Today is the last day of the Fifth Wall exhibition in our main gallery. Do not worry if you missed the very busy private view or cannot make it to Surface Gallery this weekend, as we have a recap of it for you right here on our blog.
It is already a tradition that every year by the end of May Nottingham transforms into a photographer's den, as for two weeks most of the art spaces in the city exhibit photographic work of emerging artists. It is thanks to the brilliant BA (Hons) Photography graduates, who organised this massive event. It seems like Surface Gallery has become a part of this tradition, as yet again NTU graduates decided to show their works in our main exhibition space.
This year we hosted nine amazing photographers offering the audience a big variety of genres and approaches. In the middle of the space viewers are invited to interact with Katharine McLean's zoetropes, which are a part of her work titled Amalgamation. This technique, used commonly before the invention of video, allows us to experience and explore the notion of time. Through this piece, McLean explores dance and the notion of freedom that seemingly accompanies it. Amalgamation continues on the neighbouring wall with black and white photographs of dancers in an urban landscape.
Jessica Frank's and Ellen Lawes' still life projects seem to be somehow in a dialogue, placed on the opposing walls of the main gallery. The former, Transcience, explores the notion of keeping mementos as well as a tradition of memento mori -remember you will die. Lawes' photographs were created using a very old and demanding wet plate technique- ambrotype. Employing a scientific approach to photography, she investigates the idea of new life emerging from a deceased plant. Following the notion of death the viewer faces Emma Smith's death photography. She examines the Victorian practice in relation to the present day. While preserving this traditional style, she achieves different outcomes, which nicely highlight changes that society underwent during that period.
Lauren Mustoe's portrait and urban landscape fusion represents today’s culture of fashion photography. Two Faced interestingly explores both traditions. The idea of a doppelganger, where one model resembles another makes her images look very peculiar and intriguing. More images can be looked at in the accompanying zine, which contains specific prints which scanned through your smartphone take you to additional photoshoot material. Very subtle imagery of female youths is juxtaposed with Anna Dziczkaniece's fashion project. Femme Fatale, as the title suggest, is a study of this character and Film Noir. A series of portraits; fragmented, colourfully illuminated and enigmatic, are also presented in the form of a book.
The fashion theme continues as you walk along the gallery wall. Nicola Brown's piece features two rows of photographs of everyday fashion. Through referring to still life and fashion photography in a non traditional way, she examines the issue of identity described through clothing we choose to wear in everyday life. Attire also extends in a book presented below the prints.
Farrah Watts' Return to retro reflects on subcultures and their globalisation. Through her colourful fashion portraits she debates about modern fashion being influenced by past subcultures.
Fifth Wall strikes as an interesting and coherent exhibition offering a variety of approaches and ways of interpretation. The private view which was held last Wednesday was a cherry on top of this successful event. We had a lot of people coming in to support exhibiting artists and listen to some great music by Keith Pell- talented jazz guitarist.
For more information about Fifth Wall or photographers contact details please visit the festival's main website at: www.fifthwallphoto.com
Text and photographs by Kasia Kotlarska