Homeland is a collaborative exhibition showcasing five young photographers’ memories and reflections of the area they grew upin Devon, South West England. ‘We want people to see how we have used the town and surrounding countryside to inspire our own records of this place, and for them weave in their own narratives from our imagery showcasing small town youth culture.’
‘Due to Covid, our original plan for a live exhibition at Arts Lab in Dartington, scheduled in the Autumn, had to be cancelled. This was seen as an opportunity to photograph and exhibit in our hometown before many of us left for university. However, a couple of months later, we’re able to realise our vision and display the exhibition virtually on the Lab’s new online platform.’
Poppy loves photographing friends who have a deep connection with nature and their surroundings. Her Portraits of India were taken in a field near her home where she and her brother grew up. Barnett’s hope is for a career in photography working with people who value nature and protecting our environment.
Kiska is working on an ongoing project documenting her younger brother’s journey into young adulthood. ‘For me, these images represent both a sense of community and loneliness that are often felt during adolescence.’ Kiska’s long term goal is to explore many avenues of art, and in the future make a living from her chosen craft.
Tansy’s self portrait was taken at dawn during lockdown, as ‘a reminder of what home means to me. It’s a safe place where I can fit, and somewhere that I can always come back to. I like my small town; the overcast sky and the river. The photos of my friends are taken down by the river, a special place full of memories. The photographs cement these moments forever.’ Tansy is currently studying at Camberwell College of Arts in London.
Safia Mirzai took these photographs by the River Dart in our hometown Totnes. ‘This space is such a massive part of the community, with a lot of memories and nostalgia attached to it. It’s where we would all go to celebrate the end of school or exams, relax during hot days in summer and have parties, a space both bubbling with social aliveness and tranquillity.’ Photographing friends on the last sunny days before we all left for uni, Safia wanted these pictures to capture the vibrancy and liveliness of Totnes’s social bubble and it’s youth in general. She is currently studying photography at The University of the West of England.
Calypso is currently studying an Art Foundation in Totnes. She writes: ‘I feel that a lot of people feel trapped in our town, by the people maybe? But I feel like, through my work, I have come to love it so deeply. The people I photograph are dear to me and by photographing them I understand them more. I feel that my photos have a soft warmth to them, which is how it feels to live here – slow, warm and loving.’
Anya’s photographs focus on ideas revolving around our initial impressions of others and our expectations of ourselves. She has chosen to place her images in a time capsule of black and white, thus assigning them to a part of her own history. ‘Gaining control of my own experience of adolescence through taking masses of photos and making a conscious choice, has given me a strong sense of possibility rather than things feeling like they are simply happening to me. These images are a testament to this beautiful and intoxicating experience that was growing up in Totnes.’ Anya is studying photography in London. She was a contributing artist in Arts Lab’s Covid-19 response project Young Artists Sharing the Light.