Photography students mentored by world-renowned, leading curators

Three world-renowned, leading curators visited USW to mentor photography students, as part of their visit to Cardiff as part of the Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography 2017.

Anshika Varma, Bhooma Padmanabhan and Iona Fergusson were visiting Cardiff as part of the Dreamtigers: A Million Mutinies Later exhibition, presented by Ffotogallery, as part of the 2017 photography festival.

The curators met with 13 final year students to review their portfolios and were impressed with the work they saw. Photography lecturer Peter Bobby said “It was a really positive afternoon with some lovely feedback from these very well-respected curators who felt the students’ work was really quite impressive. Anshika Varma, Bhooma Padmanabhan and Iona Fergusson were incredibly generous with their time and support for the students and their work, offering a range of advice and guidance moving forwards. They all took away graduate publications as well as some publications produced by individual students.”

One of the final year students involved, Lucy Purrington added:

'The portfolio review event was a perfectly timed opportunity for graduating students to both connect with distinguished international curators and receive constructive advice from industry leaders. The chance to speak with notable individuals from outside of the University came at an important time for me where I, like many graduating students, are contemplating the future and feeling its uncertainty. The reassurance, encouragement and helpful feedback I received about my work and how to progress my practice outside of an institutional structure has really inspired me to move forwards with confidence and to continue to develop new work.'

Curator biographies:

Anshika Varma is a curator, artist and educator.Working with photography as an artist herself, her curatorial practise questions our sense of identity in an ever-changing world through the prism of visual media. She was the Photography Curator for the Contemporary Arts Week, New Delhi and has worked with the Delhi Photo Festival since its inception. Her last curation Judgement of Line Orientation was screened at the Obscura Festival of Photography, Malaysia. Anshika has been invited to curate for the Angkor Photo Festival for 2017 and is a curator for the coming Delhi Photo Festival in 2018. She is currently developing Offset, an project dedicated to creating various platforms for artist books through curated events. Anshika has also worked with various young contemporary artists in developing and editing their work for various international platforms. Her personal photographic works have been exhibited at the Chennai Photo Festival(2016), Kochi Biennale 2014, New York Biennale for Contemporary Art 2013, India Art Fair 2012 & 2013 and the Florence Biennial in 2009. She has also been awarded the Lorenzo Il Magnifico at the Florence Biennale in 2009. Anshika is a strong believer in the power behind inclusive education and has conducted art therapy programs for children from challenging social and economic strata.
Bhooma Padmanabhan is a curator, researcher and writer based in New Delhi, India. She has a background in Fine Arts and Art History, and has worked with one of India's premier galleries, Vadehra Art Gallery, and The Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) for a decade. As a curator she has worked extensively with emerging contemporary artists in India, exploring practices that extend beyond the gallery space. Her
focus has also been in developing education and outreach platforms, and creating discursive spaces with practitioners working on public art in India. She has worked closely with artists, schools, educators and cultural organizations developing projects that focus on archiving, public art, arts and education, and performance art in India. Bhooma will be a curator for the Delhi Photo Festival 2018.
Iona Fergusson is an independent curator and photography professional based in London. Much of her professional career has taken her abroad: to Paris and Geneva to work with multinational perfume house Firmenich and to Delhi and Bombay where she worked as Fashion Director for Maxim India and Photo Editor at Vogue India respectively. In 2013 she returned to London to complete her Masters in the History & Critical Theory of Photography. Since that time she has worked as the Program Director of the Delhi Photo Festival 2015 and is a curator for the festival in 2018. She is currently a freelance Creative working in collaboration with Creative People and Places and Multistory on an Arts Council funded initiative in the Black Country and the Punjab for the UK / India Year of Culture. She is also curating her own projects in the U.K.