Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Degree Shows Round Up - 'Free Range' the new batch hatch! Part 1 Plymouth College of Art BA Photography Degree show.

©Tim Pearse
Taken with a hand built 20x24 view camera
Well two busy weeks have gone by since I saw the first of the Degree Shows at 'Free Range' in the Old Truman Brewery in East London. I have by no means seen everything but thought it only fair to mention  a few highlights for those whom have missed them.

The first visit there were a few stand out works, not least one by Tim Pearse from Plymouth College of Art (BA Photography), whose portraits taken with his hand built 20 x 24 view camera were a sight to see. The camera itself was hugely impressive, quite literally as it took a table & 3 tripods to hold it up with bellows must have been 10 feet long in all! I look forward to watching his progress as the project gets underway with more portraits to come. The one above was by far the highlight of his space at FR. 

The rope wrapped around the sitter - coupled with her strange stare - brought back memories of Michael Lesy's book & film Wisconsin Death Trip (image above) & Mike Disfarmer, (below) both of whose work I admire. The formats may not be exactly the same but the sensibility & lightness of touch most certainly is. 

© Mike Disfarmer
There were two other photographer's works that had curated & constructed their spaces beautifully. The first, were Anna Whittall's domestic spaces made derelict & ridden with decay by her own hand procured interesting spy hole images. They were made all the more fascinating when you realised that the scaled models were beneath the works, to peek into. 

  © Anna Whittall 

Her miniature forms were all the more enticing (like damaged vacant doll houses) as they were only viewable through the spy holes. The urge to touch the tiny furniture was insatiable, so perhaps a good thing that I couldn't... 

As you may or may not know I have a weakness for miniature things & although I never owned a dolls house (a bit of a tomboy) there was an old one at my grandparents house with its own tiny light switches, also Alice in Wonderland & all that tosh is hard to resist as well. The rooms that can be achieved in miniature are amazing! See these examples for 'Elegant Living':

Objects of a different kind drew Annie Crowells-Hodge to photograph & curate her own museum from objects owned by 3 generations of her family. Each image displayed in its actual size & curated to harness a narrative & flow along the wall, was charming & the objects given another beauty as a result of being photographed.

© Annie Crowells-Hodge

So this is the first starter, just a lite bite to be getting on with til the main course!



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