Degree Show: Stockport College, 2012

On Saturday I went to see the degree show for Stockport College. Called ‘Everything for Effect‘, it was a display of work from final year photography students. Although I’m still at the very start of a long journey, I thought it would be a useful and interesting experience to see the end result of a degree course.

The exhibition was a mixture of still photography and video. The photographs were presented as traditional hanging exhibits, in a variety of mounts, and as photobooks, which allowed for a larger selection of images. Some of the images can be viewed on the BBC’s photo gallery (or by following the links to the individual artists below).

Overall, there was a good and varied selection of work. Although, I was left wanting to see more of the work in some cases; I felt the exhibition didn’t do a good job of showing the effort that must have gone into 3+ years of learning. I’m sure I missed many of the subtle nuances of the pieces, but I nonetheless felt that it was a worthwhile and thought-provoking trip.

I didn’t take any photographs of the gallery (unfortunately), but I’ve made some notes on the artists and works that stood out for me.

Louise Riozzi

A series of photographs, titled ‘Who are you?’, this exhibit was an exploration of adolescence, using a model (possibly self-portraits?) going through a range of emotions in a single room (teenage bedroom?). I felt it was an original piece of portraiture and very well executed. I particularly liked the lighting used.

Alison Hagger

A thought-provoking premise, this piece of work tackled interesting questions the effect of museums and more generally about meaning and context. The photographs themselves were very abstract and difficult to read. While it asked a very interesting question, I felt the photographs displayed didn’t explore it fully. This may have been my lack of knowledge, but I would have liked to have seen more images exploring the idea.

I’ve been to the Manchester Museum several times to photograph various things, but next time I visit I will ask myself more questions over what I see, as a result of this exhibit.

Borbala Pocz

This exhibit was a display of photographs of faces imprinted onto wooden utensils. I felt this was a very nice idea; depicting the emotion that we ascribe to everyday, well-used items. It was described as exploring the ‘snippets of fugitive memories’, which ‘make up the background issue of who we think we are’.

Chris Griffiths

Entitled ‘Bleed’, this was a video exploring how the events from one space can carry over and effect life in another space. Some of the images were comfortable and homely, but intruding upon them were less comfortable, negative emotions, often from work-based activities. I’m not generally interested in moving images, but I found myself drawn to this piece of work. It got me thinking about the nature and impact of inside and outside spaces.

Germane Smith

This was a clever piece of work. It overlayed memories of people onto present day photographs of special places in that person’s life. It was subtly done and easy to miss on a first glance of the photos. Clearly a very personal piece, it followed a theme of many of the pieces of work, which were based on the personal experiences of the student.



  1. I’ve really enjoyed reading this Lucy and thanks for putting links up to the photographers. Some fascinating work and definitely good to gain an idea of what work looks like once a degree is complete! It was good to read your reaction to the work.

    1. Thanks Gill! It was certainly useful to see the results of a photography degree. There were a surprising number of degree shows around, so I’d certainly recommend going to a local show next year. It was interesting to see how much I was able to critically examine the work compared to just a couple of months ago. I’m looking forward to comparing this post with my reactions to next year’s show!

  2. That will be interesting! Like you, I shall be visiting some next year. I visited some prior to starting this course so didn’t note things down – next year will be interesting!

  3. […] to several exhibitions and made plans to go to […]

  4. […] Charles Okereke A dark set of photographs, that were backlit. Abstract images depicting waste by looking down into black, polluted water. The style reminded me of the museum abstracts from the graduate, Alison Hagger, in an earlier exhibition I visited. […]

  5. […] see exhibitions at the Manchester Art Gallery, the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Photographic, Manchester Chinese Arts Centre, Liverpool (lots of places thanks to the Biennial), Brighton (again lots of places due to the […]

  6. […] degree shows, one by students at MMU and the other by students at Stockport College. I visited the Stockport College degree show last year, so I was interested to see how this would […]

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