'The Image Speaks' Exhibition Launch
The Image Speaks is a fascinating new collaborative visual exhibition between a small group of PhD students from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Andy Brown, a local photographer, and Dan Reed, a graphic designer. The exhibition, launched on 25 April, is hosted in the Jessop West Foyer and presents a series of images directly inspired by each PhD student's research. SIIBS students Robin Hamon, Jo Henderson-Merrygold and Aysha Musa have been involved in this year's project.
Jo says "it has been a really interesting challenge: explaining my research in short and accessible ways, first to fellow PhD students outside SIIBS who know nothing about what I'm working on, then to Andy to enable him to go and take a single image which encapsulates my research." Each participant has also now produced an image label to accompany their image and a short essay which can be seen online [link to follow]. Jo adds, "It was a really interesting time in my PhD, and functioned as an unexpected challenge which made me refine my work. I was torn between really getting my teeth into the stories of two different biblical characters - Andy and I discussed them and imagined ways of creating photos to show my work. I favoured one; Andy another. As my research progressed, I realised the reasons why Andy favoured one image actually led to a key breakthrough in my own work, so the decision was made: in seeing my research in visual form I could refine and shape it more effectively. It also meant that I was able to discuss my work more easily, and highlight what was most essential, which was essential for writing the essay and the label."
Of his experience, Robin says: "I viewed this project very much as an opportunity to collaborate - I already have an interest in photography and whilst I had a number of ideas about how I could produce an image that relates to my research, I was very keen to take Andy's ideas on board and draw upon his specific skills as an artist. I particularly enjoyed the photographic process on location as the site we visited had extremely varied terrain. In the end we were lucky enough to have around 30 photographs that we could have chosen as the final image, but the image that we settled on is perfect in terms of capturing my research - you'll have to come to the exhibition and find out why..."
As the exhibition opens it is fascinating to see the diversity of images, yet the images complement each other with each inviting interrogation of the next.
It is great to have so many SIIBS students involved in the project. Seeing the SIIBS students' research images amongst a collection from across the faculty shows how interdisciplinary the PhD topics are, and how much can be gained from such collaborations. Come along and see these images which represent just a snippet of an amazing, challenging and thought-provoking collection of Arts and Humanities research. Congratulations to our students and we look forward to the discussions these photos elicit once the images start to speak.