Photo degree show focuses on contemporary concerns

IPSWICH: The next generation of budding photographers are staging the first public exhibition of their degree work at the UCS Waterfront gallery.

The 16 students are also intent on attracting national attention to their skills by staging the show in the Free Range gallery in London’s Brick Lane.

Course tutor Heike L�wenstein said the dual exhibitions represented a tremendous challenge for the students. She added a London exhibition will be seen by a lot of influential people within the photographic world and could provide plenty of previously unseen opportunities for work and commissions.

“A London show is always a tremendous challenge as well as a wonderful opportunity. The students have had to bear the cost of this. This is something they have wanted to do and we, as staff, have supported them with our time and expertise.”

She added because the UCS course is only in its fifth year, it is still relatively new, and it was good for the students to show what they can do on a national stage.

“Free Range is one of the foremost galleries in London. It has been going for ten years and is based in an old brewery, so it has loads of atmosphere. One of the great things they do every year is have eight or nine weeks of graduate shows, to showcase the very best in emerging talent. What it means is that you can hire a space within the gallery and stage your show.

“There are two weeks of specialist photography shows and we have chosen to become part of one of them. You have got all the clientele that you want there – art buyers, photography agents, editors... they are looking for new blood, fresh ideas. The come knowing they can see ten shows in one evening.”

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She said the preparation for both exhibitions as well as dealing with the framing and hanging provided students with a taste of the all-important business end of life as a photographer. Heike said the Waterfront Gallery in the front of the UCS main building represented a wonderful space for the exhibition.

“It allows us to show all the work, which I think is important because they have been working so hard for such a long time that it would be a shame to edit it down.”

She said that the work on display is associated with the students’ final dissertation and because of the research required, the work has a greater depth. “I’ve seen it many times over the years. The work does benefit when the students really engage with the theory.”

The title of the first UCS BA (Hons) Photography exhibition is Velocity and is on display at the UCS Waterfront Gallery until June 13. The show at the Free Range Gallery in Brick Lane, London runs from June 18-21.