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Medway Photo Festival captures top art pieces by UCA students

Members of the public are set to get a snapshot look at some of the best art pieces created by our photography students, at the annual Medway Photo Festival taking place this month.

Work exploring alternative forms of image-making, pieces that consider archive, memory and the passage of time, and images investigating dream worlds, galaxies, Indian culture, and the way the mind works, are just some of the creative pieces that will go on display.

The festival, which takes place at numerous locations across Chatham and Rochester, is organised by students studying MA Photography, BA (Hons) Photography and BA (Hons) Fashion Photography at UCA Rochester.

“As our exhibition shows a collection of diverse work, we wanted to engage with a wide audience, specifically photographers and artists who are interested in challenging the limitations of photography and hopefully inspired by the content they see,” explains second-year student Sophie Jones.

“The main aspect of our work is the relationship it has with mixed-media and individually we have all expressed this in different ways. Therefore, although different pieces of our work may have different meanings and vary visually, it is all connected in its desire to branch out from the traditional idea of what a photograph is, which we hope will engage and interest a variety of people.”

The festival will run until Wednesday 25th January and will include a number of exhibitions, organised by groups of students, at locations such as the Nucleus Arts Centre, Chatham High Street, and UCA’s Zandra Rhodes Gallery.

Sophie, who is part of the A New Vision exhibition, adds: “Within the show, techniques such as embroidery, collage, emulsion, video and photography have all been introduced as a way of demonstrating how photography can challenge traditional limits. In transforming our images into an exhibition space however, we were required to consider our venue and its limitations, which in turn required a lot of planning and experimentation before we were all happy with our final layout.”

Student Bethany Bridel, who is also in her second-year, is organising Entity at The Northern Seaman Micro Pub. She says: “The shows are open to anyone and everyone – a variety of audiences will be able to access a wide range of film and photographic genres.

“In this project, my aim is to encourage the audience to reflect upon their own heredity, the physical traits, characteristics and values they have been predisposed to. The project is as much about my identity as it is about everyone else’s. Due to the prints being placed in a large self-built lightbox, which is 6ft x 4ft, there is a certain element of interaction between the art and the audience.

“By moving around the piece, it becomes apparent that the faces change when viewing them from differing angles and perspectives. My hope is to captivate the audience with an interactive viewing experience.”

To find out more about the festival and to view the opening times of each exhibition, visit