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'I have learnt to look all the time': Chloe Ogden on exploring loss and gaining skills

14 June 2017

Part of the Manchester School of Art Degree Show series

To celebrate our Degree Show, we're focusing on the stories, inspirations and learning experiences of some of the 1000 plus artists and designers who are exhibiting their work.

Previously, Textiles in Practice student Hannah Elisabeth Jones discussed her invention 'Bio-Marble' and ambitions for the future. In this instalment, Photography student Chloe Ogden shares her inspirations, experiences of studying in Manchester and advice for those wishing to pursue a creative degree.  

I strive to find beauty in the everyday and the mundane

Walking is a big part of my practice. My latest body of work uses the quotidian to explore the notion of ‘loss’. I have made quiet, lyrical images that play with the literal, suggestive and more nuanced approaches to the word loss and other associated notions, to question what is felt when faced with emptiness.

Photographers such as Nigel Shafran and Wolfgang Tillmans continue to inspire me while making work, through their different use of colour and subject matter. I think what drives me to take photographs is that ability to be able to communicate something through an image. I want to tell a story and make people really think, and feel.

Manchester School of Art allows you to truly develop your practice and realise what it is that you are trying to achieve. 

It gives you the space to be creative and provides the support to help you grow as an artist. Whilst studying photography here, I have learnt how to ‘look’ all the time; I am constantly thinking in photographs.

I have progressed as an image-maker, but also technically, falling in love with the analogue process as well as showcasing my work in homemade books. I have mastered the sequencing process, learning to create narratives within my work to communicate to an audience.  

Manchester is an amazing city. It is vibrant, diverse and original. 

There are creative things happening all over the city, all of the time. You are never stuck for something to do, exhibition openings are constant; I love seeing all the art and talent coming from Manchester (as well as the free drinks from the private views!) There is a real community vibe to the city, and so many opportunities for young creative people. It is also a brilliant place to take pictures; I never get bored of my surroundings.

I would say that, when thinking about applying to university, to consider carefully what medium you use best to express yourself. 

I speak from experience after starting to study ‘Design Crafts’ at another University, before realising it was photography that was my preferred practice. Manchester School of Art allowed me to fall in love with the subject and everything surrounding photography. It became my thought process and is now part of my life.

Studying here at the school has been a wonderful experience for me. It is such an exciting environment to be in, collaborating and creating work with people who understand your thought processes. The tutors have knowledge of the subject that is hard to fathom, as it is so vast and inspirational. It has been a pleasure to work with them and the people on the course. I have made friends who I will continue to make projects with, and to know.

You can see Chloe's work at our Degree Show until 21 June, or find out more about her on her website at: