Every year, HotShoe supports recent photography student graduates at the London College of Communication, University of Arts, by featuring the work of a final-year BA (Hons) photography graduate in the August/September print edition of the magazine. (see over).
This year’s winner is Phillip Reed, who with his project HOME explores the city and our relationship to it. Special mentions also go to Nanna Thordal for her series of photographs, The Danish song is a young blond girl, and Jonathan Nash’s film, A Dream of Stone.
Phillip Reed: HOME
“The title refers to both Reed’s home in London and the fact that, since the dawn of the 21st century, more than half the world’s human population now lives in cities…”
Nanna Thordal: The Danish song is a young blond girl
“The Danish song is a young blond girl, takes its starting point in a Danish set of existential rules and norms titled Jante’s Law, which was created by Danish/Norwegian writer Aksel Sandemose in 1933…
The work was judged with HotShoe editorial assistant Peter Owens following a tour of the degree show – a process which is highly subjective and one which was facilitated by checking the work off against certain criteria.
For me these included, reflecting on the photographic approach and professionalism; thinking about concept; looking at aesthetic, use of light, style, and technical skill; as well as the presentation of the work in the gallery space in terms of editing and sequencing. Not to mention the overall experience and effectiveness of the work in communicating visually.
I also looked at the LCC website on the Showtime section, which is given over to showcasing the work of students, to see how many final year students had uploaded their work. Both Reed and Thordal have pages displaying their work online through the university’s portal, while Reed also has his own website. However, many students hadn’t uploaded work online, which, I believe, is a missed opportunity.
So, a tip for next year’s graduates eager to get their final year project seen – get your work out there. You never know who may be on the look out.
Phillip Reed: HOME (continued)
“Of particular interest to Reed is the way that the city is inextricably linked to the existence of human beings and the continuous process of interaction between the two. Just as we delineate and influence the form and nature of our cities, so our cities delineate and influence human nature. That human constructions may not be as well-adapted to the environment as those of other species and that free will shapes the construction of cities, as opposed to the purely instinctually created bee hive, are further concerns, as are the ways available for ‘reading’ the city as a multifaceted artifact.
“A blend of street photography and staged portraiture, HOME, combines three sets; architectural shots, lone figures in built environments, and portraits in which the models, who are all Reed’s age, look off-camera. With the four portraits, Reed intervenes explicitly through directing his subject, whereas for the remainder he takes a different photographic approach, that of the street photographer. Using both light and colour, Reed then brings the 15 images together as a mosaic of chanced-upon and planned encounters…” Miranda Gavin, HotShoe, August/September 2010
Nanna Thordal: The Danish song is a young blond girl (continued)
“Sandemose wrote Jante’s Law as part of his novel, A Fugitive Crosses his Tracks, and even though the novel and its rules were based on a fictional narrative, its indirect critique of Danish society slowly became a sociological understanding, which has since been a considerable influence when characterising Danish national identity.
“Jante’s Law is an existential set of rules and norms that define how Danish nationals are to think about themselves, their working and personal abilities and their character. It consists of 10 commandments including; you shall not think you are special, you shall not think you are better than us, conforming and standardizing the individual in its rigid and limiting message.
“The series conceptually addresses the effect Jante’s Law has on the individual, in this case taking the starting point in myself, as a young Danish woman and my experiences growing up with the underlying influence it has had on me. The intent of this body of work is therefore to visualise how national identity and in this case, Danish national identity can affect and contribute to a general sense of uniformity and standardization.
“Marked by this social law throughout life, this project is a search for myself as an individual, in part of a greater national identity and conformity, why the aim of the series is to embody the conformity and standardization within the individual.” Artist statement.