to the imagery.

Michaela 2.jpg

How have you tried to show your feelings towards Brexit through your imagery? I haven’t intentionally, but it definitely influenced my work and it’s something I have been thinking about. It found its way in to my work. It reflects the mood that it evokes in the country. It is still unclear what will happen, as the decision is still being delayed and no deal has been made yet. When answering your question about themes in my work, I mentioned sense of divide, anticipation and frustration that I sense in the country surrounding Brexit. I feel like my imagery express this darker feelings and mood being shot at night, with streets void of people with perhaps single person which can’t be seen clearly. This means to represent the leaving of immigrants and uncertainty of their fate in UK.

Michaela 3.jpg

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? As the outcome is still unclear, it is difficult for me to say where the photography will take me in the future. In the months I lived here I fell in love with London, but I feel the things are slowly changing to the worse. I don’t believe UK leaving EU will solve the issues there are. Brexit is something that will influence the whole country if UK leaves and as a consequently might damage the relationships with European Union. I am interested where this will all lead, and I want to document this change through my photography whatever the outcome. I will continue working and developing this project further and see where it leads.

You mention that you are an immigrant from Europe. How do you see the near future of the UK affecting the way you live and make work? Yes, I am originally from Slovakia and my whole family lives there. To answer your question, it is very hard to say. I am still planning on staying in London for foreseeable future, but that might change depending what the outcome is going to be. I will continue to shoot and create work here in London or around UK, but I might take a different approach, concentrating more on the consequences and commenting more on the actual Brexit as my work so far is more indirect.

Michaela.jpg

What would you like for viewers to learn from your work? Maybe it’s me, coming here as a foreigner, but I felt scared, lonely and overwhelmed by London for quite a while after I moved there, and I still do struggle sometimes. Everything is so fast paced and just so very different to what I was used to moving here from Cardiff, and the anxiety surrounding Brexit is greater as the date draws closer. I want the viewers to see that in my work and communicate these feelings. My work can be interpreted in many ways but I want the viewer take away from it, in this context, is better understanding of the feelings about the situation from someone who is foreigner observing it from inside.

Have you got any exciting future plans? Yes, I have some exciting plans, but I don’t want to say too much at this point as they are still in the stages of planning. All I can say it might include some video work.

Photograd interviews Chris Mear

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 Staffordshire University graduate Chris Mear.


Twenty-one Miles From Nowhere is essentially a road trip project, but unlike many such projects the road I have chosen to follow is neither particularly long nor significant.

Where did you attend university and what year did you graduate? Staffordshire University, and 2011.

Image from the series  Twenty-one Miles From Nowhere

Image from the series Twenty-one Miles From Nowhere

Tell us about your time at university. Have you got any stand out moments you can tell us about? In all honesty it was largely a wasted opportunity by me. But through university I truly discovered photography, beyond the boringly obvious. Two stand out moments were discovering the book Hide That Can by Deirdre O’Callahan and visiting the Paul Graham retrospective at the White Chapel (2011). And both were monumentally important for me.

What themes do you explore in your work? Sense of place and the human condition.

Image from the series  Twenty-one Miles From Nowhere

Image from the series Twenty-one Miles From Nowhere

Tell us about your series of images. What's important to you about some of the locations? The road’s been a constant for me during my lifetime as have the places along it.

Are the people in these images also important to you? Yes. Because they’re all strangers who are willing to make a connection with another stranger and make us not strangers anymore.

Image from the series  Twenty-one Miles From Nowhere

Image from the series Twenty-one Miles From Nowhere

How have you tried to show your feelings towards Brexit through your imagery? I’m just trying to understand how this small part of the world and the people who inhabit it, including me, really feel at this moment in time.

Depending on the outcome of Brexit and the future of the UK, where do you see your photography taking you in the future? I don’t know. Which is three words people should be willing to say more, if you ask me.

Image from the series  Twenty-one Miles From Nowhere

Image from the series Twenty-one Miles From Nowhere

How do you see this work evolving? I don’t know. I’ll just keep walking. I just want to keep moving around my little corner of the world with good intentions and pure curiosity. I don’t want to think about how it might evolve or how it might end up, because that’ll effect the process, which I want to be as intuitive and authentic as possible. Maybe during the course of making these pictures I’ll learn to drive. Maybe that’ll change it? I don’t know.

What would you like for viewers to learn from your work? That’s not for me to say.

Image from the series  Twenty-one Miles From Nowhere

Image from the series Twenty-one Miles From Nowhere

Tell us about some of your biggest achievements. I wake up, I get out of bed, I go to work, I smile, I laugh and sometimes I feel confident and motivated enough to go out and connect and make pictures. But it depends on your individual definition of achievement – my CV’s on my website.

Have you got any exciting future plans? I’m planning to be better at being present, in the present.

Daisy Ware-Jarrett interviews Jared Krauss

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 Daisy Ware-Jarrett interviewing Kingston University MA student Jared Krauss.


