University of Sussex Degree Show 08 - Media Practice and Theory

A Contemporary Notion of Family

By: Tessa Gooding


'A Contemporary Notion of Family' is inspired by two portraits of female ancestors. It explores my sense of identity and belonging and the ephemeral nature of life by documenting female relatives and the women I am close to. Women have had the largest influence upon my life, being raised primarily by my mother and still being very close to both my father's previous partners.

Viewing the women individually and within their domestic environment serves as a historical record for the future as it offers an insight into early 21st century living and how women choose to define themselves.

This collection of portraits I hope will be of fascination to my relatives, after I die, just as the images of my ancestors are to me.

Influences include: Hannah Starkey who is concerned with the outer and inner lives of women. August Sander, Annie Leibovitz, Julia Margaret Cameron, Tina Barney and Walker Evans who all document people with a certain frankness and photographic realism while avoiding overt sentiment.

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The show will open with a bang on Thursday 15th May; this will be the first opportunity to see the culmination of three years hard work from the Media Practice and Theory finalists. There will be a drinks reception to kick start the evening, with a chance to view the fantastic photography and interactive projects on display throughout the building. Following this, screenings of this year's documentaries will take place at 5pm and 8pm. This will be the first chance to see the 2008 MPT films, and food and drink will continue to be served throughout the evening. This night promises to be an extraordinary showcase of talent from one of the most innovative courses on offer at the University of Sussex - definitely not one to be missed!

Due to limitations of space, we regret that the opening night is attendable by invitation only. However we welcome requests for invitations from anybody currently working in the media. If you are employed in a relevant field and would like to attend, please get in touch and we will try to arrange an invitation.


A Contemporary Notion of Family

By: Tessa Gooding

A historical record for the future documenting women and their domestic environments. It explores the ephemeral nature of life and the photographer's personal sense of belonging and identity.


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