Brighton Degree Show 2011
Note from the editor: Over the next couple of weeks we are going to be releasing features on various 2011 degree shows that our team were lucky enough to have visited. Given our limited set-up it was impossible to feature every artist we saw, let alone every show across the country, and for that we can only apologise. But to make amends we are giving you, our readers, the opportunity to submit your own work to be featured in one final feature on the class of 2011 at the end of next week. Just email your full name, degree, college, an image of your work and a brief description to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you! MH
Brighton BA Illustration & BA Graphic Design Exhibition and BA Photography Show
Unfortunately, this year I was unable to attend the London Free Range due to a prior engagement, however, truthfully, I was not too disappointed by this.
I myself exhibited in 2010 at the Free Range as many fresh faced photography graduates do under the impression that this is the best option available to up and coming graduates within the UK.
The excitement and anticipation leading up to the show during my final year was a brilliant feeling and one I will never forget. Believing that the opening night would be the moment I would announce myself on the photographic stage, soon to find this an ill-informed fantasy.
I found the quality of the work involved in the show deeply disappointing. Asking myself, does this accurately reflect the quality of undergraduate photography courses within the UK? Or perhaps are the most imaginative and forward thinking photography alumni exhibiting their work elsewhere, independently. A hunch soon confirmed by this years batch of Brighton University photography graduates.
The photographic course at the University of Brighton has produced many incredible talents, for me most significantly Tess Hurrell, Danny Treacy and Victoria Jenkins to name a few. Understandably I was eager to see what work this years crop would present.
The title of this years show was ‘Stare – University of Brighton Degree Show 2011’, a title which explains exactly what to expect, very much to the point.
Exhibiting at the Lighthouse Gallery, the exhibition was located in a terrific space. My first impression was an instant recognition of the high level of production and presentation of the show. I was impressed by what appeared to be a very well planned and thought out exhibition, one that had been discussed, developed and carried out to completion. All the works on show had been appropriately presented and edited within the space, creating a nice pace and feel to the exhibition.
On looking around the work I bumped into friend and fellow Wandering Bear Roberta Mataityte, Roberta explained that she had been working at the gallery helping to organise shows, including the Stare exhibition. Discussing the work on show we continued to express how impressed we were with not only the excellent presentation, but simply the standard of work.
Featuring the work of many exciting graduates such as Martin Seeds, Andrea Fernandez & Josef Konczak it appears Brighton seems to be continuing its production of exciting new photographers, and I’m looking forward to seeing future works from this years alumni. Since visiting the exhibition I have seen the work of David Clark featured on Self Publish Be Happy and other Stare exhibitors featured on our Wandering Bears site. But as we all know; Likes, Tweets & posts only count for so much and I can’t wait to see more work from this bunch of talented photographers.
However, I must save my favourite ’til last. On venturing over to the Brighton Graphic Design & Illustration Show I was genuinely excited and inspired by the work that I saw. Walking around the room, I came across a published project titled Chrome by designer Manda Wilks. Manda’s project seemed to work on a very simple premise, a collection of found images edited and given this graphic designer’s secret magic.
I found the work to be a refreshing and exciting lift from the usual conventions stuck to by past and current photographic graduates. A project which is essentially a photographic work, reflects and perfectly captures the exciting elements the process of layout and editing can hold. Chrome represents perfectly the fine eye which a talented graphic designer’s discipline and intuition can bring to a photo project, turning it into something completely unique.
I feel it is safe to say this years Brighton photography graduates have done their work justice by staying away from the over saturated and limited Free Range showcase held in London, by creating their own mature and impressive degree show within Brighton itself. Here’s to next years graduates….