Jill Todd Photographic Award @ Street Level Photoworks

The Jill Todd Photographic Award 2018 brings together a range of recent graduates of Photography disciplines from across Scotland; their work is diverse, but with traceable intentions that bring the emerging practitioners together

Review by Adam Benmakhlouf | 14 Jan 2019
  • Simona Ciocarlan, They Danced in a Different Way

Throughout the Jill Todd 2018 Photographic Award exhibition, the shortlisted photographers seem as interested in processes of revealing as they are in poignant or suggestive obscuring. In the work of Amy D’agorne, for example, there’s an aerial shot of a misted canopy. It’s placed among images of protestors, the fog suggesting something beyond first sights – a colonised and contested landscape in New Zealand, it turns out.

Across the room, also representing natural elements, the lights dim in Joseph Glover’s nocturnes. His dark images of water and foliage are charged, moody moments of quiet sublimity.

For Christina Webber, a near-portrait of a person lying back on a pillow partially dissolves into a fuzzy grain. A sign of the film or the effect of a dark room chemical, the distortion heightens the sense of texture, touch, intimacy. Also experimenting with strategies of erasure, Jill Quigley adds a painted layer to her photographs of painter-decorators to draw out a sensual understanding of what is photographed.

As suggested, there’s also the impulse across several of the artists to open up spaces that are otherwise private or for very specific audiences. Sarah Michelle Riisager’s photos show the relaxed vulnerability of young female performers in dance competitions.

Also seeking to make public a hidden way of living, Simona Ciocarlan photographs people in traditional Romanian dress and homes, often in seemingly long moments of quiet thought, paradoxically becoming filmic in their stillness. Similarly, in Alishia Farnan’s work, there’s the sense of a long shot of a quiet room, lending the suggestion of prolonged inactivity in the former workers’ community clubs as she poignantly records the fracturing of a communal way of being. Through their experiments with the relationship of photographer and subject, or with the technical processes themselves, each of these artists pushes at the limits of what can be represented within photography.

Jill Todd Photographic Award, Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow, until 27 Jan, free