With graduation cut short and students sent home before their time, many feel they have been cheated of the university experience. And while zoom graduation calls might allow us celebrate the especial occasion, the synthetic face to face contact can never replace the real event. So we turn to the new, student led, online exhibition 'Stories We Could Tell' for some much needed comfort.
Curated by Newcastle’s very own Olivia Erodotou, Newcastle University’s exhibition 'Stories We Could Tell' helps students celebrate their time from the comfort of our own home. Each image may be unique but the exhibition explores how we can connect narratives through images, how one image can help us engage with our time at university. Erodotou's thesis on the connection of narrative is perhaps what makes the exhibition so beautifully curated.
Composed of works from four different photographers, this student led exhibition invites it’s audience to open the doors into an experience of all the good moments. Just looking at photos of students on Tynemouth, frequenting pubs and indulging in house parties brings up private memories in each individual. Despite each experience being unique every student stands on the same platform waiting for the same train.
Each place captured holds a different significance to each university student, but a significance nonetheless.
The four photographers are an interesting bunch, with there being a plethora of different subjects studied, some engineering, some in photography and some geography. Erodotou herself studied history. The compilation of different subjects underlies the whole exhibition. Erodotou’s aim is to show a certain element of the growth individuals go through during their time at university. ‘We experience phenomenal amount of personal growth’, Erodotou herself points out. The photographers themselves demonstrate this transformation beautifully. Highlighting a degree is simply the piece of paper you receive at the end, meanwhile there a host of different creative activities that help you transform your life around a certain interest.
Photography is the air to Charlie’s lungs. Going on to study the field at Manchester, her work, website and Instagram are certainly one to watch as she takes the creative world by storm. Charlie’s work ‘people of public places’ and 'places of public people’ could not hit a more fashionable nerve, what with social distancing and the fear of public places being on the forefront of people’s mind. Her work is forethinking and her photography is one to watch, a true asset to the exhibition gallery wall.
An example to all students out there, what you study is not necessarily what you should breathe. Byrne began his love of photography at Newcastle and has come a long way since, setting up his own website and Instagram page full of his work, capturing everything. People, places and things. Byrne’s work is an example of how a hobby can turn into something more.
Another example of how hobby can become opportunity. Wigfield’s Instagram is full of his works. But photography is not where his creativity stops. A YouTube containing some of his videography, showcasing a beautiful film of his travels around Europe. A demonstration of someone who was not afraid to explore different creative fields. An inspiration to us all showing us to never be afraid of opportunity.
A debut exhibition for up and coming photographer Matt Cregg, whose contribution shows a different side to the student experience. Rather than opting for the familiar Soho dancefloor, Cregg explores the more local creative scene. Emphasising to students that Grey’s street, Tynemouth and Jesmond is not the entirety of the Newcastle night life, this is a refreshing view on our beautiful city up north.
Erodotou has done herself proud, picking some of the most diverse range of photographers as well as a topic which slots perfectly into the havoc which the Covid 19 pandemic has splurged all over our university experience.
Each photographer so perfectly captures so many of the fond memories we all share.
Although university might not have ended with champagne on the beach, there is a certain level of sentimental value to the exhibition. A beautiful way to end the semester with a socially distanced bang. Hopefully next year we can crack the champagne open together.
Featured Image: Fergal Byrne