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UCEN Manchester graduate selected for prestigious photography project

A UCEN Manchester graduate has had her photography work selected for a new exhibition from the Open Eye Art Gallery, Castlefield Art Gallery and Waterside arts venue.

Schnel Franzine graduated from the BA (Hons) Programme last year and will now see her work go on display as part of the ‘First Light’ exhibition this summer.

‘First Light’ will bring together works by 13 photographers who graduated from the region’s educational institutions in 2020.

On May 15, a preview of the show will be installed in the display window space at the front of the Castlefield Gallery New Art Spaces in Warrington, featuring work by each of the selected artists on 15 May. The physical exhibition will then show at the same venue from May 22 to July 4.

Speaking about her work, Schnel said: “It will be be a pleasure to represent UCEN Manchester on behalf of the exhibition. My photography for me is about being the Artist. It’s also about others and the way in which I include them, whether it be participatory or observationally within my works.

I’ve always been fond of people. As an observant but shy child, being able to hold a camera to my face and, within an instant, see a totally different viewpoint of someone else was magical.

"As a Photographer, I use these questions within my works and more so, with my own experiences, driven by individual reflection.”

In the run up to the exhibition, Open Eye are hosting a season of online talks with a number of the featured artists, writers and associated artists and academics.

As part of this series, an online talk to discuss Schnel’s work will take place at 6pm on Tuesday 30 March. Schnel will be joined by UCEN Manchester Course Leader Andrew Moseley, Open Eye Gallery’s writer in residence Laura Robertson, and Eleanor Woodley, a graduating Fine Art student from University, who will be writing around Schnel’s work.

They’ll be discussing the ideas and inspiration behind the images, the potential for collaboration across disciplines, the relationship between the image and the word and the role educators play in the early development of artistic practice.

Andrew said: “I’m delighted to see another of our graduates emerging as an artist and gaining the recognition she deserves as part of this fantastic exhibition with Waterside, Open Eye Gallery and Castlefield Gallery. It shows real credit to Schnel who worked hard to produce this work during these surreal and restrictive times.”

You can register for the online talk, which will take place on Zoom, at Open Eye’s Eventbrite page.

You can also find out more about UCEN Manchester’s new BA (Hons) Photography and Social Practice course in partnership with the Open Eye Gallery and apply today.

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