Friday the 13th of May marked the launch of ‘Collection Seventeen,’ an exhibition showcasing Leeds Beckett’s final year photographic-journalism work, being held at Hilton Court in Headingley until May 20th.
Firstly, lets note the location. Hilton Court is an outstanding 18th century mansion situated between Headingley and Hyde Park on North Hill Road. As soon as I arrived to the event I realized it was much more prestigious than I first expected. Through the front door is a long corridor with beautiful Georgian-style flooring, and on the walls hung key photographs taken by a selection of the students that feature in the exhibition.
At the end of the corridor is a raffle and a platter with glasses of champagne for people to help themselves to. It all seemed relatively quiet down here apart from a classical band, which were set up underneath a grand spiral staircase that led to the show. The music was soft and graceful, definitely adding to the lavish feel of the event.
The exhibition took place on the second floor of Hilton Court, with all rooms on the upper level being used to showcase work and one of them being used as a photo-booth. The venue was absolutely packed with people wandering around with plates of refreshments; the launch night was clearly a success. The series of photographs that initially caught my attention was ‘The Spirit of Jerusalem’ by Karina Prozore, who captures a range of striking imagery portraying war, terrorism, natural disaster and poverty. This series took a very bold and outgoing approach to photographic journalism with spectacularly composed pictures of soldiers and Israeli architecture.
Next, I notice the work of another student Barney Curran, who documents the UK’s night-shifters in his series titled ‘Twenty Four.’ The series is made up of portrait photographs of late night cashiers, fast food and radio workers, cleaners and so on. With over three million people working on night shift across the UK, Curran explains that he wants to show the world the faces of our nations nocturnal workers and what they do whilst the rest of us are happily tucked up in bed. The exhibition noted that Barney has plans to take ‘Twenty Four’ across the world to places like Vietnam and Hong Kong, which would be great locations for exploring how night-work varies from country to country.
Finally I found some analog photography amongst the mainly digital-based exhibition. Sian Goodwin’s series ‘Sound Check’ explores the hectic, intense lives of musicians both off and on stage. The images were taken with a 35mm film camera and back and white film. It seemed like the style of photography really suited the subject, as if the gritty lives of the band were well complimented by the monochrome colour scheme and the edgy, authenticity of film photograph aesthetics.
All in all, Collection Seventeen holds a wonderfully diverse range of photographic journalism. It’s interesting to see what kinds of topics interest people the most, and how these students use their photographic ability to capture awe-inspiring visuals. Each student has something new to bring to the exhibition, which is alive with creativity and innovation.
May 13th- May 20th. See http://www.collectionseventeen.com/.