Sian Davey Plymouth University Davey’s series Martha is a coming-of-age series of her daughter. By the nature of the project, these are intimate portraits, but there is also a brilliant emotional tension when the camera frames the subject’s gaze. I really like the colour and tone of Davey’s photographs, as well as the flow between the more composed images and those that appear to be more spontaneous. The images are everyday moments, often in series, but each image carries the weight of a singularly powerful portrait.
Aaron Dickson Ulster University I find it quite difficult to imagine a hospital without people in it; like a school or a theatre, people define these places. Dickson’s photography of the interiors of a number of Irish hospitals provides a trail of unpopulated photographs. It’s hard to tell if the hospitals have been abandoned or are in use as his images are very sparse and uncluttered. I particularly like the way that Dickson has considered light in his images - balancing natural exterior light with the harsher casts of interior functional and efficient lighting.
Georgs Avetisjans University of Brighton Aventisjans has picked an interesting moment, or rather condensed a series of moments, in Latvia’s history. Some of Aventisjans’ images refuse the explicit portrayal of this history, providing instead hints of a sense of place. We get the relationship of people to the land - but also a very particular type of land that seems only very lightly touched by people. I like the inclusion of archival imagery to complement the contemporary photographs, and also the diary elements which look as though they should be historical, but date from this year. His project has a strong sense of living history.