Photography students exhibited their work at Sussex Coast College, Friday (June 15th)
Review by Chris Coombes

The Hydrangea, a Domestic Odyssey by Mary Wilkinson
The work is inspired by the earliest pioneers of colour photography, her journey taking her back to re-establish a connection with camera-less photography. Stripping back the layers and principles of today’s photography has allowed her to become more aware of the capabilities of a photographer; no longer blindly hitting the shutter button, but considering what new images she could create using past technology. Mary took a dead hydrangea flower as her subject and created a blueprint of nature using the sun as her light and cyanotype paper for her print. Each image is highly individual, with the image delicately emerging from what is now a discarded but sophisticated photographic process. Today’s new cameras and technology produce wonderful results, but Mary feels there is a lack of connection with photography now and that the end product with its “instantness” has lost the simplicity and emotional pleasure that past photographic processes can offer. Mary’s choice of subject comes from the desire to create photographs of stunning beauty, but formed from less.

Untitled by Kathie Redfern
The work was inspired by her collection of glass plate photos. This instilled an interest in the methods employed to produce such images and their origins. Following some detailed research, she decided to explore the methodology of recreating images using the wet collodion process. Taking influence from artists such as Ian Ruhter and Zelko Nedic, her ideas took shape around portraiture and the anomalies cast during the development and creative process. Kathie’s work received a Certificate of Excellence in recognition of her endeavours and dedication.

Decoding Gesture by Megan Hammer
Megan’s work centres on her desire to understand people. “While I’m not completely incapable of interpreting others’ subtle expressions and movements,” she explained “they are hard for me to read sometimes.” This is what inspired her to make a machine which tracks and reads faces, in an attempt to understand what people are really saying to her. Her idea was to create a camera that revealed what she couldn’t see with her eyes, and the machine she made was a ‘pinhole scanner camera’, which can photograph and capture the movements of her subject. By conducting a series of experiments using herself and a friend as test subjects, her objective was to examine gestures and facial expressions as they interacted. “Now the experiment is over, I found that the tests still haven’t helped me. Maybe I’m not meant to fully understand people, but all I can do is try.”

This exhibition was a very sincere and engaging body of work.

Taste of the Mediterranean by Lucy Shaw
Influenced by her travels around the globe, which she documents using photography and by collecting postcards, the photographs included in her exhibition exemplify the relationship between travel and landscape photography. Artists who influenced her are Simon Norfolk, John Burke and Francis Firth. The installation focuses on images taken in Italy, Corsica and Spain, displayed in the typical postcard format and ranging from natural landscapes to human-made structures. Though exhibiting individual scenes, the images are curated beautifully as one installation. Lucy emulates the style seen in travel publications such as Wanderlust and Lonely Planet magazines, which were her inspiration. The future holds many opportunities for Lucy, and her goal is that one day her photographs will feature in national and international travel publications.


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