Student photographers put women in the picture
University of Wolverhampton photography students took part in Wolves Women’s Day 2020 recently when they put their work on display to highlight Wolverhampton women in the creative arts.
Jessica Tonks, Aabidah Shah and Rachael Ward are third year students studying for a photography degree in the Wolverhampton School of Art.
The Wolves Women’s Day 2020 was organised by Lotus Sanctuary, a non-profit organisation which supports homeless women across the Black Country, to raise funds.
At the same time Collectivism Magazine launched an art exhibition ‘Each for Equal’, an exhibition of female artists which include university students, emerging artists and alumni artists.
The aim of the exhibition was to bring together and promote individuals, groups, events, organisations and businesses that contribute to the creative arts and independent music scene in and around Wolverhampton and the Midlands.
The creative achievements of the women of Wolverhampton were celebrated at the Light House Cinema to mark International Women’s Day alongside stalls, live workshops, talks and live music showcasing women's businesses, groups and causes.
Rachael’s work is a personal journey and subject of her life of how the relationship with hair was never fully maintained. ‘Intangible Knots’ investigates the social and cultural perception of hair perceived and forces us to consider why our relationship with hair is so important.
Jessica focused on a piece of self portrait photography depicting how women feel they must look a certain way or do certain things instead of just being themselves. This project was shot as a series of images taken within seconds of each other as the subject, in this case the photographer herself, gets ready to go out by doing her make-up routine. The series of images shows each stage of the process from beginning to the point where she steps away from the mirror.
Aabidah exhibited three projects including photographs of people of all different races, ethnicities, religions, genders, sexualities and backgrounds to celebrate People Are Beautiful. She explored Think Positive, Be Positive by photographing positive quotes on clothing. She also revealed a project - #MeToo - that has been the start of a healing process – both for herself and other amazing women.
Jessica, 23 from Willenhall, said: “I got involved in the event because my tutor organised a talk for us to find out more information about the opportunity. As for the benefits of getting involved in this kind of thing while studying it really gives you an insight into what it’s like to take part in an exhibition in the real world.”
Rachael, 29 from Dudley, said: “It’s really important to take part in opportunities like this. This has given me confidence and has empowered me to increase the presence of women in art. I feel proud that my work is worthy of display. Witnessing and interacting with audiences who admire my work has been so satisfying and uplifting.”
Aabidah, 23, born in New York and raised in Birmingham, said: “This was such an exciting and fast paced experience for me. I went from not knowing if I was even going to be able to be a part of the exhibition to having three projects shown. Within about three days we sorted statements and prints. Also it was really emotional being able to exhibit my #MeToo project because opening night was my nine year anniversary of speaking up about my own sexual abuse. Everything just came together so well!”
Anyone interested in studying Photography in the Wolverhampton School of Art should register for our Virtual Open Event on Saturday 13th June 2020.
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