Morley Professional Development Photography
In January 2020 at the beginning of the Spring Term the students of Morley’s Professional Development Photography Course returned to college, never expecting that by the end of March they along with the rest of the country would be isolating at home; corresponding with their classmates and tutors online and pondering the world in a completely different light.
For photographers in particular the current lockdown situation has forced a re-framing of personal and shared experience, a re-examination of space and place, and a new understanding of society and ones place within it.
It is with these considerations in mind that the students embarked upon an exploration of potential new themes for their course exhibition, which was to be held in college and has now been developed to appear online. They have managed in a few short weeks to produce new work on themes of Isolation and I congratulate them on this achievement. They have come together online in a series of discussions on the potentials, developed a website, social media platforms, written personal statements and produced photographs. It has been a real challenge and the students have shown magnificent willingness to embrace new methods of working, explore alternative ideas and reinforce their creative practices with work that they may never have produced had it not been for this situation. All the while they have been dealing with their own difficulties and worries, family issues, work complications, and a new entirely online mode of learning.
The exhibitions’ title ‘SeeSaw’, suggests a tenuous balance between the experience of present and past, as the current situation has developed the world, seen before in one way, is now viewed very differently. In a period of shared uncertainty, decisions made now will affect the balance of future outcomes in a potentially precarious manner – or hopefully promote stability.
The students exhibiting here have risen to the challenge set: previous work is (re)presented in ethereal colour revealing a new visual impact. Other students work proposes the domestic space as a form of ‘Gallery’, still others have turned to the imaging of the self and the presentation of people portrayed at home. Others invite us to view simple everyday objects via close, poetic contemplation.
Many congratulations to the students, their professionalism, positivity and initiative has been entirely evident from the very beginning and this stands them in good stead as they embark on their careers and further courses of study. I also want to pay tribute to their tutors – Bruce Tanner and Lydia Evans, who worked hard to support, encourage, share their experience and swiftly get to grips with online teaching.
Steve Mepsted Programme Manager: Digital Media, Film and Photography
A selection of work from the show: