Nationwide Degree Show: The Celine Marchbank Curation

  • Emily Mitchell
  • Harriet Moore
  • Aaron Lovelock
  • Iona Kirk
  • darius moldo

The Nationwide Degree Show is a collection of work from art & design students, who's final year shows have been cancelled due to COVID19. What started as an initiative by Fresh Meet to plaster billboards across the UK with student work, has now resulted in an online collection of over 1000 submissions from over 100 universities and 17 creative disciplines. The Curation Series is a programme of student work selected by industry leaders, creative pioneers and trendsetters. Below you will find a selection of student work curated by acclaimed photographer, Celine Marchbank.

Celine Marchbank is a British photographic artist based in London. Her work has won and been a selected finalist for a series of awards. In 2017 Celine was a winner in the Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers, Jury’s Selection for the Prix Virginia International Photography Prize for Women, and category winner in the Creative Review Photography Annual. Celine is also a lecturer in photography and fine art at the London College of Communication, University for the Creative Arts and Norwich University of the Arts.
With her expertise Celine has scoured the submissions for the best examples of photography in particular.

Celine writes “The creative talent and scope of ideas on show for The National Degree Show is impressive, with graduate’s tackling important current issues such as race, gender, representation, environmental, mental health, other health issues and even death. It’s encouraging to see some choosing to respond to the new Covid crisis, taking it on as a new creative challenge rather than a limitation.

#1 - Jo Lauren

The first piece selected for this curation is this cinematic work by photography graduate Jo Lauren.
Jo Lauren, MA Photography, Norwich University of the Arts

Jo writes "The work is an investigation into how a feeling of uncertainty about the modern world can be represented through photographs depicting a journey through a semi imagined dystopian place. It explores the in between; a space between the familiar and unfamiliar, the imagined and the real, stemming from Freud’s concept of the Uncanny."

#2 - Harry Hitchcock

The second work selected for this curation is this striking image by photography graduate Harry Hitchcock.
Harry Hitchcock, BA (Hons) Photography, Nottingham Trent University.

Harry writes "The intimate trust of friendship is at the heart of this project which captures Mental Health experiences of depression and anxiety. Tomorrow is a New Day focuses on a few close friends of the photographer whom are situated in the comfort of their own bedrooms. The surrounding of the bedroom can be viewed as a safe space, and how we decorate this escape can be all the more important in how we decorate ourselves."

#3 - Harriet Moore

The third work chosen for this curation is this thought provoking image by photography graduate Harriet Moore.
Harriet Moore, BA Fine Art Photography, University of the Arts London

Harriet tells us "This picture is part of my ongoing documentary project which seeks to make sense of the world of psychics, mediums and spirituality in general through photographs. This particular photograph shows crystals balancing on the edge of a table - which I think really speaks to how I've felt about this world all throughout the project, of course I am open minded and part of me wants to believe it is real and true, but I am also struggling with balancing being open minded and my own beliefs on the subject."

#4 - Tayo Adekunle

The fourth image selected is this powerful image by photography graduate Tayo Adekunle.
Tayo Adekunle, Photography, The University of Edinburgh.

Tayo writes "Tayo Adekunle’s work explores the commodification, fetishisation and sexualisation of the black female body, specifically through the human displays in ethnographic expositions in the 18th and 19th centuries. The work is influenced by ethnographic photographs which were circulated as pornography where black (and other racial minority) bodies were photographed either naked in front of a white background, stripped of their identity, or surrounded by random tropical plants to make the photographs seem authentic. Referencing her Nigerian heritage through Nigerian fabric, Adekunle explores the relationship between the past and present ways of treating the black female body."

#5 - Chloe Darnill

The fifth piece selected is this strong piece by photography graduate Chloe Darnill.
Chloe Darnill, BA (Hons) Photography, Norwich University of the Arts

Chloe says "This image of Holly belongs to a portrait series that focuses on subjects who experience or have experienced acne. The project began during my own struggles with the skin condition, when I felt isolated and a lack understanding from society. The project aims to uplift it's subjects, provide a sense of community and encourage a more normalised view of acne."

#6 - Megan Wagg

The sixth image chosen for this curation is this haunting work by photography graduate Megan Wagg.
Megan Wagg, Photography, University of Lincoln.

Megan writes about the work "Floodwaters' is a digital photomontage series created using primarily archived images from the county of Norfolk. These images depict the disastrous impact that the North Sea Floods of 1953 had on the region and its inhabitants. While dealing with themes of nostalgia and tourism this project alludes to what may transpire with the possibility of history repeating itself."

#7 - Charlotte Elcock

The seventh piece chosen for this curation is this beautiful work by communication design graduate Charlotte Elcock.
Charlotte Elcock, Communication Design, The Glasgow School of Art

Charlotte tells us "A photo series in which each image alludes to its own narrative. The images provoke a feeling of anticipation. Tension is created as the subject seems disengaged with his or her immediate surroundings, distracted by something off camera. This plays into the imagination of the viewer and leaves the story up to the individual."

