#20 The Graduate Issue 2023

This year The Graduate Issue attracted more submissions than ever before, from artists from all over the world. The ten projects selected and shown here use photography in intelligent and at times ground-breaking ways, dealing with urgent issues such as the environment, identity, and violence, as well as the medium of photography itself and how it’s implicated in these problems. We celebrate: Yshao Lin, Massimiliano Corteselli, Antollini Otic, Alejandra Orjuela, Lyssa Harakis-Parish, Sumi Anjuman, Aaryan Sinha, Maki Hayashida, Anja Segermann, and Vavara Uhlik.

Photoworks thanks all who put forward their work, and the selection panel who had the difficult task of whittling these projects down: writer and curator Sunil Shah, Seen Fifteen gallerist and Peckham 24 co-founder Vivienne Gamble, Photoworks writer in residence Tanlume Enyatseng, Photoworks curator Julia Bunneman, and Photoworks Editor Diane Smyth. Thanks also to Photoworks Digital Marketing Officer Natalia Gonzalez Acosta, who provided expert help on the day.

This year the selection panel recognises two additional Highly Recommended artists: Andrew Awanda for his project LOVE IS THE MESSAGE, an energetic look at the queer scene in Baltimore, and Tim Rod for his series Don’t Forget the Knifish, which explores the relationship he has established with his father, who he first met at the age of 26. We wish them, and all other 2023 graduates, the very best of luck for the future.

Named after an extract from TS Eliot’s poem East Coker, Lyssa Harakis-Parish’s series When Here and Now Cease to Matter explores the artist’s own home. As a child Harakis-Parish didn’t have a private space moved house multiple times, meaning these images document both their relationship with the idea of home, and the physical act of building one for the first time. Shot on both 120mm film and Polaroids, the images feature the recurring motif of sunlight, which symbolises the significance of this new-found personal space to the artist. Brought up in South Devon, Harakis-Parish works mainly with analogue film processes, poetry, and found archival material “through the lens of my experience growing up in poverty and as part of the Cypriot diaspora”. They identify as queer, and explore notions of heritage, belonging, and history through theoretical ideologies of the “Other”, rooted in concepts of home.

In 2023, Lyssa Harakis-Parish graduated from the BA Photography degree at London College of Communications, University of the Arts London. Harakis-Parish is also a member of the Queer Youth Art Collective, and has exhibited their photography at Copeland Gallery and Staffordshire Studios in London, and taken part in poetry readings with Amersham Poets Society and Write Bloody Publishing. Currently, they are writing a poetry collection recollecting all the beds they’ve ever slept in. 

Find out more about Lyssa Harakis-Parish here.

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