Photograd Experience & Event Report: Phoebe Kiely at Brighton Photo Fringe

Introduction

My name is Phoebe Kiely. I studied photography at Manchester School of Art and graduated in 2015. For many reasons I have remained based in Manchester. 

 
From the series They Were My Landscape

From the series They Were My Landscape

 

The Event

Brighton Photo Fringe was established in 2003. The Fringe aims to nurture new talent and to give a platform for collaborations. 

This was the first time I had ever seen the Fringe. I've got a lot of memories in Brighton, it was great to revisit the city knowing that my work was being showcased there. 

Over this month there are many events, everything is so close to the city centre. 

Above images from the series They Were My Landscape

 

The Exhibition

I went to a few of the exhibition spaces on the map and stumbled across others. Some were on the sea front, others in gallery spaces and one outside the library.

The shortlisted artists had a print each in front of St Peter's Church. There was also a projection of the eight images we each submitted at Phoenix Brighton.

For this competition I created an edit which I had never showcased before, I believe most of the images I included had not been seen before online or otherwise. I was conscious that this was risky, not knowing what people would think of the images and how they worked as a series. The project I submitted is titled They Were My Landscape, it's an archive of sorts. Due to the volume of work and the concept behind it, the series consists of many different edits. As the work grows and develops I create different combinations of images. 

 
Installation shot of They Were My Landscape at BPF

Installation shot of They Were My Landscape at BPF

 

All of the images I selected were quite new. I find it difficult separating emotional attachment from new images. Usually time fizzles out this connection and I am able to look at the work more objectively. However, this was the series I wished to submit, so I took the risk on the new photographs. I combined street photographs with more intimate images in to a series of eight.

Involvement

Earlier this year I exhibited at Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool alongside Peter Watkins, the 2014 Solo winner. I saw a link asking for submissions, highlighting Peter's work which I recognised immediately. I followed the links and it requested me to apply through the LensCulture website

 
From the series They Were My Landscape

From the series They Were My Landscape

 

Over the last few months, I have really concentrated on submitting to open call competitions. I always look at the judges to see who is making the decision on the submissions. I literally do this to briefly look at the names and possibly what the judges are working on. But you can never really mould your submission to what they want to see I don't think. The work you make is personal and writing about it with that in mind and editing what you think is your most honest edit is the best way to go forward. If this fails at least you'll always know that you gave a really pure submission.  

Reflection

I would encourage photographers to keep an eye on this biennial event, specifically for the submission window for the solo show. It's priceless having your work seen by jurors like the ones at Brighton Photo Fringe. There are so many other opportunities here to show work. 

 
From the series They Were My Landscape

From the series They Were My Landscape

 

Final Thoughts

It's great seeing the work up, especially in print. When I see my work in shows I am reminded of the temporariness of it all. 

In my practice I strive to make darkroom prints. Making permanent objects is where I get my buzz. This show has reminded me that I need to create something that lasts, I need to make a book.