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Photography students show range

UEL students

University of East London photography students took Brick Lane by storm recently with a standout exhibition at The Old Truman Brewery in east London.

Nearly 40 students participated in the Luminosity at Free Range show, offering varied visual perspectives on subjects ranging from the diversity of black hair to childhood neglect and abuse.

It’s become a tradition for UEL’s photography students to display their final year projects at Free Range, a showcase for talented university students from across the country.

“It’s a good stepping stone,” said Julie Cook, Senior Lecturer in Photography. “The students know how many people will come here and see their work, and they want people to see their work. They want to talk about their work.”

Alice Marcelino’s Kindumba offered a celebration of black hair and an investigation into beauty standards and ideas about what it means to be black. Kindumba means “my hair” in parts of Angola.

Alice said that studying photography at UEL has allowed her to experiment with different ideas and methods.

 “I think the best thing that the staff gave to us was to say, ‘There is no right or wrong. Just go for it. This is the time to make mistakes,’” she said.

Misconceptions by Danielle Phillips featured portraits of people living with mental illness. Danielle’s subjects include her mother, her brother…and herself.

“I was always very aware of the stigma and even fear around mental health disabilities, so I very much wanted this project to kill some of those misconceptions,” Danielle said.

“I wanted to show people that just because someone has a mental health issue doesn’t mean they are not normal and you should keep away from them,” she continued.

Oliver Strutt dressed himself in drag for a series of “garish” self-portraits intended to draw attention to unhealthy habits such as drinking and smoking.

“I’ve found who I am at UEL, discovered myself. I feel like I’ve just been moulded into who I want to be as an artist,” Oliver said.

Professional photographer Ansell Cizic praised the work on display at Luminosity at Free Range. He commended the huge effort put forth by students to produce the show.

“I’ve been impressed by the ideas and content. They’ve got ideas about how to articulate the content of the work,” Ansell remarked.

Notes to Editors

The University of East London (UEL) is a global learning community with students from over 120 countries world-wide. Our vision is to achieve recognition, both nationally and internationally, as a successful and inclusive regional university proud of its diversity, committed to new modes of learning which focus on students and enhance their employability, and renowned for our contribution to social, cultural and economic development, especially through our research and scholarship. We have a strong track-record in widening participation and working with industry.