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In conversation with…Gretchen Geraets, MA Photography Subject Leader

Gretchen Geraets leads MA Photography at Norwich University of the Arts and has over ten years’ experience working in a freelance capacity in commercial photography. Gretchen grew up in New Zealand where she co-founded a gallery in Auckland followed by g&A studios in Sydney, Australia. Gretchen also worked in New York before relocating to London.  She is particularly interested in contemporary developments in photography and speculating the future of image making.

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Why is photography important to you?

I love grappling with the complexities of photography theory and practice. Although images present a fixed appearance, I believe images are always more than themselves. I am intrigued by the mobile nature of images and how meaning can shift with time, collect, contort and at times, lose itself.

Behind the image, I am interested in how authorship is constructed, controlled and challenged, as well as the role of collaboration in photography. This is even more relevant in an age of image ubiquity and increasing rates of circulation.

Images have the power to inspire, evoke emotional responses and effect social change. It is these elements that raise more questions than answers and makes photography meaningful to me.

How do you find your inspiration?

Coffee, conversations, exhibitions, books, spending time in the studio, picking up a camera, dreaming and engaging in argument.

What are the key characteristics of MA Photography at Norwich University of the Arts?

The MA Photography aims to equip students with a sustainable model of practice they can adapt and apply into the future. They are supported to build and expand their professional networks while on the MA and given opportunities to gain insight from industry professionals.

Research is approached as a creative activity specific to each individual photographic practice. Students are required to shape their own project proposals, specifically moulded to their practice and ambitions for their work. This enables students a bespoke learning experience relevant to their current practice, whilst working to achieve each learning outcome.

The structure enables students to conclude a resolved body of work for their Masters Project, while being able to continue longer-form projects beyond the MA, which entail extensive production, research or output.

What are you looking for in the portfolio of someone applying to MA Photography?

Informed image making that is underpinned by contextual research, presented professionally as a body of work that forms the beginning of a research inquiry or a concluded body of work.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone considering MA Photography?

Stay curious. Being innovative demands one to engage with problems that do not yet have solutions.

View more of Gretchen’s work on her website.

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