We chose our favourite work from our visits to both photography weeks at Free Range and by looking through our selection of catalogues we picked up. You can see our first picks further down our blog if you want to find out about what we discovered. We travelled to the capital again this week to see the second instalment. Neither of us have been to week two before and so we were looking forward to being overloaded with catalogues and business cards from a wider selection of universities. We weren't wrong, the collection of business cards we now have is immense!
We just want to say congratulations to all who were involved with Free Range this year. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at both weeks and we both discovered some new work that has personally inspired us. We're now looking forward to creating Photograd features with you all!
Enough talk about us, let's get onto our second selection of picks!
University of West London - Optic
During our visit we didn’t have an abundance of time to stop and read up on each piece of work, but the text in the case of Denisa’s project isn’t necessary; something about this work immediately struck us as a project close to home. Exhibited in a long row of understated sized framed prints, this work is a tender yet melancholic portrait of Denisa’s homeland in Albesti, Transylvania; a way for her to harness her memories of a place once felt like her “safe haven”, in turn creating a place of escape for the viewer.
Nottingham Trent University - Emerge
James' work was perfectly presented and the quality of the images immediately stood out to us. Without knowing what the series is about, the viewer still has the ability to attach an emotion and create a story. The images are still, peaceful, and intimate, and we both really like the juxtaposition of different weather conditions. We'd really like to know who inspired James to make this work in the way that he has!
COVENTRY UNIVERSITY - INSITE
With a strong and obvious Duane Michals, and even Elliott Erwitt influence, we both thoroughly enjoyed this body of work. It's an interesting subject because Thomas suggests that surveillance and voyeurism are unavoidable in contemporary living, yet he's exposed this trend by showcasing it to us in the form of a printed image, and has admitted he's intruded his subjects. We'd love for Thomas to talk about his work with us so we can find out more about his way of working.
We've included an image here of how Thomas hung his work as we think it's really important to see his outcome.
Edinburgh College - Exposed 16
These portraits were a striking addition to Edinburgh College’s show, focusing on the lack of power the sitter has over the final outcome of an image. The work has an Alma Haser Cosmic Surgery vibe, but with the use of digital methods and material objects to distort the portraits. Cat’s claims ring true that this work leaves “the viewer with more questions than answers”.
Both of us here at Photograd have a strong interest gardens, home, familiarity, identity, memory, and connections or relationships and so neither of us wanted to leave Dulcie's work hanging on the wall. We really appreciate that she's allowed us into her garden to perceive her personal life and relationship with her Mother and Grandfather. Her statement alongside the work is emotive and thought provoking for the viewer, and the words that come in between the images on her website are really uplifting. This series is a work in progress and we really want to see what comes next for Dulcie!
Middlesex University London - Lupe
What's unique about Scott's work is his ability to capture his subject matter and their surroundings within the space they've made their own from seemingly what very little belongings they have; the strong relationship between sitter and photographer is clear as they're shot in a relaxed, intimate manner. The spaces in the images are relatable to the viewer given the sense of locality and identity they portray. We'd really like to understand more about Scott's ideas and how he went about making his book.
The layout of the Middlesex show at Free Range was fantastic. Whilst looking through Scott's portfolio and book we were able to see his large scale prints on the wall too.
Danielle's project is based around youth culture and the experience of transitioning into adulthood. It was the overall presentation of this work that caught our attention; each image scattered, appearing to have no sense of order, printed full bleed in different sizes and presented in frames with no break between the image and the frame, illustrating the lack of direction and confusion, entrapment and claustrophobia, that can be experienced at this time in a young persons life. A book accompanied the prints on the wall but unfortunately we didn’t get to see this during our visit. Some of it can be viewed at Danielle’s website, but we would love to see more!