“What struck me about the UoB course, was the faculty. Many of them had a direct influence on me during my undergraduate degree. Whether it was because of their written or practical contributions, I was amazed that so many names that had challenged my understanding of photography could be lecturing on one course.”
Please tell us a bit about your work and your influences
The work is an exploration of functional urban space and how such places affect the individual. The project is a way for me to understand these new environments, enchanting them through the picturing process. I question the tenuous relationship between subject, photographer, and spectator through making visible the overlooked, all be it from my own particular viewpoint.
Can you tell us a bit about your journey to your course and what made you choose it?
Having graduated with a BA in Photographic Media from Griffith College Dublin back in 2020, I was a practicing photographer in Ireland for a few years. Having received a graduate residency programme at The Darkroom (Dublin), I was able to develop my craft and learn that yes, photography was truly the path I wanted to pursue. As the residency neared an end, I began research different Masters courses around the UK and parts of Europe. What struck me about the UoB course, was the faculty. Many of them had a direct influence on me during my undergraduate degree. Whether it was because of their written or practical contributions, I was amazed that so many names that had challenged my understanding of photography could be lecturing on one course. As I contemplated applying, I was lucky enough to bump into one such lecturer and he generously sat me down and discussed what I could expect, and what would be expected of me. The next day I submitted my application.
What were the highlights of the course for you?
I must commend the staff of the photography department. Both academic and technical. I am very grateful to them all, as should be the university. Without them, would not be able to produce the work that I have. Darkroom colour printing was challenge I set myself at the beginning of the academic year, and I was encouraged to do so, being supported right the way through. The expertise that the staff have bestowed on us, will stand to me going forward.
Was the location of your course in Brighton important?
I can see why a city like Brighton would attract people to live, work, and study for all sorts of reasons. I was living here long before I applied for the course, so I guess it was important.
What are your plans after graduation? What’s next for you?
My first plan is to take a break. The exciting but difficult thing about education is that there is always something that needs doing, urgently. To have a week without looming deadlines or to be thinking about what I could do to improve the project I am working on, is a delightful thought. Once I’ve had a rest from the formalities of academia, I plan go my practice in terms of visibility. The connections I have made in university will be a great help in realising this. I also have always been keen to share the little knowledge and skills I have acquired over the years. I used to teach analogue photographic courses to adults back in Ireland and the process was always rewarding and beneficial to my own practice.
What advice would you give to someone considering doing postgraduate study?
I would say not to have any misconceptions. It is challenging and requires a lot of dedication. It cannot be done in half measures. However, when all is said and done, it is extremely rewarding. If someone is driven to do it, then that will stand to them throughout. When things were tough, I would remind myself that I chose to be here, I want to do this and I will show myself that I am capable of doing so. Make sure to look after mental and physical health, your personal and social life and enjoy the process. Rarely do we as practitioners have access to such incredible resources and such qualified expertise. It’s a privilege and its worth it.