Studio Photo 01: The Subjective Eye

Studio brief

"Part of what excites me about photography is its very uncertainty, the fact that it is not just the photographer, but the vagaries of the world that results in the photograph." Alex Webb.

Focusing on the fine art photography professional context, this studio will support development of students’ personal projects through a programme of talks, critiques, individual tutorials, exhibition visits, critical seminars and practical production workshops.

The studio’s theme points to a critical questioning of the production of meaning; in particular of how the construction of images by artists is driven by cultural, political and social forces and how their artworks, in turn, can affect these frameworks. The medium of photography in particular, creates meaning beyond the latent subject matter presented within the frame. We keep believing in the veracity of the photograph, whilst all the evidence points to the contrary as the content is doctored, adapted and constructed. This is linked to the methodologies, processes, time scales and production values used by the photographers – from the aesthetic choices, through to the way the photographs are printed, scaled and presented.

The nature of the practice that constructs a photograph rather than the object that exists within the frame is central to decoding and to encoding of the work’s meaning. Once we embrace the fact that all photographs are constructed, rather than taken, we must question what it is that we are seeing, what we are making, what we are communicating and why. This triangular relationship that exists between the subject, the author and the audience becomes the key to understanding the meaning of photographic works; a meaning that is relative and dependant on our negotiation of the relationship of these three elements. The studio will stimulate discussions of these issues and ideas raised by students’ work in relation to broader contemporary fine art practice.

The studio will teach students how to position their practice within fine art frameworks and how to produce works to the highest professional standard. We will work from concept development to completion of the projects’ outputs, including artworks, exhibitions, publications and digital platforms, whilst also developing skills for launching into professional practice after graduation. This will include establishing professional networks, marketing, branding, portfolio development and work opportunities within photography and the visual arts.

There will be an opportunity to be involved in live projects with the local arts community such as Four Corners, Uncertain States, Printspace, Alternative Arts' Women’s’ History Month, London Independent Photography and an opportunity to win mentorship and ambassadorship programmes from Metro Imaging.

Last year visiting speakers included Maureen Paley (Maureen Paley Gallery), Zelda Cheatle (Curator), Christiane Monarchi (Photomonitor), Hannah Watson (TJ Boulting), Chris Cooke (Colour Printer), Lucy Souter (Writer), Clare Bryan (Book Maker), Renee Mussai (Autograph) and Steve McLeod (Metro Imaging). And we intend to repeat the same this year, too.

Wooden table and chair showing fingers clinging onto the table


Course Photography BA (Hons)
Tutors Mick Williamson
Ania Dabrowska
Where Calcutta Small Annex, Ground floor, CSG-05
When Monday and Thursday

Fine Art