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Saturday 6 September 2014

Do YOU want to apply for the Graduate Artists in Residency Scheme?

For the last few years creatives from all of Southampton Solent University’s art and design courses have been invited to apply for the Graduate Artists in Residency Scheme. The artists who are chosen to participate get the chance to have their work featured in an exhibition at Solent Showcase.

Each participant has been given £500 and free reign of the University’s facilities to help them create work for the exhibition. Not only was this a great opportunity for them to get their work seen (and perhaps even sold), it also allowed them to get accustomed to the reality of life as a professional artist.

“The scheme teaches the successful applicants how to work with gallery staff and make the transition from student to professional,” says exhibition curator Les Buckingham. “It also encourages graduates from different creative backgrounds to work together to create a harmonious exhibition”.

Here we focus on two of the selected artists and look at some of their past work. Special thanks to the Solent Showcase Facebook page for providing the images and insight.

First up is Rebecca Sharplin-Hughes, a BA (Hons) Photography graduate who specialises in landscape photography.


The image above demonstrates one aspect of Rebecca’s interest in global conflicts. It depicts a World War 2 era nuclear base in Greenham Common, Newbury. Rebecca says, “I like to find the unseen and unappreciated aspects of war ruins”.


The rich pink and blue hues in the work is the result of Rebecca’s experimental process. She uses a range of different films, and has even been known to mix her own blends of developer and timer.


One of Rebecca’s favourite projects was her “Frozen in Time” series. This project involved her freezing and photographing various objects in ice and, like her Submerged series, is an example of her experimental still life photography. To see more of Rebecca’s work online, visit her website.

Our second artist, Emily Taylor, isn’t particularly attached to any one medium, instead focusing on creating a striking image in whichever media she feels is appropriate.


The above image is taken from Emily’s series on geniuses. By altering portraits of mankind’s greatest minds to make them appear more feminine, she hoped to change perceptions of what a genius should be:

“The notion of the heroic genius in contemporary society is still male. I want to challenge this convention by toying with the portrayal of these genius male figures, feminising them in an obvious and questioning way.”


Despite the fact that Emily’s work is largely conceptual, she still recognizes how important it is for her to produce skilfully finished work: “I am a perfectionist. Sometimes my work can look almost easily made, but there is a considerable amount of planning and recreating behind the final image”

Her work for Five Degrees South, seen above, is an adaption of the genius theme, but this time she is working with new materials to create a piece specifically for the gallery space. You can view more of Emily’s work online by visiting her website.

The Five degrees South Exhibition is now on, and will be running until 4 October 2014 at the Solent Showcase art gallery.