The Photographers’ Gallery have announced the finalists for FreshFaced+WildEyed 2012 its annual exhibition showcasing the quality and breadth of graduates’ practices from photographic courses across the UK. The exhibition aims to draw attention to innovative new talents from a range of photographic fields and will be accompanied by an online image gallery. Now in its fifth year, FreshFaced+WildEyed 2012 will introduce a new mentorship scheme that will offer selected finalists professional development and guidance in the twelve months following the exhibition. The show will be on display in the newly transformed Gallery building, spread across the two major exhibition spaces in the fourth and fifth floors.
Twenty-two photographers had been selected from an open submission of hundreds of applicants. They were chosen by a judging panel of photography experts: Bridget Coaker, night picture editor for The Guardian and Observer and co-founder of Troika Editions; Anthony Luvera, artist; Karen Newman, Curator, Open Eye and Brett Rogers, Director, The Photographers’ Gallery. The finalists have all graduated in the past year from BA and MA visual arts courses across the UK with photography forming the main component of their practice.
Featured artists display a wide range of photographic approaches and subject matter. Hallgerður Hallgrímsdóttir incorporates found images into her interpretation of home, her country of origin – Iceland. David Birkin combines original and appropriated images to examine the production and dissemination of war photography. Helen Goodin and Chloe Sells apply darkroom processes to images exploring the nature of light and the creation of abstract landscapes. Alison Bettles and SeoYeoung Won use constructed photographs and studio installations to investigate photography’s relationship with sculpture and painting. Jonny Briggs’ staged scenes seek to recapture forgotten childhood memories and Elisavet Tamouridou attempts to retrace her family’s lost history following the 1922 Greek genocide and displacement. Maria Gruzdeva will showcase her documentary study of the Russian Border Guard Service community while Emma Critchley’s series of underwater images address more conceptual ideas about the fragility of life. Additional featured artists include: Brendan Baker & Daniel Evans, Anders Birger,Paula Gortázar, Gemma Marmalade, Marianne McGurk, Nadège Mériau, Vilma Pimenoff, Minna Pöllänen, Martin Seeds, Alison Stolwood and Helen Thompson.
FreshFaced+WildEyed is dedicated to recognising and nurturing new talents and has helped launch and establish the careers of several photographers such asJames Cant, Briony Campbell, Petros Chrisostomou and Steve Schofield – all of whom have gone on to publish their work and exhibit in local and international venues. More recently a number of past participants have been commissioned by The Photographers’ Gallery to take part in its major Olympic project The World in London. In demonstration of the Gallery’s continued commitment to supporting emerging artists FreshFaced+WildEyed 2012 will launch a mentorship scheme during which a selected group of finalists will be matched with a mentor whose creative background is relevant to their practice. The mentor and graduate will enter into a year-long dialogue that will offer the participant expert feedback on their output and the broader professional and critical context into which it fits.
Brett Rogers, Director, The Photographers’ Gallery, and a member of the judging panel said: The judges were struck by both the range and quality of the works submitted to this year’s event, testifying to the enormous wealth of talent being produced within the field of photography in Britain today. With representatives from art schools stretching across the full breadth of the UK, FreshFaced+WildEyed 2012 reflects the skill, sense of urgency and imagination of a new generation of practitioners, many of whom have chosen the UK as their place of study. Displayed for the first time in the more generous spaces of the new Photographers’ Gallery, these twenty two artists deserve to generate serious interest from the public, critics and collectors alike.
Photo: Jonny Briggs (b.1985, UK) Royal College of Art MA Photography