Students add new colour to culture in Sideways Looks 2009

Issue date: 05 May 2009

Sideways Look 2009, 15 - 17 May 2009, Paintworks, Bristol Sideways Looks 15 to 17 May 2009 Paintworks, Bristol

Final Year Students from the University of the West of England will present new perspectives on topics as diverse as escapism, gender identity and gorilla surveillance in the annual Sideways Looks exhibition on 15 to 17 May 2009 at Paintworks, Bristol.

Work using video, interactive media, photography and print journalism will be showcased. Exhibitors include student Chris Button, who recently won a Royal Television Society student award for his second year film, Baldric, made with fellow student Guy Amos, who also has a new video in the show.

A prominent event in Bristol's annual cultural calendar, the Sideways Looks exhibition is known for its invigoratingly questioning and experimental approach to media. The students, who are completing degrees in Media and Cultural Studies, Film Studies and Journalism, have a strong theory and practice background in the study of contemporary media and culture that encourages them to challenge the conventions and assumptions of the mainstream media.

Exhibiting student Sarah Hopwood said, “I have really enjoyed doing a combination of practice and theory as it has meant that my work comes from an informed place, both culturally and politically. I think everyone's work in the show will reflect this.”

Sarah's installation looks at the fetishising of women's bodies, using the device of the 'naked catwalk', made familiar by programmes like How to Look Good Naked, but to very different effect.

Elizabeth Mizon, whose video looks at the experience of nighttime, said, “Combining practical work and theory work in my degree allows me to express myself creatively through the filmmaking process, and allows me to understand how my expressions might be read by others.”

In their work, many students focus on less known or ignored aspects of daily life and experience; from the people in the neighbourhood whose lives are invisible to us, our dreams or daydreams, the transformation of familiar places in urban redevelopment, as well as everyday uses of media.

Photography student, Charlotte Fowler, said, “My work looks at the way the family photograph is used as a talisman, and how family narratives are told through the family album. My work aims to bring a richer narrative element to traditional family photography.”

Jane Arthurs, Head of the Department of Culture, Media and Drama at UWE, said, “The show gives students a chance to gain experience and confidence in organising an exhibition, including fundraising and publicity, alongside working on their own media projects. It also allows family, friends and tutors to celebrate their achievement and prospective employers to see their work.”

For more information, please see the Sideways Looks 2009 website

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