The Form of Possibility is a group exhibition of final year bodies of work by graduating students of MA Photography and MFA Photographic Arts from the University of Plymouth in 2016. It began with a private view on the 22nd September on the second floor of the Scott Building, Plymouth University, Drakes Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA and runs Monday to Friday until the 13th October 2016.
The bodies of work demonstrate the variety in the interpretation and use of the photographic medium in the contemporary, ranging from personal explorations, to investigations of place, and enquiries into the materiality of the medium itself.
Liz-Ann Vincent-Merry's series is part of an ongoing project which looks at 1,200 identity photographs from south east France, dating between 1900 and 1970. The work is an exploration of the mnemonic powers of these portraits in her quest to recover a life that has vanished.
Lucy Bentham considers traditional aesthetics and the psychological theory of Escape, taking a deeply personal approach to the role of the female artist desiring to escape from the domestic space, by venturing into the land.
The work of Robert Darch adopts a style of documentary realism while constructing an imaginary place through the mapping of a learnt culture onto direct experience.
Carly Seller’s work is a meditation on experience and embodiment from paths that invite us to move along their lines, as well as consideration of the camera having the ability to define, abstract and extend the range of visual perception.
Katie Lowe uses a custom-built, lensless, camera to create single images on whole rolls of transparency film along her favourite stretch of beach along the North Coast of Cornwall.
Michelle Reynolds’ work consists of diptychs comparing and contrasting the landscapes and cityscapes of Europe and Kansas, opening up a dialogue in relation to the idea of place and one’s connection to where they came from.
David Gibson’s work explores profound personal and subjective moments of solitary psychological reverie in the landscape.
Gabby Laurent uses an absurdist approach to comment on a history of art practices such as self-portraiture and the photographic relationship to sculpture.
James Waterfield deals with the issue of loneliness through undertaking bicycle journeys, pausing and thinking between journeys to complete a bookwork which, in one sense, is a kind of personal advertisement.
Sian Davey presents the documentation of an awkward stage in the life of her daughter, Martha, as Martha transitions from child to young woman.
Glauco Canalis’ work is a documentary study of San Berillo, an Island in the heart of Catania: A site once known as the biggest open-air brothel in Europe.
It is evident from this group exhibition alone that the multiplicity found within the photographic medium in the contemporary, led by the range of the artists, is vast. Even in a world in which mass imagery can sometimes overwhelm our visual senses there are still cases, such as within this exhibition, that clearly declare that the photographic medium is alive and well, and will continue to evolve.
It has been a pleasure to be a part of this diverse cohort and I can’t wait to see what our successors produce this year.
MFA Photographic Arts students are: Sian Davey, Glauco Canalis and Robert Darch.
MA Photography students are: Lucy Bentham, Michelle Reynolds, Katie Lowe, Liz-Ann Vincent-Merry, James Waterfield, Gabby Laurent, David Gibson and Carly Seller.
Some of the works from this exhibition will also be displayed as part of a faculty exhibition in the Peninsula Arts Gallery, Plymouth, in December.
- Lucy Bentham