Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to be selected for feature in the very first downloadable zine released by Photograd.
‘Photograd is an online platform documenting the journey of photography
graduates from UK based courses. Photograd’s aim is to showcase,
support, and encourage both older and more recent graduates, and provide
an incentive to continue making work which we feel can become lost post
university.’ - taken from the Photograd website.
Alongside 13 other photographers, my series A Farmer & His Dogs and the other works were selected by Photograd due to their relation to the topic of Brexit. Assisting Melissa Belton (Manager and Founder of Photograd) with selections, curation and interviews was an excellent team consisting of Joanne Coates, Hanna-Katrina Jedrosz, Tom Coleman, Chloe Juno, and Brendan Barry.
The work encompasses many of the issues surrounding the topic of Brexit, demonstrating personal, observational and conceptual accounts of it’s expectedly international effects. With a widespread focus on various subjects, both specific and more generalised; many of the photographers have felt or witnessed the ripples throughout society that merely discussions have caused - the actuality of Brexit and it’s denotations are yet to unfold.
There are plans to release a second edition of this downloadable zine, with a printed edition possibly set to be released further down the line.
This project focuses on one farmer’s relationship with his land and how he makes a living
from it - amongst growing pressures in the face of a competing global economy. The
work portrays his struggles to maintain his livelihood as a farmer within a
radically changing agricultural industry.
The issues he faces are reverberated across the country, as many other farmers
deal with similar issues on a day to day basis. He is required to adapt his
farming practice to negotiate a plethora of government/DEFRA regulations and
subsidy opportunities to merely survive. Torn between preserving his identity as a traditional sheep farmer in
Lancashire, and being forced to develop innovative new income streams just to
make ends meet; he must constantly diversify.
Consequently, he has become less and less a farmer (damaging the tradition of ‘the
family farm’), but more an entrepreneur; working as one of the top sheepdog
breeders and trainers in the country, whilst running a small caravan site and
producing his own energy through wind power.
This work traces the contradictions and dilemmas produced by the complexity of
his position, both emotionally and economically, whilst aiming to generate
discussion around current and future difficulties surrounding the agricultural
Referring to the old adage ‘A farmer and his dog’, the title for this work is a
play on the traditions of agriculture and farming, alluding to the ways in
which this farmer has adapted. As this diversification process becomes more
widespread, and tradition begins to lose its hold in an increasingly modernised
industry; it seems fitting to adapt the old saying into the title for this pilot ‘series’.
I am currently working to expand this series into larger, broader work covering more issues within the agricultral industry as a whole - keep your eyes peeled for more!
As part of our final module during our third year at university, we were given the opportunity to get involved in the Source Graduate Online portfolio.
The platform is run by Source Photographic Review, hosting work from graduates across the country. It provides a space for emerging photographers to showcase their work under the name of a reputable organisation straight out of university, levelling the playing field in terms of displaying work.
Work is shown uniformly across the site, separated into collections per university and then into each project, with links to the photographer’s relevant social media platforms or website included included. The submission process involves the appointment of a single course representative, who deals with gathering information and work from all applicants before the deadline. From my experience, this encourages positive pressure between peers to get work ready for submission, or at least to a presentable state. Submitting to the Graduate Online portfolio also forces applicants to be selective with their work, enforcing a maximum number of images where they may be required to omit pictures from work that belongs to a wider series.