North East Scotland College (NESCol) Level 6 photography students have launched their end-of-year photography exhibition – virtually.
Celebrating and showcasing their photography work created during the pandemic, 15 college students – with the help of NESCol photography lecturer Karen Catto – put together an online exhibition.
Karen said: “The students got to choose five photos they considered their best images for the exhibition – we tried to encourage them to use photos they took for college as well.
“They held peer reviews online with each other to discuss their work and help each other pick and choose the images.
“They also had to write their artist statement and then I put together the exhibition in a really good piece of software for showcasing creative work.”
This is the first time Level 6 students got to exhibit their work online. Under normal circumstances, NESCol photography students would showcase their work at Aberdeen Arts Centre in February.
Karen also wanted to recreate a sense of community and a similar atmosphere visitors would get at a physical exhibition. Therefore, art-lovers can still walk around the exhibition space in a virtual setting.
She said: “We could have used a different template, but I wanted to create an atmosphere of walking around the exhibition and seeing work.
“If you take the guided tour, it stops so you can see all the students’ work together and then you can click on each work and it will bring it up in full screen with the artist’s statement beside it. And that, again, kind of simulates real life.”
One of the students, Chloe Oglive, submitted five photographs focusing on movement and ballet.
She said in her artist statement: “I have always enjoyed being behind the camera taking pictures of people and getting them to have some fun with the photos and poses.
“I find photography is a good way to express my creative and artistic side and it gives me the freedom to do what looks right.
“My main goal is to live in New York and do fashion/portrait photographs for magazines.”
Student Cameron Halliday stated: “As I have such a particular interest in fashion, I think I would find fashion photography a great career pathway for me to follow.
“I also, however, have an interest in landscape photography which is another passion of mine due to my love for the outdoors and the scenery that can be found on our very own doorstep.”
Focusing on capturing the mundane while expressing his own feelings, Micky McQueen said he chose to present his work in black and white due to his own personal preference and also because he believed it gives photographs a “timeless and contemporary effect”.
He added: “Photography has long been a passion of mine and I have always been driven to develop my passion into something more.
“It’s my way of allowing others to see the world through my eyes.”
Lecturer Karen would like to encourage locals to look at the students’ photographs and provide them with constructive feedback.
She said: “It would be so good for the students to read some nice feedback on their hard work.
“They’ve had such a strange year as this whole year it’s been blended learning – online and then in college.
“We haven’t been in college since Christmas, but this week we’re back for the first time, so it worked well for timing.”
With most of the lectures delivered online, Karen tried to focus on practical demonstrations when students were allowed back into NESCol.
She said: “We did as many practical demonstrations as we could while socially distanced.
“Due to lockdown, we had to kind of tweak our briefs to make sure all tasks are achievable during lockdown and could be done at students’ homes.”
The exhibition can be viewed here and it’ll stay online for at least eight weeks.