My name is Daisy Ware-Jarrett and I am Co-editor and Co-founder of #PHOTOGRAPHY magazine. When I was asked to interview one person from a selected shortlist of photographers Jared Krauss' work jumped out at me right away. I was drawn to Jared's unique perspective and the energy captured in his Brexit themed series. I was eager to sit with Jared and find out more about his series.

Image from the series  Who Wants Brexit?

Image from the series Who Wants Brexit?

Why did you decide to create a series about Brexit? In a way, the decision was made for me. I’m interested in the every day, and how people creatively navigate their everyday strictures and structures. I’m also interested in disruptions within and of the everyday. Brexit, though, has created a whole new everyday reality, especially for those of us living in the UK. There feels to be a mass amount of anxiety, a fear of the unknown future, permeating the every day because of Brexit, and yet there is this group of people who not only want it, but will stand tall in public proudly proclaiming their support in spite of the sort of existential dread the rest of the population seems to be experiencing. In the end I felt I would be remiss if I didn’t make work pertaining to Brexit. I’m sure many of us will look at our archive in the future and see other threads we can pull on to elucidate the experiences we’ve had during the fight over Brexit, but we won’t have the opportunity to photograph in the moment again. So I felt I must. It was there and I had a camera and some questions.

Image from the series  Who Wants Brexit?

Image from the series Who Wants Brexit?

One of the most captivating aspects of your series is how it's shot from a low angle. Was this an intentional decision and if so why did you choose to shoot this way? What drew me to this particular protest, the pro-Brexit march in December of 2018 in London, was the question, “Who wants Brexit?” Not only was this march being billed as far-right, and anti-immigrant, it would undoubtably be countered by a much larger march. Beyond that, as I said above, they were marching in spite of a generalized air of anxiety around a no-deal Brexit, let alone Mays plan. In fact, almost overwhelmingly, they wanted a no-deal Brexit. Having made photographs in the lead up to the 2016 election, but especially in Washington D.C. on the day of Trump’s Inauguration, I had become acquainted with some of the tension that can arise when I work in spaces whose politics starkly oppose mine. So, on the one hand, I wanted the aesthetics of the images to be something that any of the subjects—whether in the moment or if they see this work now—could not reasonably claim I was presenting a garish portrait.  However, I didn’t want the sea of the protest, because that would distract from looking at their faces, to intimately know the answer to, “Who wants Brexit?” I felt the posters and flags they carried could suffice to hint at more of their identity. Since I use a manual focus, wide angle lens, the only way to achieve this was to be literally under their chin. I often fell over backwards while shooting. It was entertaining for everyone, and quite fun for me.

Image from the series  Who Wants Brexit?

Image from the series Who Wants Brexit?

Do you think your position as an American living in the UK gives you a unique perspective on Brexit and the public response to it? In some ways it feels inconsequential for me, an American also with an Italian passport, to have an opinion on Brexit, let alone a perspective. What can I offer here, when in both my own countries I feel there are cruel and crude administrations in power? But then I remember that the existing structures of power, coercion, extortion, oppression, and repression, are constantly sharing techniques, are constantly testing in focus groups new pitches, are constantly building new products for more profit, and that one of the few ways we have to manipulate all those energies to our benefit is to unmask the rhetorics used to draw our attention to the very idea of exiting the European Union, or building a wall on the southern border, when within our very borders, within each of our towns, children are hungry, children are killing each other, the addicted are dying, students are floundering in debt, wars we began and contribute to are raging afar and their victims are fleeing the violence we’ve wrought to come to our countries and are being treated inhumanly. Cambridge Analytica, for starters, is an interesting connection between Brexit and Trump, not to mention the rhetoric around foreigners. One thing that the UK and the US share, also, and gives me a bit of hope, is that my generation and the next overwhelmingly don’t support Brexit or Trump, but, unfortunately, despite being the largest voting bloc, not enough vote.

Do you plan on creating more Brexit-themed work? Always and already. 

Image from the series  Who Wants Brexit?

Image from the series Who Wants Brexit?

What do you hope people will take away from this series? I’m not sure. I hope they will bring something to the work, though. I hope they will bring their own ideas and assumptions about what Brexit means, and is, and that they’ll hold my photos up against those thoughts to see what they can see, and then speak about it. I’d love to hear from viewers, but ultimately I want people to have conversations around Brexit in their everyday lives. As much as we’re saturated with politics on the news, whether it was in anticipation of Robert Mueller releasing his report, or seeing if Brexit actually happens on the 29 of March, or in April, or May, or two years from now—that saturation most often comes from the media and from the governments’ and corporations’ representatives. The more we have conversations, or even arguments, the more we approach making the decisions ourselves, and, better yet, start asking the question, “why does it have to be thisy way?” Because it doesn’t. Of course, critical thinking needs must be a part of those conversations, but they don’t always have to begin at a critical place. It can be a joke, a snide remark, or an earnest question, but getting people to articulate why they support something, and not letting them skip out after a superficial answer, will force people to be more critical with themselves. That’s the only way we’re going to work up a resistance to being hoodwinked into fearing the Other, whomever that next is. Keep asking why.

