New photographs from China, France, Japan, the UK and the US share gallery space in Sheffield, South Yorkshire


Wednesday 9 July, 2014

[(6)] Personal Explorations in Photography - tranquillity and chaos, disability and athleticism, near and far, lost...

Open College of the Arts

New photographs from China, France, Japan, the UK and the US, many of them on display to the public for the first time, are sharing a gallery space in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. The six photographers whose work features in the exhibition met as online and distance learning students through higher education charity the Open College of the Arts and have organised the joint exhibition without ever having met face-to-face. The exhibition is taking place at independent arts centre Bank Street Arts and runs from 9 July to 1 August 2014. The photographers’ collective work explores social themes through differing genres of photography: landscape, portraiture and documentary.

[( 6 )] : Personal Explorations in Photography features the work of Tanya Ahmed, who works as a photographer for the New York Police Department; Dewald Botha, who lives and works in eastern China; ‘Ironman’ Keith Greenough, whose portraits invite speculation about the nature of people who take part in endurance sports; Nigel Haworth, who explores transience through a series of images taken on the north-east coast of Japan after the 2011 tsunami; Pete Mansell, who lives in the UK and whose work explores issues of physical disability; and Rob™, who lives in the north west of England and whose work focuses on man’s interactions with the landscape and with others.

On behalf of [( 6 )], Rob™ said: ‘Being 9,000 miles apart could have been a logistical nightmare, but after years of communicating with one another electronically, the time difference proved to be the only real issue. What we've tried to do is to cross those borders of time and space to create something coherent yet oppositional - tranquillity and chaos, disability and athleticism, near and far, being lost and found. Personal explorations, bound together using a common visual language.’

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Photographer biographies

Tanya Ahmed’s work is inspired by her encounters with the built environment of New York City, where she lives. A meditative space is created in ‘Untitled’, a project that invites viewer collaboration in the gallery, whilst a chaotic cityscape is confronted in ‘Walking the Gamut’.

Dewald Botha has lived in Suzhou, Eastern China since 2007. He is South African, but lived in the UK and Czech Republic before relocating to China. As a Western onlooker living inside a culture different from the West, he is an outsider looking from within at a landscape shaped by a fast-paced and constantly changing society. Photographs from the body of work ‘Ring Road(2012-2013)’ will be on show.

Keith Greenough is a photographer and ‘Ironman’ athlete based in south-east England. The two portrait series on show at this exhibition, ‘Ironman Family’ and ‘I am an Ironman’, take ‘Ironman’ and its impact on his life as their subject.

Pete Mansell offers a visual commentary of his experience as a disabled person through three distinct yet interconnected series – ‘Paralysis’(aspects of managing his impairment), ‘The Landscapeof Disability’ (the impact social factors have on his ability to move through the landscape) and ‘Ramps’ (a commentary on the impact of the landscape on social relationships).

Nigel Haworth’s work is concerned with transience. ‘Shattered Coast’ focuses on a time after the tsunami hit Japan’s north-east coastline in 2011. This is the first public showing of the project, which represents a departure from his previous, studio-based work.

Rob™ uses his camera to capture the reality that plays out before him. While much of his work may appear to be landscape in nature, it is also deeply social, tackling the subject of man’s interactions with the landscape and with others. The work shown in this exhibition is from two collections, ‘A Forest’ and ‘Speak My Language’.

Notes to Editors

1.Independent multi-disciplinary arts centre Bank Street Arts is at 32-40 Bank Street,
Sheffield, S1 2DS.

2.The Open College of the Arts (OCA) is an education charity founded in 1987 by Michael Young (Lord Young of Dartington). In the early 1960s, Michael Young was one of the educational visionaries who inspired what became The Open University later in the decade. OCA aims to widen access to creative arts education at undergraduate and graduate levels through open and flexible learning, offering people the chance to take arts courses without prior qualifications or admission restrictions. The OCA has an average of 2,500 active students each year, 95% of them UK-based.

3.OCA’s BA(Hons) degrees in photography, creative writing, painting, textiles, visual communications and creative arts and its MA, Fine Art are validated by the University for the Creative Arts.

4.The total course fee for a full BA Honours degree for new UK students in academic year 2014/2015 is £8,105.00, excluding accommodation costs at workshops.  

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Open College of the Arts, on Wednesday 9 July, 2014. For more information visit http://www.pressat.co.uk/


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