All posts tagged: Belfast School of Art

Any Answers: Ken Grant

Starting out in his father’s carpentry workshop, Ken Grant first pursued his interest in photography through a two-year technical course, studying with unemployed shipyard labourers in the mid-1980s. He’s now a respected documentary photographer who also teaches at the Belfast School of Art; as his work on New Brighton goes on show alongside his early mentors Tom Wood and Martin Parr, and BJP caught up with him on his approach to pedagogy

2018-07-12T15:17:28+00:00

Obituary: Pete James, Curator of Photography Collections at the Library of Birmingham, 1958-2018

Peter James was an instrumental figure in British photography, establishing an outstanding collection of photography at the Library of Birmingham over his 26-year career at the institution, and researching and curating exhibitions at the V&A, National Portrait Gallery, Somerset House, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Ikon Galley, the Library of Birmingham, and many more. He was also a modest and affable man, universally known as Pete and as at home over a curry as in a lecture hall delivering an academic paper. As Hilary Roberts, research curator at the Imperial War Museum, put it in a tribute on James’ Facebook page: “Pete has been a wonderful friend and exceptional colleague for more years than I can remember. His contribution to the world of photography cannot be overstated. It was a privilege to work with him and I will miss him more than I can say.”

2018-04-17T11:52:30+00:00

Gosia Cwiech’s post-truth evocation of miasma

In the Middle Ages, it was widely believed that pandemics, such as plague and cholera, were caused by breathing in impure air, poisoned by decaying matter. Now, Polish-born Gosia Cwiech has decided to resuscitate the obsolete hypothesis in a series which explores the contemporary, post-truth framework.

2017-07-27T14:45:01+00:00

Chad Alexander’s Entries to Northern Ireland

From the dimly-lit back alleys of Belfast, right into the interiors of its inhabitants’ homes, Chad Alexander’s graduation project Entries takes us on a reflective journey through the streets where he grew up. The 27-year-old first picked up a camera after seeing an exhibition that combined scenes of the Northern Ireland conflict with vignettes of daily life; he has since been developing his own take on documentary in this series. “It was work that I had always wanted to make, but until that point I wasn’t exactly sure how to approach it,” he explains.

2017-07-21T10:54:53+00:00

The traditions, biases and ranks inside modern British military spaces

Over 2014, Ross Young photographed the military barracks near his home in Belfast. Driving to work in the morning, the 25-year-old would pass the barracks, seeing scattered buildings beyond barbed-wire walls. “I became really fascinated by the modern military,” he says. “What they do, how they have changed, who they are, what they stand for now.”     The nephew of a lieutenant colonel, he gained access to the barracks and photographed everything: portraits of the soldiers, the buildings, beds, dorms, gyms and churches. But it was the communal eating areas that held his gaze. “Everything is split by rank. The junior rank, middle rank and officers each have their own spaces, and each one is visibly different,” he says. “They had such an impactful personality. They revealed so much to me about life in the Army. It shows the difference in the ranks; what soldiers have to go through to work their way up.”     He was born in Killyleagh, a suburban area to the south of Belfast, and now lives in the …

2015-11-26T17:57:11+00:00

Jan McCullough wins Dummy Award at Fotobookfestival Kassel

How do you make a house a home? And can you ever really make it your own? For Jan McCullough, the process of homemaking follows a remarkably similar, even formulaic, pattern, often dictated by self- appointed experts online. She found a cache of chatrooms offering suggestions on how to position everything from kettles to sofas to family snaps, and when she stumbled on a 1950s manual titled How To Make The Home You Want in a second-hand bookshop in Ireland, she realised that, across the generations, we’ve been told how to live. We think we’re individuals, but in fact we’re merely copying others. “In complying with instructions for making the perfect home, I contemplated the construction of an identity from scratch.” In her series, Home Instruction Manual, McCullough tries on some of these different lives for size. She rented an ordinary, empty suburban house for two months, gathering her materials, and followed the interior design advice posted in an online forum. “The house I rented slowly came together… but the moment it felt like it became ‘something other’ was when family photographs – …

2016-02-10T13:47:37+00:00

BJP #7837: Look and Learn

What does the perfect art college look like? The Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne in Switzerland, profiled in our July issue (now on sale at newsagents in the UK and selected countries abroad, or via iTunes for our iPad edition, or directly from The BJP Shop), must come pretty close, with its balance of the vocational, the conceptual and a dash of the downright weird. Not to mention first-class facilities housed in a state-of-the-art building near Lake Geneva, sensibly priced course fees (€800 per term), and a workshop programme made up of visiting lectures by some of the world’s leading photographers, including Thomas Mailaender’s now legendary woodland survival course. If that all sounds a little different to your own art college experience, then how about this for a schedule: “I think something very specific about ECAL is that we are very pragmatic – we start at 8am in the morning and we finish quite late,” says Milo Keller, the photography course leader since 2012. “The students have to work really, really hard – we don’t …

2016-02-12T11:22:14+00:00

Rachel Glass – The Domestic Aviary

A streak of neon-bright green files among the domestic clutter of a small British living room. The fancy bird chooses its perch between the sofa, the flat screen TV, the mantlepiece and the closed window. The bird is indigenous to the forests of Venezuela, Colombia and Guyana, but it is here, in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, playing a starring role in Rachel Glass’ series The Domestic Aviary. “Confinement or sanctuary?” Glass asks, as the birds fly through “the looser confines” of the contemporary domestic home, in all its tastes. “How much freedom do we actually have, and how much we can invest in it?” In the corner sits the bird’s cage. She has caught them, wings stretched mid-flight, or appraising their horizons, preparing to fly in a larger cage. “We as people can fly as far as we want,” the 21-year-old Glass says.  “But are we confined or constrained by our own lives and commitments?” In her eyes, these birds are metaphors: “Of our own conscious understanding of freedom, in all its limits and possibilities.” Glass grew up in the countryside around …

2015-04-17T13:29:56+00:00

BJP Staff