Alex Hewitt interviews Rob Townsend

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 Findr founder Alex Hewitt interviewing Open College of the Arts student Rob Townsend.


You say that photography, like politics simplifies. Do you believe your work fully interprets the story of a nation in turmoil or is your imagery designed to provoke the debate? Absolutely the latter. The work doesn’t try to interpret the story of a nation so much as take a sideways look at how the nation, or certainly parts of it, are being interpreted in a highly oversimplified way by the media (both mainstream and social, i.e. us). The question marks at the end of the project title and the town captions are intended to encourage a challenge to my deliberately stereotyped imagery.

Image from the series  Two Kinds of People?

Image from the series Two Kinds of People?

Much like the political situation a major fascination of your images is in the nuance of interpretation. The juxtaposition of competing narratives is binary and oppositional but the everyday nature of your subject matter normalises these parallels. Is this a deliberate choice? I don’t see the narratives as competing, more co-existing. Both parts of each pie chart are ‘true’ (both as in an unmodified capture of reality, and in terms of being true to some people’s everyday lived experience) but that doesn’t make the juxtaposition accurate in terms of meaningful representation.

The binary/oppositional thing is an exaggerated construct; the reality is that everyone in these towns co-exists and sits somewhere on a scale from committed Remainer to hardcore Leaver. I suppose I’m trying to satirise the massive generalisations that imply you can describe a whole town in one or two adjectives or pictures.

Image from the series  Two Kinds of People?

Image from the series Two Kinds of People?

You touch on the danger of simplification. Are your images simplified to highlight how this simplification was a powerful tool that the pro-Brexit lobby leaned on to engineer the result of the referendum? Yes, but not just the pro-Brexit lobby. Both campaigns oversimplified an incredibly complex situation. I certainly have my own opinion on the referendum result itself, but this work was more about taking a step back and looking at how we so quickly ended up in these oppositional ‘tribes’...

To a certain extent simplification is just human nature, a useful cognitive shortcut to dealing with complexity. But it kind of got 'weaponised' in the run-up to the referendum and has, I think, continued to disrupt the whole debate to this day.

People, and their choices, are what led the UK to this precipice but the subject of your work is almost entirely inanimate scenes. Do you think that presenting work devoid of humanity removes the absurdity of human behaviour from your debate or are the scenes carefully selected to display this absurdity from a subjective point of view? I generally tend not to use individuals as representatives or exemplars, casting them in a role that might not fit them just because they look like they suit my (highly constructed) narrative. That's not to say I dislike such an approach taken by others, it's just a personal preference to leave people out of the picture unless they have explicitly consented.

Image from the series  Two Kinds of People?

Image from the series Two Kinds of People?

More specifically with this work, in a sense I was imitating the metonymic way that places get anthropomorphised, as in "Middlesbrough voted Leave" etc – the town linguistically standing in for its inhabitants in another simplified shortcut. Like a whole town has a split personality that can be summarised in two photos. Excluding people seemed to help my intent here.

The words you use in your narrative are harsh (is Burnley 33.4% striver / 66.6% skiver?) do you think the political situation has opened new wounds in class division or do you think they've never really gone away? Media discourse tends to round the referendum votes up to 100%, describing a town or a region as "Leave area" or a "Remain area" – with the pie charts I was aiming to highlight this absurdity by taking it down just one level, as in 'OK, so are you saying that this town is two-thirds left-behind underclass and one-third latte-sipping metropolitan liberals?'. The pairs of words are deliberately polarised as I think that emphasises how we've lost sight of the nuances of human behaviour and values. I'd like to think that most people's response to all of those polarised pairs of statistics is 'no, don't be daft...'.

Image from the series  Two Kinds of People?

Image from the series Two Kinds of People?

But to answer your question... the political situation of the last few years has, I think, surfaced a lot of tensions that have been simmering for decades. Not just around class but age, education, regional inequality, identity and more. The referendum didn't create these divisions but I believe it revealed and amplified them. Here I've just tried to photograph those amplified divisions in a deliberately exaggerated manner.

Image from the series  Two Kinds of People?

Image from the series Two Kinds of People?

What would you like to happen next? There's at least two ways of answering that...

Regarding Brexit and society in general, much as I'm a committed Remainiac I feel that the only sane way forward for the UK as a whole is some kind of soft Brexit, a compromise that reflects the 52:48 split. No-one will be wholly happy with that but it's better than half the population potentially nursing various levels of grievance for years to come.

Regarding the work, I'll be happy if after looking at these images a viewer spent just a short while thinking about how oversimplification and mass stereotyping negatively affects our public discourse; how mass generalisation of populations isn't just unhelpful, it's actually a bit silly too.