Spotlight on: Leighanna Dickinson

Leighanna was one of four people to win the Redeye Talent Graduate Award last year. We caught up with her to talk about the inspiration and development of her graduation project...

“I was struck that whenever some cultures were represented visually, they were usually in cultural dress. I became really interested in doing a project on their other side. A documentary-style approach of off-guard imagery to convey this two-sided focus of traditional dress and ‘normal life’.

Getting striking contributors to agree to take part was extremely important to make this work. The impact of the project relied on that, really. I was fortunate that my tutor could help me with that, it was a rich seam to mine.

I selected three women for the exhibition and presented them as A3 images in A2 frames. I was keen to keep the presentation simple to let the images speak for themselves. There are some looks to the camera that you just want the observer to get lost in, with no other distractions. I wanted to have a confident belief in the imagery, and let it do the work for itself. 

I did visit other countries and considered exhibiting in them, but having done a trip and seeing the logistics, it just wasn’t possible right then. Having it in the UK ultimately meant I had more time to concentrate on the look.

In the future, who knows. I would like them to be shown internationally, and also to submit to competitions. It would be a project that could work like that, there is a lot of storytelling to be done through these images.”

Redeye, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Market Buildings, Thomas St, Manchester M4 1EU, UK
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