Graduate Directory 2020: Photography
Focusing their lenses the conveying narratives of our modern existence, our pick of graduates are proving photography can flourish as a form of conceptual art
Inspired by Ukraine’s political situation, New Dawn Fades questions the West’s fascination with former Soviet Bloc aesthetics. Focusing on image-building ‘for economic, cultural or political purposes’, Leroux examines the fine line between truth and entertainment.
London College of Communication, UK
Houborg’s We Are Still Here is a visual investigation into the zeitgest of postcolonial Zimbabwe, now emerging from decades of political oppression and financial hardship. His considered documentary images build an empathetic picture of everyday difficulties and hopes.
The School of Visual Arts, USA
Yu’s practice seamlessly combines studio works and street photography. While Yu meticulously composes his still-lifes himself, his street shots use the world around him to create a dialogue of form and colour, blurring the line between authenticity and fiction.
University of South Wales, UK
Drawing on archival material from his parents’ roles as civil servants within the Ministry of Defence, Colley has created a performative series on monotony, stress and detachment. Guy Debord’s Marxist theories are also a point of reference in this curious integration of photography, video and sound.
The University of Hartford, USA
Turning an obsessive eye to the overlooked, Frerichs’ Water Salad imagines a Californian’s daily experience during a severe drought. With visceral depictions of water, we are confronted with wilting vegetables and floods. There’s clarity, and murkiness too, in keeping with the liquid itself.
The Royal College of Art, UK
By subverting the norms of labour in a series of staged photographs, Barreiro’s A Breach of Margins reflects on the ‘tensions between technology and manual work, the performance of masculinity, or the human body as a material in production processes.’
Josje van Stekelenburg
Royal Academy of Art (KABK), Netherlands
The formative transition into adulthood can be difficult as we move from the comfort of childhood into an unknown, complex future. Van Stekelenburg’s Growing Pains captures this trepidation expressively; she describes the work as a ‘safety blanket’ that reminds her there is no clear path to follow.
The Cass, UK
Blažanović’s project Fragments of a River reimagines forgotten narratives of objects salvaged from the banks of the River Thames. Rhythmic sculptural arrangements breathe new life into bottles and pipes, while repeated images of the river itself reflect the water’s flow and form.
Nova Scotia College of Art, Canada
With a preference for the book form, Carter produces in-depth sequences such as Camp. Shot intensively over a week, it is an intimate look at the microcosm of a kids’ summer camp. It’s a half-real world of card games in the sand, naps in rubber rings and whispers between friends.