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News: New Zealand part­ner­ship brings pho­tog­ra­phy stu­dents together

Please note: This news story may contain information that is no longer current or up to date.
Some of the Nottingham students with course leader Matt Bunn (far right)
Some of the Nottingham students with course leader Matt Bunn (far right)

Degree-level photography students at Nottingham College have been working on an exciting collaboration with a college in New Zealand. There are 18 students in total, nine from Nottingham College and the same number from Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design in Auckland. The colleges are roughly 18,000km apart, and so the name 18k was born.

18k has involved explor­ing how water con­nects us, and the sim­i­lar­i­ties and dif­fer­ences between water­ways sur­round­ing New Zealand and the UK. Through reg­u­lar vir­tu­al meet­ings using online video chats, the stu­dents have been col­lab­o­rat­ing over recent months to plan their first exhi­bi­tion in New Zealand.

After a launch event on 1 Novem­ber, the pho­tos will be on dis­play at Whitecliffe’s own gallery 2 – 3 Novem­ber. There are also plans to expand the show to oth­er parts of New Zealand and to the UK. Not­ting­ham Col­lege will be shar­ing pho­tographs of the exhi­bi­tion on its web­site and social chan­nels, so that their home audi­ence can enjoy it too.

A sneak peek at some of the images

The stu­dents are lead­ing the project, and Matt Bunn, Not­ting­ham Col­lege Foun­da­tion Degree (FdA) in Pho­tog­ra­phy Prac­tice course leader, and Becky Nunes, White­cliffe Col­lege Head of Depart­ment, Pho­to Media, have been help­ing the stu­dents with logis­tics and secur­ing sup­port from the fac­ul­ties of each college.

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Some of the New Zealand students during a web chat with Nottingham College.
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Photography student Katie Searcy

Not­ting­ham Col­lege FdA Pho­tog­ra­phy Prac­tice stu­dent Katie Searcy has con­tributed a col­lec­tion of images to the project.

Katie said: This project is an amaz­ing opportunity. 

For stu­dents to get their work on show on the oth­er side of the world is rare. 

It expos­es our images, which is gen­er­al­ly quite hard to do as a student.”

Putting this on your CV when going for future jobs is pret­ty impres­sive I think! 

 — Katie Searcy

Katie's images focus on the British coastline and the way humans have shaped it. The photos were taken on 35mm colour film - this selection is from Brighton.

It’s been chal­leng­ing with the time dif­fer­ence of 11 hours, but the New Zealand stu­dents’ styles are dif­fer­ent to ours, which is real­ly interesting. 

We’ve learnt from their way of work­ing and I believe they have learnt from ours too. 

There are lots of sim­i­lar­i­ties as well, so it’s been nice to be able to talk to peo­ple on the same wave­length, even though they are miles away.” 

 — Katie

The group have big ambi­tions for the future of the project, includ­ing explor­ing poten­tial fes­ti­vals to exhib­it at, such as the Auck­land Fes­ti­val of Pho­tog­ra­phy and Obscu­ra Fes­ti­val in Malaysia in 2020, plus UK venues.

Matt Bunn said: This kind of brief not only gives the stu­dents the oppor­tu­ni­ty to gain skills for future employ­ment, but it will also equip them to take advan­tage of free­lance oppor­tu­ni­ties. For exam­ple, they’ve been prob­lem-solv­ing, work­ing in a team, and man­ag­ing their time and being flex­i­ble in order to com­mu­ni­cate halfway across the world. They’ve also been using dig­i­tal tools to get in touch and share work.”

Becky Nunes said: The project has been a great way for the stu­dents to test the recep­tion and impact of their work, through expo­sure to an audi­ence far removed from the cul­tur­al con­text that they are used to. This means they need to ques­tion all their assump­tions about how their work may be read, and also encour­ages them to look for con­nec­tions and dia­logue, in a tru­ly glob­al sense, through images.” 

Published on:
  • 28th October 2019 (3:29 PM)
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