I always get a sense of déjà at the Free Range student photography shows, where similar themes and styles crop up year in year out. However there are always some stand out photographs which capture my attention, either because they have done something new, or because they have made great images regardless of technique or subject.
At Westminster University Sara Bertolasi showed a series of tree portraits shot in Andalucia, which are believed to contain the souls of fallen soldiers who died in the War of Alpujarras. Each tree has a very distinct personality of their own, which is reinforced by the simplicity of the land, tree and sky.
Illuminated by Vladislav Kolev shows portraits of people watching TV, their concentration writ large in the eery glow of the screen.
The Pipe Dream by Sarah England uses analogue methods and double exposures to evoke dreamlike scenes, where houses and landscapes blend eerily together (and in the instance of me shooting the art at the show, yet another layer is added over the top). It’s not a new idea but this was executed very well.
In the Lay of the Land is a project following the lives of the young people who live in the Outer Hebrides, choosing to ‘enrich their local culture and community with energy and enterprise’. At Edinburgh Napier Mhairi Law’s wonderfully evocative photographs reveal the real people that are making this outer isle vibrant again. Just above is Rosie Wiscombe, who makes Harris tweed accessories.
Large scale photographs of Pests (stuffed ones) explore ideas of the animal as ‘other’. Amazing! By Nicoline Vormedal Sandwith at Roehampton University.
This photograph of a chilly looking Santa enjoying the waves is one of a series looking at Britain’s Hidden Culture by Matthew Cooper at Northampton. I love the energy in this carefully composed shot.
Tucked away in a dark corner I found David Morris (of Colchester Uni), who had created a stunning hand crafted cyanotype movie of the tide going in and out on a stretch of Essex beach near his home. On the wall were hundreds of prints depicting the same simple scene, rolling waves grounded in the unchanging line of wooden struts stretching out to sea. You can watch his magical movie above.
Brett White‘s photos at Plymouth University are a visceral abstraction of military history.
Evocative photography by Shelley Belboda looks at the legacy of mining in the Tamar Valley.
This intriguing installation by Amber Banks-Brumby at Nottingham Trent reveals the aesthetic power of tiny organisms.
Rosie Gilbey put herself in the frame with pictures of E8 Trannies.
Each year the photography students at Falmouth University consistently present one of the best Free Range photography shows, and this year was no exception. Recreated landscapes my Matt Tacon look real from afar, yet closer inspection reveals them to be constructed of tiny well-lit models.
Amber Jane Strickland fuses photography and ink to create romantic artworks.
Scalpel Constructions abstracts by Christopher Ower-Davis mix illustration and photography, creating artwork that pops.
Elinor Bussell is Defying the Male Gaze is a series of unsettling images featuring nude women with sewn meat details.
Beautiful images by Andy Race blur the lines between art, science and nature. Also, props to him for being the only photography graduate to notice that I tweeted about his work – no surprise then to find that he owns a super professional website where you can buy one of his otherworldly prints from the Maya Blue Lake series.
On a final note, it’s nice to see that despite the passing of the years bulldog clips remain as popular as ever as a simple and effective means of hanging art on the walls… I used the very same technique nearly 20 years ago: like the drum n bass of that era it’s an idea that refuses to die.
- Free Range Art & Design Show 2013: Week Three Photography Review
- Free Range 2009: Photography – Young Art, Run Free!
- Free Range Art & Design Show 2013: Week Four Photography Review – University of Northampton, UCLAN, Falmouth, University of Derby & Swansea Metropolitan
- Free Range Art & Design Show 2013: Week Four Photography Review – Ravensbourne, Nottingham Trent University, UCA Farnham & De Montfort University
- Free Range Graduate Shows 2012: Middlesex University Fashion Design, Styling and Promotion Ba Hons Review