Import Export – MA Exhibition Highlight: Daniel Sosnowski

Import Export was the name of this years MA Graduation Exhibition at my University. Premiering for the first time last week I was excited to see the show as I’ve been contemplating whether to take to pursuing a master degree myself in the future. Upon arriving I was pleasantly surprised to see an old acquaintance in the form of Daniel Sosnowski formally known as just “Dan” on of the photography tutors in my previous foundation degree. Although Dan never strictly taught me he did from time to time offer advice and chat about documentary photography and the famous photographers who pioneered it.

So it made my night in away to see Dan’s show as I could finally see his elusive work he shoot in Chernobyl, Russia. Which I was aware of when he was planning his trip whilst I was completely my foundation degree. His work was nothing short of amazing, not surprising really when his style of work really appeals to me. Desolate and abandoned places, rooms, corridors, hospitals, and social environments. The series of work is based on the Latin phrase Memento Mori which translates as “Remember your mortality” or more controversially as “Remember you will die.” I’m gonna take a wild guess here and say the project is based on the first translation as the abandoned spaces question long forgotten histories and how the desolate buildings remain etched into the fabric of time. Instead of a constant reminder that the viewer is indeed going to die at some point in the future…

What really stood out to me was the quality of the work. All shot on colour negative, the soft quality of the natural light is outstanding, which gave each image a faint glow, the colour subtle and the subject matter silent and eerie. Just the little details did it for me, the peeling paint on the walls, the rust and the decay, and the small significant furnishings that give hints to the use of room, a bed in one photo, a arranged group of rusted cots in another.

The work which was four photos in total was nothing short of inspiring. Abounded places have always appealed to me, so to see a series so beautifully presented was a highlight. In conversation Dan explained to me how the MA allowed him to go and explore, develop, and shoot his own ideas and project. Dan found it liberating as he found it hard to plan work whilst working full time as a photography teacher. Recommending me the course he explained it will give me the time to work on my own project, explore whatever I like, and develop ideas I’ve never had the chance to look at. Looking at the show and the quality of the work on display he was right as this was something I could easily see my self doing in the near future.

The other graduates work was also of a high standard yet seemly felt placed in the shadows. Along side Dan’s photography was Ben Hodson photographer and current photography technician at my university, six graphic designers, two interior designers, one textile designer, and finally one sculpture. Which when placed in the same room together interesting held passports from 8 different countries hence while the title import and export for its traveling connotations as well as its fluidly nature seen in art and design.

This was the second MA show I’ve visited at the university of Bedfordshire and without a doubt this years graduates was the better out of the two, and has made me realise that a Master Degree is something I would like to pursue in the future once I’ve built up my portfolio, set up and organised my website, traveled, and experienced life as a photographer for a short while.

Dan’s page in the Import Export exhibition book, click on the image to enlarge.

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~ by stuartmatthewsphotography on October 9, 2012.

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