Graduates 2023: Ainoa Burgos Gonzalez: MA Photography

“The biggest highlight is always the people: lecturers, technicians and peer students. They make the university the good place that it is.”

Please tell us a bit about your work and your influences

My current work Plastic Era as an Indicator of the Anthropocene is an ongoing research based project exploring the relationship between humans, non-compostable rubbish, and the earth. In its current phase titled Optograms of the Earth, the body of work presents a series of Colour Photograms produced with plastic waste extracted from Agricultural areas around Brighton and the South Downs.

This project looks into the use of plastics in our everyday lives, particularly within agriculture and the effects of synthetic polymers in soil’s health. Additionally, this artistic project explores photography plasticity using experimental darkroom techniques. Along this work non-photographic subjects become subjects moving from the abject to the seductive. By enlarging these materials and subjecting them to light, she embarks on a journey of analysis, observing the progression of decay and degradation of different polymerized substances and their intricate interweaving with organic matter such as soil and plants.


Can you tell us a bit about your journey to you course and made you choose it?

After graduating in Fine Art: Sculpture I knew my academic journey was not finished so, I decided to study MA Photography to expand my artistic practice and embrace the 2 dimensions. The course is very kin on research and this is an important part of my artistic practice in which I wanted to focus.

I chose to study at Brighton because of the high recommendation on its lecturers and technicians.  I am based in Brighton and study in the same city where I life and work would have many other conveniences.


What were the highlights of the course for you?

The biggest highlight is always the people: lecturers, technicians and peer students. They make the university the good place that it is. Within the department a supportive environment is created and ideas are freely shared and supported with constructive criticism. The facilities are amazing and I just fell in love with the colour darkroom as an physical and mental space.


Was the location of your course in Brighton important?

Yes, definitely finding what you are looking for in your local university is a plus. It makes a little bit easier too conciliate higher education with other commitments like work or family. However, it wasn’t detrimental and as I mentioned before lecturers, technicians and facilities made me take my final decision.


What are your plans after graduation? What’s next for you?

After graduating I will continue doing research based visual art. It is possible that I will continue with this project for some time, as I there is plenty to explore and learn. I am evaluating the possibilities of doing a Phd.

I also want to be a lecturer and I am looking forward to pursue this goal.


What advice would you give to someone considering doing postgraduate study?

Make good research into the universities that you may be interested in. Talk to previous graduates and lecturers if you have the opportunity.

Keep an open mind on your practice and where this path is going to take you. You will discover things you can’t even imagine. If you are fortunate to have the opportunity of studying an MA don’t waste it and grab it with your teeth.

It is a hard journey, but I wouldn’t change it.


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