Students at Hereford College of Arts (HCA) are regularly given the opportunity to work on live briefs and projects with external partners, and two BA (Hons) Photography students were lucky enough to be granted access last year to one of the UK’s leading soft fruit and asparagus growers, the S&A Group. The results were so successful that the company plans to invite more HCA students to their farms, to work on film and photography projects.
BA (Hons) Photography students Ben Winder and Nathon Milisic both worked on projects during the 2014-15 academic year. Ben, who graduated in June, won the Lugg Valley Community Engagement Award for his documentary project following the community of the company’s seasonal workers, during leisure time as well as at work.
Nathon, who is now in the third and final year of his degree course, worked on an editorial portrait project; he photographed the workers and interviewed them, where they talked candidly about their aspirations and ambitions.
“It was fantastic to work on,” said Nathon. “We were given access to all areas and the people we photographed were really cooperative. The team at S&A were so supportive; we held an exhibition at the end of the project at the company, and they even helped to pay for print costs of the photographs.”
S&A held an open day with the exhibition at the forefront, and over 600 visitors attended and saw the work on show. “Partnerships like this are incredibly beneficial to our students, and fantastic for the College,” said Alex Thimm, Course Leader of BA (Hons) Photography, FdA Film & Photography and FdA Commercial Photography. “We are delighted that S&A found the experience to be as positive as our students did, and we are looking forward to working with them again – this time we may be working on short films as part of the projects”.
Peter Holder, HR Manager at S&A, was delighted that the students were interested in visiting the farm and was extremely impressed by the outcome. “The two students visited the farm early in the morning, during evenings and at the weekend so that they could capture images of all aspects of life at S&A,” he said. “They showed enormous dedication to their work and interacted brilliantly with everyone at S&A to create two fascinating photography exhibitions that staff and visitors to the farm have been very impressed with.”
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