Brighton Photography MA exhibition
Yesterday was the last day of the Brighton Photography MA exhibition, however if you did not manage to make it to the show, here is a brief overview of some of the fantastic work included…
Mythopoesis is the title of the exhibition. It is described by course leader, Joanna Lowry as “the practice of myth making, a practice that often has no conventional structure. It is always in process and definitely provides us with no clear beginnings and no obvious ends. It is the practice of combination, of attentiveness to the origins of things and their base materiality. It allows the world to speak in its own voice, offering a form of meaning-making that bridges natures and culture and that replaces the closed syntax of language with the open structure of bricolage.”
The theme throughout the exhibition is that of storytelling and Photography’s relationship to it. The photographers in this exhibition have all got stories to tell: stories about the counter-culture in the nineteen seventies, stories about the muddled histories of a beloved secondhand car, a meditation on the last walk of Virginia Woolf as she prepared to throw herself into the River Ouse seventy years ago, stories about time, tides and archeology along the Thames Estuary, infinite refigurings of the passage of light across materials and emulsions, and then finally the strange stories that are woven through the imaginary archive of an obsessive meteor-hunter.
The first piece of work in the exhibition that stood out by its unique presentation on the wall, was that of Alexandra Lethbridge. Her series, ‘The Meteorite Hunter’ stemmed from an investigation into Meteorites, the places they come from and the illusory realms they represent.
Lethbridge describes this project, “The body of work takes the form of an archive documenting the accumulation of artefacts overlooked in search of the exotic and includes a selection of found images and objects. My interest in Photography is in the relationship between the imagined and reality and the parallels that exist between the two. Within this series, I explored the idea of a Meterorite Hunter – someone who is committed to the art of finding space rocks. Their job entails searching for a glimpse of a translunary guest, a clue to something that tells us more about who we are and where we come from.”
You are then taken on to James Dobson‘s large format landscape images of along the banks of the Thames Estuary. Dobson wet out to walks the banks in search of an understand of how the passing of time presence of the past might be made manifest in the landscape.
Dobson describes the Thames Estuary as, “an unresolved and fragmented landscape…[which] exists just as surely in the imagination as it does in material reality and indeed, just as the point at which land ends and water starts eludes delineation, so does the landscape’s location in the gap between past and present.”
The last series I got to in the exhibition is the one that stuck in my mind the most. It was a project titled ‘The Draft’ by Matt Henry focussing on America during the 1960s and 1970s. What makes this series so intriguing is that the images take the form of staged scenes constructed as set-builds in the UK using props sourced from here and the United States. They had hints of Jeff Wall and Gregory Crewdson about them, except less sinister and more subtle with the staging.
“I was drawn to this period in American history during my undergraduate studies in BA Politics” explains Henry. “Its devout modernism is a particular interest, with utopian political and cultural ideals heralding some of the great liberal successes of our time (the Civil Rights, feminist, anti-war and Free Speech movements).”
To find out more about all the work from the exhibition visit: www.ma-photographybrighton2014.com