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Final year BA (Hons) Photography student Victoria Rich presents her final major project 'Forest Features'.

4th August 2020
Art and design

Final year BA (Hons) Photography student Victoria Rich wanted to create something meaningful for her final major project, and looked no further than her doorstep of the New Forest where she spent a lot of time outdoors as a child – focusing her project on the landscapes she recalls. We caught up with Victoria to find out more:

Hi Victoria, tell us about your project:

My final major project ‘Forest Features’ was focused on the role of consciousness and familiarity within the sentimental landscape. I documented the New Forest within twilight hours, capturing features of the landscape that I recall noticing as a child, specifically the roads and trees leading up to The Beaulieu Road; a pub located in the heart of the New Forest that I would frequently visit with my family.

Through characteristics seen in impressionism, I used photography techniques to mimic 19th century style paintings and displayed my subject matter through motion blur and layering techniques to create an alternative way of seeing; emphasising a feeling over a documented approach. The distinct lack of clarity in my photographs demonstrates that memory blurs with time, symbolising a personal connotation towards the landscape, this also ensured that the audience would create their own reflective account of my work.

Picture showing tree image from Victoria Rich's final major project, Forest Features

What have you enjoyed most about your time at Solent?

When I started at Solent I wasn’t very confident with my photography work and through my three years I have grown in confidence and ability. I really enjoyed the syllabus and the variety within our course, there was an independence in which I could experiment with my own different techniques with the help from my teachers. I especially enjoyed the social side, making new friends, staying up late in the library and chatting together in the darkroom while we printed the night away, it gave us a sense of freedom as we could access the university at any time and really focus on our work when everyone else had gone home.

What’s next for you?

I am preparing to exhibit my work for Ripe Tomatoes; a virtual exhibition run by ‘A Space’ arts in Southampton. I am also beginning an MA in graphic design at the University of Brighton, which I hope will give me a different set of skills that I can combine with my photography degree and look for a career in publishing, or as a medical photographer/artist as I have experience in the NHS.

Picture showing image from Victoria Rich's final major project, Forest Features

Please share any advice you have for other students?

My three points of advice would be: firstly, have a passion for the course you’re studying as this helps to increase your creativity when things get hard.

Secondly make sure you have a good support network, people that are understanding of your studying.

Finally, don’t compare your work to others, however easy it is. Don’t worry about what other students are making/creating even if it seems you are miles behind, you will catch up and your piece will have its own original flare!


Picture showing pathway image from Victoria Rich's final major project, Forest Features