Graduates from the University of Cumbria’s Institute of the Arts have exhibited their degree show projects at the prestigious Free Range 2018 event in London alongside some of the country’s best new photography graduates.
The gathering provides an opportunity to showcase the work of Cumbrian students before a national audience, another example of the close ties the university has with leading arts and cultural venues.
“Free Range is the most important student exhibition in the country and enables the transition to take place from being students to being professionals,” Rob Sara, lecturer in photography, said. “Over five days, 1000’s of visitors and professionals attend from across the country which enables networking and links to be made with organisations, photographers, artists and industry employers.”
The exhibition, housed over three floors in The Old Truman Brewery in the East End’s bustling arts community, was made up of degree show photographs and a selected portfolio of other work including video, lightboxes, prints and photobooks.
The University of Cumbria was among 14 others to take part with students able to attend talks, networking sessions and have their portfolios reviewed by the Director of Photoworks, Shoair Mavlian.
"Free Range is an amazing opportunity, seeing your work up in new surroundings with other fantastic artists,” student Emily Hall said. “Free Range brings you a whole host of experiences and opportunities. The exhibitions are so vibrant, we made contact with many photographers, made friends with the surrounding universities and a lucky few of us were actually approached by photographic agencies or offers to join MA courses. It's so worth going if you get the chance!"
Her colleague Nicole Wilcox added: “"Free Range was such an useful experience, and I would recommend for everyone to go down to London and showcase their work. The amount of networking you can do, and contacts that you can make is incredible."
The university’s sought after photographic courses include two annual subsidised (free for students) trips to cities such as Liverpool and Edinburgh. There is also an international trip organised annually - this year it will be to Amsterdam.
Pictures from these may well appear in future Free Range festivals.