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‘In Our Time’ - University of Westminster MA Graduates Photography and Photojournalism Exhibition

14 August 2015
Metro's ongoing support of student photography continues with work we produced recently with some of the University of Westminster MA Documentary Photography and Photojournalism graduates for their exhibition ‘In Our Time’ which opens this month.  

The exhibition features photographic and video works of 16 graduating and 2 interim students from 12 countries. This wealth of backgrounds creates a diverse range of visual practices and techniques which explore timeless issues of human existence; conflict, cultural identity, community, health and other pertinent themes are approached with new contemporary perspectives. Ben Edwards the course leader describes the work: “the nature and discourse of photography is forever attempting to reinvent itself, as this year’s MA students have been investigating innovative visual semantics to represent stories and subjects.”

A variety of Metro’s expert services have been used for the exhibition working with students Jake Vyner, Kevin Percival, Alena Vasilyeva and Clare Bennett producing and mounting C Type prints as well as utilising our direct to media printed creating images on Dibond and Foamex, both particularly durable and light-weight substrates ideal for simple, non-archival exhibition hanging.

US born Jake Vyner is exhibiting images from his project as a foreigner observing the class structure within popular British sport. Despite recent research showing that Britain now has seven social classes versus the traditional three, it can be argued that this transformation in class structure has not reached some aspects of sport in the UK.

Clare Bennett’s work ‘After-Like’ looks at the way in which photography has played a large part in how we memorialise our dead; from Victorian era postmortem photography featuring a deceased loved one posing as though alive, to early special-effect techniques superimposing an image of the deceased into a group portrait. In today’s digital realm the practice continues, as people die in real life their carefully curated online persona can live on, through dedicated sites or social networks.

‘Red Human’ by Alena Vasilyeva focuses on the confusion around what took place in the then Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, in March 2014.  Two polls conducted by American and German research companies since then respectively showed almost identical results that around 82% of Crimean population support partition with Ukraine. ‘Red Human’ looks at why people support Putin’s repatriation of the Crimean region, exploring the cultural shift from Communism to consumerism, and identifying a particularly Soviet psyche, which despite the disintegration of the Soviet Union, still exists.

Kevin Percival's ‘This is Not a Game’ looks at the abundant imagery of war in our society, exploring the way in which war is glamorised, packaged and sold to us in many forms – from current news imagery of modern conflicts, to remembrance parades, air shows, video games and of course films. This project explores this phenomenon of and engages with the popular mythologies of war; specifically focusing on their manifestation in the deeply embedded, psychological aspects of war-play. The images question how comfortable our society has become with conflict, through the associated objects, landscapes, and those who play.

‘Bloodhound’ by documentary photographer Emma Louise Charalambous looks at how the Ministry of Defence tackles the prevalence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in its veterans, which is rising alarmingly.  It gives an insight into the psychological journey a soldier goes through between leaving the battlefield and returning home, tackling one of the least talked about after-effects that wars have on the people fighting them.
For more information about the exhibition
Ambika P3 Gallery. University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS
Exhibition dates: 21st – 29th August 2015
Opening times: 11.00am – 6.00pm
Private View: 20th August: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Symposium*: 29th August: 3.30pm – 5.00pm

* Symposium: chaired by Ben Edwards with a panel at the forefront of contemporary British documentary practice including Mark Neville, Lisa Barnard, Edmund Clark. Free admission and open to all.

Images ©
1-2 Emma Louise Charalambous
3-4 Kev Percival
5-6 Clare Bennett
7-8 Alena Vasilyeva
9-10 Jake Vyner

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