MA Film and Photography

The MA Arts has a dynamic approach which focusses on individual students and their project proposals. The course provides a unique and exciting opportunity to specialise in still and moving imagery. We encourage students to work creatively across disciplines and explore relevant theory.

Our campus offers access to well-resourced facilities that inspire students to explore diverse methods, working across analogue, digital, still or moving images and multi-media installations.

We support our students to develop a research-based practice, enabling them to become critical makers and thinkers. We approach the creative process holistically, encouraging dialogue between the realm of fine art, photography and film, and in this way, we are unique in our delivery and teaching.

We will inspire you to shape your individual creative practice with relevant theoretical knowledge and experimental approaches, to enable you to develop a personal voice and engagement within the creative industries.

Vered Lahav MA RCA
Programme Leader, MA Arts

Bethany Campbell

Body dysmorphia is a hidden disorder which is not often spoken of and often misunderstood being perceived as attention seeking. It is a condition that I have had since I was 10 and I am the subject of the work. This is an interactive piece exploring this theme using photography and handwritten text.

Two different perspectives are represented here. One portrayal represents how somebody with dysmorphia sees themselves. For this diaristic element I have chosen to use Polaroids as it was important to remove my ability to edit the images, making this work more exposing. The other element of the work are large-scale photographs of my body in underwear. It was a difficult experience to photograph myself up close in this way and I have added to this discomfort by encouraging the audience to write what they see when looking at my body.

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A collection of Polaroid photographs documenting images of Bethany and her life.

Carrie Ann Woolsey

My project “nut” deals with taboos in a contemporary society of what women can and cannot say about their own bodies. It refers to a patriarchal system that controls the way women’s sexuality is seen by the general population; and also demonstrates how their desires are silenced in a male-dominated world.

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MA Film and Photography student work by Carrie Ann  Woolsey

Chenyu Zhao (Eric)

In “Food, Body-shaming, Fitness”, I want to tell my own story.

This is my choice in food and fitness. While I enjoy the pleasure of food-promoted dopamine, food also brings the confusion of obesity. Because of this, people around me expressed negative and insulting remarks about my body. As a result of verbal attacks, I became more and more inferior, uncommunicative and socially fearful.

I started dieting and reckless exercise, and I lost weight, however I began to wander between binge eating and dieting, which made me anxious. I realised I wasn't happy. I was catering to their aesthetics.

Eventually I decided to make a change. Instead of catering to other people's aesthetics, I began to look for a healthy lifestyle of my own. There is no standard for human body and life.

MA Film and Photography student work by Chenyu Zhao

Harry Glass

On the March 31 2019 I landed at Gatwick airport after representing Great Britain at the Professional Powerlifting League competition in New Delhi, India.

I was due to next compete at the WRPF British Championships on May 19 2019. 

That left me with just six weeks' worth of training, eighteen sessions in total, to prepare my mind and body to deadlift 260KG/573LBS and set a new WRPF World Record.

At the end of each training session, I took a photograph of my right hand. Those images track the strain I put upon my mind and body and the permanent damage that will forever remain on my flesh.

I broke that world record. On Wednesday the 25 September I shall be attempting to lift 260KG, my very own WRPF World Record, once every fifteen minutes until completion, exhaustion, injury or until I am physically removed from the building.

A close up photograph of Harry's hand covered in weight lifting chalk.

Hayley Timmins

My digital work has always been quite personal, whether directly to me, the subject or the spectators. Theories from Sigmund Freud and Laura Mulvey are always a big focus behind my work; allowing it to have deeper meaning rather than just being a physical piece of art.

Traditionally gender in our society has been set as being binary; male or female. For some this has been restrictive and inhibiting and today there is much more awareness of gender fluidity. My work aims to question gender stereotypes. Focusing on close ups of the skin and body contrasted with material objects, I seek to show gender as hard to define. My work allows spectators eyes to flow effectively from one gender to the other; showing somewhat a third gender – gender neutral. 

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A close up photograph of a man in a corset and skirt.

Holly McGhee

Depression is the most-common mental health problem world-wide - followed by anxiety and bipolar disorder. In 2013 it was found that there were almost 4 million cases of mood disorders in the UK alone, those including Bipolar Disorder and OCD. Within my work, the images are heavily dominated by a ‘glitch’ – which defines as a malfunction which acts as a metaphor for the mental illness as it is an invisible disease. The glitches are colour coded with brain scans of those who suffer with mood disorders. Each image was taken once a day capturing the emotion felt at that specific moment, acting as a digital diary. The glitch manifests and conceals a large portion of the image(s), leaving only the selected emotion. This suggests that no matter the emotion the ‘malfunction’ will always remain – regardless of the feeling of happiness.

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A distorted photograph of a young woman's face.

Jess Goodwin

As a documentary photographer I like to document people’s lives and the places which they inhabit. Doing this has taken me on a personal journey where I switched things up and turned the camera on myself. I create visual diaries using the power of instant photography and the craft of the modern-day Polaroid camera.

These visual diaries incorporate either a personal mood, feeling, or single activity, representing a specific day. Life in a Polaroid began as a visual diary which allowed me to dive into my own thought process, my own anxieties, giving me the ability to create and start a journey of personal growth as I looked back upon myself through these Polaroids. 

Where to Next? – a sequel – continues this personal journey with a similar structure and goal, whilst also asking the questions; who am I? where am I going? And where do I want to end up?

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A photograph of a woman silhouetted against a window with 'Where to next' written over it.

Nathan Stevenson

Gothic spirituality is a meditation on life and death which is about the spirit transcending the mortal bonds of the body. It is about light and tenebrosity, that creates a sense of ethereal eternity. Life moves between light and dark, but we still think of the dark as sinister whereas light is pure. My work considers themes of spirituality, foraging, hunting, nature, time and mortality.

I have investigated the different genres of still life, which have influenced my printing of large, mural sized photographs to render these objects as heroic. The sense of materiality and deterioration, as the items fade and decompose, finally leaves only the essence of the objects. To explore the sensationalising of Memento Mori, we need to embrace both darkness and light to meditate on the ambiguity of the story of mortality.

A black and white photograph of a horse shoe, shells and wood laid out.

Yueqing Chen (Hatch)

With the development of the global economy, the culture of each country continues to blend. In today's society, Chinese culture has begun to become more diversified.

Now with the continuous development of the internet, the era of big information has made culture spread more quickly. This technological advancement will allow the Chinese LGBT community to understand the future development process and the problems it faces.

At the same time, this progress has promoted a better understanding of the status quo of the LGBT group and made society more inclusive. It has also led to a culture shock when seeing LGBT community freedom outside China.

In this short film, I mainly use the form of vlog to tell the living status of the Chinese LGBT group. I used my girlfriend as the protagonist of the film to shoot the daily life of the Chinese LGBT group.

An image of a google home page with a rainbow coloured cloud in the background.