Article by Laura Blight & Nazanin Raissi - MA Photography alumni, London College of Communication (LCC)
Uprooted is an exhibition partly organised and curated by Laura Blight and Nazanin Raissi funded by the LCC Graduate School Fund, a fund that encourages all postgraduate students at the College to develop their own ideas for exhibitions, events, and activities that bring together the postgraduate community.
Uprooted features 6 female artists – Clare Hoddinott, Elizabeth Gabrielle Lee, Jessie Edward-Thomas, Laura Blight, Nazanin Raissi, and Sandra Furtschegger – who all studied MA Photography in 2017/2018 at LCC. As an evolving group of female artists, we wanted to support one another in the next phase of our professional journeys post studying a Masters. The group sought to bring our work beyond the UAL network, to create and curate an exhibition where we were in full control and to investigate new approaches we were unable to do within an educational institution. Uprooted is our first exhibition together however, individually we are exhibiting elsewhere including, Photo London, Arles Rencontre in France, Thomassen Gallery in Sweden and The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle.
All 6 artists are from different cultural backgrounds working with a distinctly diverse approach: photography, installation pieces and works on paper. The unexpected fusion of each artist's practice leads to a metaphorical understanding of the concept uprooted. The exhibition celebrates the not-yet possibilities when something or someone is rooted out from its familiar location. It is the group’s objective that each person attending the exhibition found something resonating with them confronted with the concept Uprooted.
With a research driven approach we searched for a concept that would grasp the diversity of the group while simultaneously capturing the essence of our time when entities are removed from their natural habitats at a scale previously unseen. We concluded that uprooted was that concept. In addition we allowed ourselves to be informed by Kaja Silverman’s concept ‘not yet’ of future possibilities encouraging an open-ended reading of images potentiality enabling their future.
Uprooted was exhibited at Art Hub Studios and Gallery in Deptford South London. Art Hub is a non-for-profit, Community Interest Company who has been running artists studios in South East London for over 20 years. The gallery offers an intimate setting with beautiful natural light surrounded by a community of artist studios. The space is affordable for recent graduates and we were given access to all the facilities to assist during the installation. The installation was exclusively executed by the artists in the group.
The planning and staging of a group exhibition with artists based in different countries across the world proved challenging at times, for example, organising roles and responsibilities across multiple time zones, reaching agreement on consequential decisions and mainly communicating through social media. All artists agree that there is an incredible learning curve to create and curate an exhibition collaboratively while being deeply fulfilling. The group aims to continue collaborating in the future.
The majority of the budget was allocated to renting the space. The visual identity of the exhibition was designed by Nazanin Raissi and Sandra Furtschegger in dialogue with the group. All final artwork decisions were agreed upon altogether. The marketing and PR requirements were handled by all group members with everyone inputting their industry contacts to increase visibility and reach.
We were also featured in Something Curated alongside Wolfgang Tillman’s new show.
Since the exhibition, the creative platform The Dots are also planning on featuring Uprooted on their homepage.