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BA Fine Art: Photography: a closer look at 2021 graduate work

Nathaniel stands at distance, on a deserted street, lined with shops, at night-time, only lighting is that of streetlamps.
  • Written byGrizelda Kitching
  • Published date05 November 2021
Nathaniel stands at distance, on a deserted street, lined with shops, at night-time, only lighting is that of streetlamps.
Self-portrait series
BA (Hons) Fine Art: Photography, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL | Photograph: Nathaniel Bailey

Recent graduates of BA Fine Art: Photography Nathaniel Bailey and Savanna Victoria both adapted the focus of their final projects due to lockdown isolation.

We caught up with them earlier this year, just after their hand-ins, to hear more:

Nathaniel Bailey

For my final project, I have put together a series of self-portraits shot at night around the area that I have grown up in: Perivale, West London.

As a documentary photographer, I have turned the lens onto myself and shown a certain aspect of my life. The locations within these photographs are personally significant to me as they hold a lot of memories. There are 6 photographs that feature in this series. They were all hand printed from the colour darkroom on 20x24 Fujicolor paper mounted on Foamex. I like to be very hands on with my work, so this includes hand- printing in the darkroom.

Over lockdown I found myself re-connecting with my childhood area in many ways, and I wanted to translate that feeling through photography. I felt as though in order to truly understand my work as a documentary artist, I had to become the subject in front of the camera. This has helped understand the way in which I want to personally build my relationships with the subjects I work with in future works.

A dimly lit figure is facing the camera, from a distance, standing the centre of the road at night time
Self-portrait series
BA (Hons) Fine Art: Photography, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL | Photograph: Nathaniel Bailey
Nathaniel stands at a distance, facing the camera. He is standing in a low-lit ally way.
Self-portrait series
BA (Hons) Fine Art: Photography, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL | Photograph: Nathaniel Bailey

What’s next?

I am excited to further develop my ongoing projects titled Parish Walls and When I Came Over. The vision that I have for both works are that I see them as life-long projects, I don’t feel as though I will ever be able to say I have truly finished.

I plan to take some time out for myself as this will be the first time I will be officially out of education, but the general idea is to look into getting a part-time job that is related to my profession. I am interested in working at a photo lab, specifically colour darkroom printing. During my time on BA Fine Art: Photography I have built a love and appreciation for printing in the colour darkroom, I want to learn even more and build my experience.

View more of Nathaniel’s work on his website.

Self-portrait of Savanna, who appears upside down. Savanna is black women wearing a crown, the background is a black.
Ethereal
BA (Hons) Fine Art: Photography, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL | Photograph: Savanna Victoria

Savanna Victoria

My most recent work, Ethereal, is a project materialising the spiritual journey I took with my inner feminine energy and spirituality throughout the isolated time I had during the lockdowns in 2020 and 2021. Ethereal focuses on the exploration of how I became more connected to my ‘Feminine Divine’. Feminine energy refers to the specific traits someone has that keeps them in touch with their flow of life, emotion and creativity.

The project consists of a collection of pieces, the subject being myself. In the past I have always used myself as a test model. But adapting to only shooting myself has been a challenge, as I had to rely on adjusting my poses instead of adjusting the angles and lighting.

My style of photography is very editorial, and studio based. I like my work to have clean sets and professional lighting and I was used to utilising the university facilities and the studio space for most of my work. So, having no access to a professional photography studio was hard on my practice. However, with photography not only being my degree but also my outlet, I quickly realised I had to find a way to either keep creating work as before or alter my practice so that it would fit my surroundings. I built a make-shift photography studio in my own house that allows me to make work when I want. I stayed true to my aesthetic of photography, but I adapted my method.

Savanna sits crossed legged on a stall, wearing a white shirt, black backdrop
Ethereal
BA (Hons) Fine Art: Photography, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL | Photograph: Savanna Victoria
Portrait of Savanna, a black woman. There are four arms and hands framing her face.
Ethereal
BA (Hons) Fine Art: Photography, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL | Photograph: Savanna Victoria

What's next?

My time at Camberwell has let me discover what I loved and didn’t love about photography and that alone can take me quite far in the future.

After university nothing is certain, but I do think I will carry on creating regardless of what my career path decides. I hoping to further my boudoir photography because that is what I have done professionally so far, and it’s what I most enjoy when it comes to shooting commercially.

See more of Savanna’s work on her website.

Find out more about BA Fine Art: Photography