#8 - Alberto Gonzalez

The eighth piece selected for this curation is this intruiging work by communication design graduate Alberto Gonzalez.
Alberto Gonzalez, Photography, University of Chester

Alberto writes "This photograph is part of a series which aims to provide visual imagery to blind people's real narratives of their dreams previously collected by scientific psychology researchers. This picture revolves around blind people's fears of not being able to communicate with others and feeling helpless and vulnerable as a consequence of this. The photograph relies on surrealist symbols previously used by painters such as Dali."

#9 - Tami Aftab

The ninth image chosen for this is this stunning work by photography graduate Tami Aftab.
Tami Aftab, BA Photography, London College of Communication.

Tami tells us “The Dog’s in the Car” Mum shouts from upstairs. Dad’s been running around the house, in and out of the garden thinking that he has lost Rudi, our dog. This is a common occurrence, where Dad drives back from a dog walk, forgets he’s in the car, comes in to the house and proceeds to think that he has lost him. My Dad, Tony, suffers with an illness called hydrocephalus, which causes him to build up too much fluid in the brain. 25 years ago Dad went in for an operation to put a hole in his head that would allow the liquid to flow. However, during the operation his short-term memory was accidentally damaged, permanently leaving him with a unique short term memory difficulty.
The Dog’s in the Car is a collaboration between the artist and her father. Using a playful voice, the artist questions the hushed tones that can surround illness, questions on collaboration and consent, family as subject and the space between documentary and performance. Moreover, it is a story about a father - daughter relationship, and how one family deals with illness and identity."

#10 - Mariana Soares Goldsmith

The tenth piece selected for the curation is this beautiful work by Media and Communication graduate Mariana Soares Goldsmith.
Mariana Soares Goldsmith, Media and Communication Specialisation in Photography, Goldsmiths University

Mariana writes "My Deepest Blue' is a body of work printed manually through an old darkroom process called Cyanotype. A portrayal of loneliness as in being a problem within solitude, of learning to love the imperfect and acknowledging that the quested Blue was a reflection from deep inside of me. This project is very much about stepping out of my comfort zone as an artist. Rather than pointing the camera towards others, for the first time, I now became the subject. Completion of 4 images, each taking 3 weeks to print."

#11 - Aaron Lovelock

The eleventh work selected for the curation is this moving image by Photography graduate Aaron Lovelock.
Aaron Lovelock, Ba(Hons) Photography, Plymouth College of Art.

Aaron says "My image is from my final major project, Don't Feed The Ghosts. Don't Feed The Ghosts is a combination of conceptual and documentary photography, to raise awareness and create a talking point in the stigmatised topic of suicide."

#12 - Iona Kirk

The twelfth piece chosen is this insightful image by photography graduate Iona Kirk.
Iona Kirk, BA photography, Camberwell College of Arts UAL.

Iona tells us "These are stills from a video and can work as both stills or video. 'Some scientists are studying an oceanic planet. Their techniques are typically scientific. But the ocean is an intelligence that is studying them in turn' (Quoted from Liquid Intelligence by Jeff Wall) Through the use of digital renders and text I investigate my thoughts and ideas around the idea that the natural landscape is dense with intelligence and information."

#13 - Emily Hebe Mitchell

The thirteenth image selected is this vibrant image by photography graduate Emily Hebe Mitchell.
Emily Hebe Mitchell, Fashion Communication and Promotion, Norwich University of the Arts.

Emily writes "Crochet Craze' is an image which I have styled and photographed. It centres around the theme of sustainable eco conscious fashion in juxtaposition with E-commerce's fast disposable consumerism. This is shown with the handmade Crochet balaclava worn by its designer, but she is wearing a piece sourced from a mass online clothing retailer. It comments on the question: Where is fashion heading?"

#14 - Leila Donald

The fourteenth piece selected is this emotive work by photography graduate Leila Donald.
Leila Donald, BA Photography, Grays School of Art

Leila says "This image reflects the impermanence of life as well as fragility of life. This image was taken on the day in which my mother passed away - Monday 2nd March 2020. The image encapsulates the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi Sabi."

#15 - Rachel Kolb

The final image chosen is the playful work of Commercial Photography graduate Rachel Kolb.
Rachel Kolb, BA (Hons) Commercial Photography, Arts University Bournemouth.

Rachel explains "Hung up' is a piece that celebrates the female relationship with the telephone. Inspired by the 'Hello girls' who worked for the British GPO manning the switchboards for decades in order to connect the world, even during the most trying of times such as the second world war. I set out to commemorate their efforts and to make a feminine, glamorous 60s styled image to reflect this."

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