Jody Daunton

Jody Daunton

“Take most people, they’re crazy about cars. They worry if they get a little scratch on them, and they’re always talking about how many miles they get to a gallon, and if they get a brand-new car already they start thinking about trading it in for one that’s even newer. I don’t even like old cars. I mean they don’t even interest me. I’d rather have a goddam horse. A horse is at least human for God’s sake.” – J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye.

Photography BA(Hons)

What work are you exhibiting in the Graduate Show 2012 - Up and Beyond?

When I began my degree I had a strong interest in documentary photography, and the traditional roles of the camera as a device to capture real events and situations. However, having decided to take an experimental approach towards image making over the last three years, my interests have changed from image taking towards image making, with my recent work exploring the ‘constructed’ image. The Illuminated is an exploratory series inspired by the short story ‘Light is Like Water’, a Magic Realism piece by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. My subject matter was inspired directly from the story, and inline with the aspirations of Magic Realism I set about transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. By using commonplace and inanimate objects, and abstracting them through photographic methods, an air of dreamlike ambiguity is created forcing the viewer to understand the imagery in a more lateral way. The series subtly exposes the actuality of the forms whilst simultaneously using them to mirror the narrative and surrealism of the story. The series looks to emulate the rhythm of the narrative, by maintaining a playful feel through abstracted shapes and obscured visuals, but not ignoring the darker undertones of the story. I set about creating a sequential series which has been placed into the context of a small book. This was to create a gradual crescendo in the tempo, which has been achieved through the build up of image content, texture, and atmosphere created. The imagery reflects the surreal nature of the narrative and portrays a fragile beauty within chaos and destruction.
My background:

A career in photography has long been an ambition of mine, and as such I pursued a Photography A-Level followed by a photography foundation course. My Photography foundation was very focussed on ‘the photographic process’, rather than a holistic study of ‘photographic practice’. This left me disconcerted with photography as a discipline and as such I pursued an Art and Design foundation course. Though this affirmed my pursuit of photography, and it was not until I reached undergraduate studies, through the encouragement of the tutors and the course, that I began to find my own methodologies as a practitioner. 

At the time of application I was unconfident as to the type of photographer I wanted to be; though the work coming out of the photography course at Brighton was dynamic and inspiring. I chose to study at Brighton because it felt most suited to my working style at the time of submission, and the direction that I needed. Both the university and course has a great reputation, and this confirmed that Brighton was where I wanted to study. The course has a focus on historical and critical studies which I felt was appealing as it would give me a much deeper understanding of the medium. I can confidently say that the theoretical aspect of the course has had just as much of a positive impact on my image making, as the practical workshops and signup clinics.

I have developed as much more than just a practicing photographer on this course, I have also developed a greater confidence in articulating ideas, engaging with my peers and my own professional practice. I also chose to be a course rep throughout the whole duration of my degree, which has allowed me to really engage with both staff and students.

I have had fantastic access to both tutors and technical staff during my degree. As course rep I have noticed the course actively take on board student criticism and praise, with the department now having invested a great deal of money into industry standard equipment. I honestly feel as though the course has greatly improved its resources and equipment through the duration of my studies.

What would you say to anybody considering this course?

I would advise potential students to come to an open day and have a look around, talk to both lecturers, technical staff and current students. The course is very fine art based and may not be for individuals looking to pursue a career as a commercial photographer.

Through the duration of the course my increasing confidence as a practicing photographer has encouraged me to become more innovative and experimental in my working methods.Stylistically and thematically this has been challenging at times, but it has begun to illuminate interests and common subject matter within my practice.

After graduation:

Initially, post degree I will be traveling parts of Eastern Europe, which will give me the opportunity to add to my portfolio of work in ways that I have not been able to whilst studying. Upon returning to the UK I am looking to become a freelance photographer, and to build up a professional network and client list of which I have already started whilst at university. Being a freelancer will give me the freedom to be flexible to the range and location of jobs that I can undergo.

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