Photo by 2021 Photography Graduate reward winner Gökhan Tanrıöver

2021 Photography Graduate Rewards

Spectrum Photographic is giving rewards to seven photographers who submitted work to the 2021 Photography Graduate open call.

Photograd’s PGZ2021 will be in printed form and will feature work from at least 50 new graduates.

Of those, seven have been chosen to receive Spectrum rewards.

Gökhan Tanrıöver receives a mentoring session with one of our master printers and £150 printing.

Carlos Anguera Jover receives a week-long Instagram takeover.

Both artists also have their work featured in this blog along with Jacob Black, James Booth, Freya Tate, Rebecca Lily Thomas-McCann and Junwei Chen.

Photo by 2021 Photography Graduate reward winner Gökhan Tanrıöver
From the series In Evidence of My Sexual Misdemeanour © Gökhan Tanrıöver

Gökhan Tanrıöver

Gökhan Tanrıöver confronts the imposed institutional identity of the gay man in contemporary Turkey in his work.

Turkish law requires every man over the age of 20 to participate in military service.

It is seen as a rite of passage into sovereign masculinity.

Although homosexuality was decriminalised during the Ottoman rule, the expression of queerness is seen as incompatible with military values.

Gay men wishing to be exempt from service must declare and evidence their sexuality for the military in a series of investigations.

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is a screening test of single sentences that are answered yes or no.

The applicant’s responses must coincide with the identity of the gay man as dictated by the military – a dangerous man possessing the means to provoke, seduce and hence disrupt the military order.

In Evidence of My Sexual Misdemeanour, Tanrıöver photographically responds to the individual statements from the MMPI.

Through staging these photographs, he expresses and constructs an identity on the gallery wall.

This persona residing somewhere between fact and fiction offers one of a multitude of queer identities as an alternative to the institutional identity.

Tanrıöver graduated from the Royal College of Art with a Photography MA.

Photo by Carlos Anguera Jover, a 2021 Photography Graduate reward winner
From the series One Less in the Middle Row © Carlos Anguera Jover

Carlos Anguera Jover

Carlos Anguera Jover decodes and questions the power dynamics established by modern technology.

Focusing on the functionality of devices, he asks questions about the day-to-day use of devices and humanity.

His search breaks down the symbolic impracticalities of technology and its impact on oneself.

Embracing the domestic environment as a political space, Anguera explores notions of corporate presence, connectivity, and self-esteem through still life, improvised sculptures and self-portraiture.

One Less in the Middle Row aims to develop the ambivalent relationship between ethics and innovation with a touch of humour.

Anguera studied Fine Art Photography at the Glasgow School of Art.

Black and white photo from the series Forget Me Not by Jacob Black
From the series Forget Me Not © Jacob Black

Jacob Black

Jacob Black explores the death and destruction of the wild world within the physical and metaphysical.

During lockdown Black moved from the bustling streets of Peckham, London, to the rural sanctity of South Devon – the place of his adolescence.

Enticed by its beauty and mysteries, he began noticing the water reflection on the fallen trees, the flight, and the songs of the birds.

However, amid the beauty, natural peculiarities began to plague his consciousness.

This led him to question why he was unable to rationally experience the natural wild world as he remembered it.

Forget Me Not explores how we struggle to process seemingly ordinary natural events as our lives and spirits become urbanised.

The work is a theatrical and mystical journey into the forgotten, exploring mythology and hallucinations within the confines of a still image.

It attempts to engage with visual narratives into the understanding, education, and experiences of the British wilderness.

Black has a MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography.

Photo by James Booth a 2021 Photography Graduate reward winner
From the series Plot 116 © James Booth

James Booth

James Booth’s Plot 116 centres around new build housing estates in the UK.

The imagery critically questions the ways in which these developments attempt to employ a progressive resurgence of utopian thinking – yet find themselves hindered by the same flaws that traditional concepts faced.

Concurrent themes focus on the unhealthy impact of a marketed aspirational lifestyle which employs social hierarchies to utilise home as less of an anchor for development of identity and more of a business opportunity.

Individuality comes to a halt as a result of repetitive design choices and a prompted formal structure for day-to-day life that conflicts with human instincts.

Booth has a BA in photography from the University of the West of England.

Photo of old cinema tickets being held by a woman in a green blouse.
From the series Silver Screen Study © Freya Tate

Freya Tate

Freya Tate’s Silver Screen Study explores the similarities and differences in how cinema and photography function as storytelling.

The photographs, taken in a highly cinematic style, tell the loose narrative of an anonymous fugitive on the run from a detective during the 1960s.

They demonstrate Tate’s obsession with cinema and how it compares to photography.

Researching film theory was vital for the creation of this project, specifically colour theory.

Tate learnt how colour triggers certain emotions and forge unconscious links.

Silver Screen Study aims to not only allow the audience to escape into a fantasy world but to make the viewer pay attention to the medium of film.

Tate wants people to slow down and reconsider how cinema functions as storytelling.

She wants to share how her autistic mind focuses on all the small elements that make up art.

At its core, Silver Screen Study is a love letter to storytelling, focusing on film but moving away from just traditional narrative and referencing contemporary film-makers such as David Lynch and Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

Tate has a BA in Photography from Leeds Arts University.

Photo by Rebecca Lily Thomas-McCann, one of the 2021 Photography Graduate reward winners
From the series Elegy to the Void © Rebecca Lily Thomas-McCann

Rebecca Lily Thomas-McCann

Rebecca Lily Thomas-McCann is an artist and conceptual photographer whose work explores our connection to the universe.

Rooted in spirituality, her work uses elements of nature as a means of grounding oneself, in order to navigate cosmological questions.

Elegy to the Void is a cosmological exploration of the connection between the self and the wider universe.

The use of photographic prints emphasises themes of impermanence and physicality.

Through act of their creation, an intimate relationship is established between the prints and the artist.

They manifest as visual representations of liminality, depicting liminal spaces and fleeting objects and encounters, connecting with stellar forces and fate to initiate the outcome.

Thomas-McCann’s celestial photographs depict the sublimity of the wider universe, but also hone back to the idea of transience through their apparent softness.

Their poetic nature is emulated by her written poetry.

Her work aims to serve as a channel for the audience’s contemplation of their own existence and belonging.

Thomas McCann has a BA (Hons) in Photography from Manchester School of Art (MMU).

A watermelon sits in a bowl underneath a stool covered with a towel.
From the series Nail Jelly To A Wall © Junwei Chen

Junwei Chen

Junwei Chen aims to make people rethink how objects, environments, textures, smells, and emotions are represented and reproduced in everyday life.

Curiosity about the environment and materiality drives Nail Jelly To A Wall.

Momentary and conscious images are fragmented, yet project the fluidity and anticipation of matter.

Chen seeks out all the senses produced by everyday life and the city.

She searches for the hidden, overlooked, re-edited visual cues, which remind her of what was and what is happening now.

The metaphorical daily materiality of the images produces interesting or absurd frictions that may be overlooked by most fast-paced walkers.

Chen values these frictions as they give a new perspective to interpret the objects and the images themselves.

Many objects do not appear in their entirety.

Chen only captures the part of something to arouse the imagination.

She believes we are constantly in a state of in-between – between certainty and uncertainty, between the abstract and the tangible, between the virtual and realness.

Chen has an MA in Photography from Royal College of Art.

2021 Photography Graduate

PGZ2021 will feature 50 2021 Photography Graduate submissions.

View the work of selected 2021 Photography Graduate submissions here.

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