MSOA Photography Degree Show: Exhibition Review

Route: Manchester School of Art Photography Degree Show at Holden Gallery

The Degree Shows are coming to an end, and if you missed it – well shame on you! But don’t worry your little head, one of our guest bloggers visited Manchester School of Art’s Photography degree show and kindly reviewed it for all us eager fans to read. Read on to a look into how exhibited and what we can expect from our home-grown future graduates.

Words and Photos by Audrey Albert

Manchester School of Art has once again gone all out to amaze us with a high-quality end of year degree show. We have been to the Holden Gallery to have a look at ‘Route’, the end of year exhibition for future photography graduates.

‘Route’ presents a diverse selection of work which explores an array of photographic practices from documentary to constructed imagery, fashion, portraiture and fine art photography. It also includes a display of hand-bound, limited-edition artists’ books made by the photographers involved.

‘Route’ traces the journeys of those emerging artists at the Manchester School of Art into a discovery of themselves and their practice, culminating in playful, interactive or thought-provoking concepts or stories. Looking at social issues, minority communities, immigration, forced displacement, memories, childhood, performance, fashion discourses, collection, documentation and the materiality of objects. ‘Route’s’ artists immerse their audience into their creative worlds, imaginations and personal stories.

Here’s a run through of some of the artists exhibiting at the Degree Show:

Warren Davies researches gay identity and community by photographing the men/subjects who helped him find resolve within his own relationship and tensions towards his own sexuality.

Polly Palmerini’s practice makes use of bricolage methodology focusing on materiality, malleability and the performative quality of everyday objects. Her playful series ‘Odds and Ends’ focuses on discarded items left as trash which she turns into sculptural arrangements.

‘Quarters’is the work from Kat Dipper, who returns to, and documents the temporary military housing she grew up in throughout her childhood.

A native of the island of Mauritius with Chagossian origins, Audrey Albert’s research led practice sheds a light on an unfair and shameful page of Mauritian and British history, in which the entire population of The Chagos Archipelago was forcefully displaced from their homeland due to political agendas between 1968 – 1973. Building narratives around specific artefacts and around The Chagos Archipelago as an invisible location, Albert’s work draws attention to the aftermath of colonialism and looks at Chagossian culture and history through food, music, objects and souvenirs.

‘This Space is Here for You’ is Joe Roper’s installation that pushes the boundaries of the moving image, and places the viewer in the conceptual space of the city park through sound and imagery, whilst alluding to the strange stories and emotions that are bound to these areas.

Combining memory, childhood and the family archive, Georgia Osborn’s work documents the doll’s house from her childhood, a beautifully carved gift built by her grandfather. Drawing a parallel between the doll-house and her grandparents’ home, Osborn explores the stillness and memories residing in both subjects and how they retain valuable memories in the form of archaic objects over time.

The degree show at Holden Gallery ends 20th June, closes at 4pm.

Audrey Albert is a Mauritian photographer based in Manchester. Her practice explores themes like culture and displacement. Albert is also a blogger, a creative writer and a craft maker. Follow her @ooathaenaoo ( and read her Mancunian adventures on : (

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