Six OCA photography alumni are showing that completing your degree can be the beginning of a journey, not the end of one. First collaborating as [ (6) ] when they were undergraduates in 2014, they have continued to stay in touch since graduating.[ (6) ] – Tanya Ahmed, Dewald Botha, Rob™, Keith Greenough, Nigel Haworth and Pete Mansell – worked together two years ago to put on a public exhibition of their work at Bank Street Arts in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. Now the six, two of whom are students on OCA’s MA Fine Art, are coming back together to create a new body of work. It is focussed on the city of Oxford in England and will be exhibited in Oxford, Canada on 17 and 18 September.
Gathering for the weekend in Oxford, England from their homes in England, the USA and the Czech Republic, the photographers will be applying their very different styles and approaches to capturing some insights into the historic city. Then, in October, an exhibition of selected representations will be exhibited at the Oxford Riverside Gallery in Oxford, Canada. There are also plans to bring the work back to Oxford in England for a further exhibition in 2017.
The different photographic interests and perspectives of each of the photographers are expected to result in body of work characterised by its diversity of creative approach. Pete Mansell said: ‘This project is so exciting. I’ve made some assumptions about what the others will produce, and have some ideas of my own, but in reality none of us will know exactly what we are doing until we get there. I am sure the weather and local events, along with how we each feel at the time, will play their part in influencing the final outcome, along with the images being exhibited so far away from their location.’
The logistics are proving a challenge, not least because bringing photographers together from around the globe for a weekend of creative activity is expensive. Funding is needed to assist with bringing the photographers together, for example, as well as for the production of the work, creating the catalogue, and printing, mounting and transporting the completed pieces. To help raise the necessary funding the group launched a funding campaign on Indiegogo, which describes itself as ‘a launch pad for creative and entrepreneurial ideas of every shape and size’.
OCA Principal Gareth Dent says: ‘[ (6) ] are showing that online degree study is able to bring creative practitioners together just as effectively as a bricks and mortar higher education institution. It is a real inspiration to see a group of photographers who met through OCA now creating dynamic new work under their own steam.’