rankin by rachel gillies

Rankin ‘in conversation’ at University of Brighton

Last week Photography BA and MA enjoyed a visit from renowned photographer Rankin who talked to Professor Francis Hodgson about his career, from launched Dazed & Confused to his current projects. Rankin visit was part of our TALKING PICTURES visiting speaker srogramme which is aimed at our Photography BA(Hons) and Photography MA students but, space permitting, is open to all.

Talking Pictures regularly collaborates with our partner Photoworks to bring in speakers, which we did this October during the Brighton Photo Biennial 2018, welcoming Donovan Wylie, Sarah Kember, Ben Burbridge and Annebella Pollen (among others).

The audience were taken on a journey from the early days of Rankin’s career, (starting during his accountancy degree at Brighton Polytechnic!) his creation of Dazed & Confused magazine and then through many projects. Rankin’s career is one that started in a time of analogue photography (he discussed making 5 x 4 polaroids in nightclubs in order to get an instantaneous shot for people) and then steadily moved into the digital era. He appears to approach each project with renewed energy and curiosity regardless of the brief, format or scope of the work. This is very revealing of the passion at the core of all his work, which for him is about people.

Rankin visits BA(Hons) and MA Photography students at School of Media to share his experiences By Rachel K Gillies Course Leader BA(Hons) Photography Professor Francis Hodgson (from twitter) “He was articulate, self-aware, self-deprecating: wonderfully thought-provoking and entertaining, too. And you know what? He waived his fee. How elegant is that?” TALKING PICTURES< is our University of Brighton Photography Visiting Speaker Programme which is aimed at our BA(Hons) and MA Photography students and space permitting, open to all. We regularly collaborate with our partner Photoworks to bring in all sorts of speakers, which we did this October during the Brighton Photo Biennial 2018, welcoming Donovan Wylie, Sarah Kember, Ben Burbridge and Anabella Pollen (among others). Last week, we presented an ‘In Conversation’ with well-known photographer Rankin and our TALKING PICTURES< co-ordinator Prof. Francis Hodgson. We were taken on a journey from the early days of Rankin’s career, (starting during his accountancy degree at Brighton Polytechnic!) his creation of Dazed & Confused magazine and then through many projects. Rankin’s career is one that started in a time of analogue photography (he discussed making 5 x 4 polaroids in nightclubs in order to get an instantaneous shot for people!) and then steadily moved into the digital era (Rankin LIVE: same, but different.) He appears to approach each project with renewed energy and curiosity regardless of the brief, format or scope of the work. This is very revealing of the passion at the core of all his work, which for him is about people. He spoke very candidly of the process and the things he’s learnt along the way (often the hard way). What came across underlying this energy to keep going, was a passion for what working with people which fuels his motivation. For me, it’s always great to talk to people openly and honestly, which usually provides insights into them that are completely different to their media persona. This was no exception and I am very grateful to Rankin for providing these insights to our students and answering their and our questions. I like to reflect at the end of any talk, three things I am taking away from what I heard – you will have your own: 1. Work hard. Always 2. Find spaces to push out the things you love doing 3. Connecting with people is at the centre of it all Rankin waived his speaker fee so that we could ask another voice along to our Visiting Speaker programme! It’s great to know our photography community extends outside the University in this way.

Rachel Gillies, Photography BA(Hons) course leader and the photographer behind these images said:

“Rankin spoke candidly of the process and the things he’s learnt along the way (often the hard way). What came across was that, underlying this energy to keep going, is a passion for  working with people, which fuels his motivation.

“For me, it’s always great to talk to people openly and honestly, which usually provides insights into them that are completely different to their media persona. This was no exception and I am very grateful to Rankin for providing these insights to our students and answering their and our questions.”

Rankin waived his speaker fee so that we could ask another voice along to our Visiting Speaker programme.

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