Work by two recent Photography graduates – Jess O’Neill and Joel Goldstein – is being shown at the Photo London exhibition opening on 9 September.
The sixth edition of the leading photography event takes place at Somerset House in London from September 9-12, and showcases work from over 80 galleries from 15 countries, as well as the Graduates Salon section in which Jess and Joel’s work is being shown. Graduates were put forward for the exhibition by their institutions.
Jess is exhibiting a self-portrait entitled Saturating And Sinking Deeper, created as part of a wider series Calamities-Plastic and Fauna that aims to spark conversations around the use of microplastics and their impact on the environment. Her image was also chosen by Photo London to promote the Graduates Salon.
Joel’s project Cut Of The Land focuses on scenes captured during lockdown around the London suburb of Southall and the waterways of the Limehouse Basin exploring different aspects of human impact on the landscape.
Holly Birtles, Lecturer in Photography in the School of Art and Media, said: “I selected the projects by Jess O’Neill and Joel Goldstein, as each project represents important contemporary concepts, from pressing environmental emergencies to the depiction of shifting suburban landscapes.
During COVID restrictions these students produced fascinating projects through solitary walks, performances, book design and experimental photographic techniques. I selected Jess and Joel due to their commitment to depict disruption and change and the subsequent technical realisation of these concepts.”
Speaking to The Argus, Jess said: “I love sea swimming and one morning I got my foot stuck in something. I freaked out a bit and when I looked it was a plastic bag. I researched loads of stories about microplastic and the statistics are insane for how much they’re in the ocean, and how they affect different animals both on land and at sea.“
As well as acknowledging the support of lecturers and technicians from the University for getting her artwork featured and providing much needed support in the pandemic, Jess revealed that the London exhibition would be the first time she has seen her image properly. “I’ve seen the test strips from the printers in London, but I haven’t actually seen the final piece. I’m really excited and it’s going to be surreal. I am incredibly excited to be part of such a remarkable, prestigious event.”