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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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. 

Featuring 2018 photography graduates

New Photograd content | Supporting 2018 photography graduates from UK based courses.

This summer Photograd are supporting a number of 2018 photography graduates from UK based courses through interviews, sharing of work, and promotion to a much wider audience. Selected from a recent call for work across social media were, in total, 12 new graduates who we are sharing the work of. We're appreciating some noticeable trends in photography over the last couple of years and new content on the Photograd platform brings you still life, responses to current affairs, exploration of family heritage, and industrial effects upon the landscape.


University of the West of England graduate Tom Roche presents his series Black Blood on the Photograd Spotlight in which he explores his own Romany Gypsy heritage through stories and speculation. We asked Tom about his university experience, his use of photography to find a sense of 'home', and his future plans, in particular how he will make Black Blood interestingly presented on the web.

The documentary collection of archival images, and both medium and large format prints, presented together provoke some interesting thoughts about family, heritage, and the future. 

Images from the series  Black Blood  by Tom Roche

Images from the series Black Blood by Tom Roche

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We selected Norwich University of the Arts graduate Holly Farndell to takeover the Photograd Instagram at the end of July with her documentary work.

"Golden Promise was created from Autumn through to Spring as a documentation of light and the changing of seasons. With a short escape from grey old England to sun-washed Spain, it is an observation of my experience with seasonal affective disorder and coping with the light and darkness of life."

You can follow along to find out more about Holly and her work from Sunday 29th July - Saturday 4th August.

Images from the series  Golden Promise  by Holly Farndell

Images from the series Golden Promise by Holly Farndell

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Falmouth University graduate Caterina Lombardi presents us with her series SATIS on the Photograd Spotlight. In here interview, Caterina presents her still life images and accompanying video. Caterina takes inspiration from traditional still life paintings and intends to educate the viewer on certain current affairs. Each of her images are uniquely titled in Latin to give everybody the opportunity to decipher subject matter.

ABORTUS IURA  from the series  SATIS  by Falmouth University graduate  Caterina Lombardi

ABORTUS IURA from the series SATIS by Falmouth University graduate Caterina Lombardi

OBSTETRICANTE VIOLENTIAM  from the series  SATIS  by Falmouth University graduate  Caterina Lombardi

OBSTETRICANTE VIOLENTIAM from the series SATIS by Falmouth University graduate Caterina Lombardi

 

Nine highly commended 2018 photography graduates from UK based courses were also selected from this call for work to be represented on the Photograd blog. These bodies of work stood out to us for many reasons and we took this opportunity to share them.

Miguel Proença ,  The Buzzer (ZhUOZ)

Miguel ProençaThe Buzzer (ZhUOZ)

Luke Hurlock ,  Tokamak Fusion

Luke HurlockTokamak Fusion

Chiara Avagliano ,  Val Paradiso

Chiara AvaglianoVal Paradiso

University of Westminster graduate Luke Hurlock presents Tokamak Fusion which documents the current state of advancements in the field of nuclear fusion research. The word Tokamak comes from the Russian Toroidalnaya Kamera I Magnitnaya Katushka (Toroidal Chamber and Magnetic Coil) an is in reference to the fusion devices used by the leading fusion experiments. The images in this project aim to both intrigue and inform the viewer on the progress of a future technology that promises to solve one of humanity’s biggest problems, clean renewable energy production.

 

London College of Communication graduate Chiara Avagliano explores the places she grew up in Val Paradiso. "

The mountain scenery blends with the hills of the countryside colliding in a space inhabited by childhood memories, magical encounters, teenage adventures, mystical experiences, idealised love and a magical bond between girls that echoes ancient rituals and witchcraft. 

The fictional documentary work is a coming of age tale, retold from different points of view. 

Personal experiences are narrated and transformed, almost becoming legends whispered softly, from mouth to mouth, from me to my half-sister and her girlfriends."

Instagram Takeover winning graduate - Holly Farndell

We recently created a call for work specifically for those students graduating this year with the aim of rewarding a number of them with opportunities to be represented by Photograd. You can see our interview with University of the West of England graduate Tom Roche here, and our 9 highly commended graduates here. We're continuing to support 2018 graduates with a brand new edition of PGZ which is coming soon!

Here we present you a few images from Norwich University of the Arts graduate Holly Farndell who we selected from the submissions we received to takeover our Instagram. You can follow along to find out more about Holly and her work from Sunday 29th July - Saturday 4th August.


Golden Promise was created from Autumn through to Spring as a documentation of light and the changing of seasons. With a short escape from grey old England to sun-washed Spain, it is an observation of my experience with seasonal affective disorder and coping with the light and darkness of life.

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All images from the series  Golden Promise

All images from the series Golden Promise

Loupe Magazine issue 7

We’ve created a Fellowship with Loupe Magazine and will be bringing you news of brand new issues when they're released. Issue 7 has just landed and includes an interview with Matthew Genitempo who was selected as the winner of our recent collaborative call for work.

You can find a list of local stockists here but if you'd like to subscribe, Loupe are currently offering 20% off subscriptions made before 1st July!


Issue 7 of Loupe is out now! If you are quick copies available for free from our amazing stockists.

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Sticking with our theme of no theme, this issue contains our most diverse range of projects yet. It’s a real celebration of the varied styles in contemporary photography.

Matthew Genitempo won the Loupe x Photograd competition with his project Jasper, a poetic documentation of the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, and the men who live there. We loved the work so much we decided to put it on the cover.

Image from the series  Jasper  by  Matthew Genitempo

Image from the series Jasper by Matthew Genitempo

Final year student Ema Johnston is featured with her fresh take on the much explored topic of drag, accompanied by Sarah Goad’s words.

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Our online editor Harry Flook talked to Jack Fleming about his new body of work, Punching, which focusses on amateur boxing in Bristol and Brighton.

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Also featured is Lewis Bush’s Shadows of the State alongside an interview with Museum of London curator Anna Sparham and our other regular features.

If you can’t make it to stockist single copies, back issues and annual subscriptions are also available to purchase from our online store.

We hope you enjoy the issue!