University of Derby: Graduate Awards

From the talented artists in BA (Hons) Photography Graduating Class at the University of Derby – Elin Davies, Jenna Eady and Rosie Lawrence were selected by a panel of judges for a FORMAT Graduate Award due to their distinct work. Elin, Jenna and Rosie are presenting their work in FORMAT21, continuing a legacy of outstanding Graduates from this course exhibiting in FORMAT

The Graduates Award aims to give these determined recent graduates further professional experience by exhibiting their work at one of Europe’s most prestigious photography festivals and by creating a long-standing relationship with QUAD/ FORMAT staff who support these artists at the beginning of their career. Elin, Jenna and Rosie are each presenting a video of their University final work in FORMAT21.

The Graduating Art Classes of 2020 faced a challenge by adapting their work to a digital presentation, due to Covid-19. The artists added intricate detail to their final piece video presentations, to nuance the narrative of their work.

In Elin Davies work, I need a tutorial, we see a performance unfold that focuses on demonstrating body language and non-verbal communication used to replace words in conversation. These gestures reflect the weight of world-less exchanges, further expressed by the ropes used that indicate when words get tangled within a conversation.

In Jenna Eady’s A James House gender constructions are critiqued through a presentation of a “families” watching ‘xXx’. The families are formed by Jenna’s personal network, each family member performed as James; a character created by Jenna, challenging the construction and ambiguity in masculinity.

Rose Lawrence’s The Pink Cottage derived from the artist finding a hidden archive of photographs at a property that belongs to her parents in Suffolk, offering a gateway into someone else’s life and equally questioning the value of these personal photographs and why they were left behind.