The Photography MA show at Brighton University
My niece Lara, who studied photography at UWE and has a friend who just completed her MA at Brighton, brought this show to my attention, and I’m really pleased she did because it hadn’t come up on any of my usual information channels. Lara sent me the details in an Artrabbit link, and when I downloaded their app I also found two more interesting exhibitions I hadn’t been aware of, both part of the Brighton Digital Festival, which I visited after the MA show and the following day respectively.
At the MA show I noticed that the themes and concerns of all the photographers were very much in alignment with the subjects and approaches we’ve been studying in C&N, focusing largely on issues of identity and subjective experience, and that I was consquently able to read and understand them far better than I could have done before starting the module. One thing that stood out and surprised me, however, was the number of students working in b&w. It didn’t occur to me to count them, but my retrospective impression is that the proportion was somewhere around 25 to 30 per cent.
Another thing that surprised me was that (if I recall correctly; again I didn’t count at the time) all except three students exhibited only prints, the exceptions being one exhibit consisting of photographs of the sky cut into small squares and made into a kinetic sculpture, another being a slideshow projected onto one pane of a battered old four-pane window frame suspended from the ceiling, and – my favourite piece in the show – a video by Gina Kawecka of women swimming, shot just below the waterline and inverted, so that the interplay of the light and the water surface looked like an alien environment in which the strange and clumsy gracefulness of the humans was emphasised and the inversion of the image also inverted the perception of our place in the world.
The 2018 Photography MA show is at Brighton University’s galleries at Grand Parade from 15 to 20 September. For more information see https://www.brighton.ac.uk/about-us/news-and-events/ma-shows/index.aspx