2021 Made in Arts London x Metro Imaging Mentorship Awarded!

It gives us great pleasure to announce the recipient of this year’s Made in Arts London x Metro Imaging Mentorship is Esther Gabrielle Kersley and Quetzal Maucci!

All final year UAL students who use aspects of photography in their practice were invited to apply for the mentorship opportunity. As with the past 6 years, all the applications we received for the Metro Imaging mentorship were of a very high quality. These applications were then shortlisted to the final seven and invited to a video interview with Arts Programmer and Made in Arts London Co-ordinator, Lotte Dawson, Artist and current Arts Students’ Union Activities Officer, Eleanor West, and Metro Imaging’s Creative Director, Professor Steve Macleod. The results are in, and this year we are thrilled to announce there are not one but two winners of the mentorship – Esther Gabrielle Kersley and Quetzal Maucci! Both are final year students studying an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at LCC.

‘At Night The Salmon Move’, 2020, Esther Gabrielle Kersley

Esther Gabrielle Kersley

Coming to her practice from a background in politics, Esther explores contradictions “within us and in society more broadly that are not always visible. I am particularly interested in the blurred line between what is in our mind and what is happening externally.” 

The panel were impressed by the quality of her work and her final year project, which aims to investigate online conspiracy theories, focusing on the 5G conspiracy theory, which she highlights is particularly interesting due to its prevalence and real-world implications. Through a combination of her own photography and found imagery, Esther will use the 5G conspiracy theory as a case study to visually map “the complicated world of online conspiracy theories and misinformation, the relationship between our offline and online world, and the blurriness between the real and the imaginary.”

A photo montage, ‘Study Image’, 2021, from Esther’s final year project on the 5G conspiracy theory.

This focus on how emerging technologies are impacting both society and photography is a theme Esther sees continuing in her practice going forward, “I am fascinated by these parallels and the ways in which photography and society can respond to these challenges. I am interested in more abstract and poetic approaches to big subject matters that can render a more emotive response in the viewer and I like to play with ambiguity to complicate the image in some way.” 

See and read more about Esther’s current work on her website – www.esthergabriellekersley.com

‘His Hands’, 2021, Quetzal Maucci, from her on going project, ‘Baci, Piccoli Baci, Grandi Baci‘.

Quetzal Maucci

Born in San Francisco, Quetzal Maucci is an Argentinian and Peruvian American photographer based in London and part of Women Photograph. In her current practice she explores issues about immigration, state violence, and identity. Her final year project “is steeped in a personal story that centres on the deconstruction of the family album”.

‘Baci, Piccoli Baci, Grandi Baci’, (Kisses, Little Kisses, Big Kisses), is a photographic and mixed-media exploration “of my constrained relationship to my father who I did not meet until I was 23 years old. The project combines family photographs, poems, collected keepsakes, intervention photographs, and my own photographs from our first encounter into a handmade book. Through the work, I face my own suppressed memories alongside stories told to me by my mother in order to unfold complex emotions and explore themes of loss, childhood, separation, and difficult family dynamics. I tackle feelings of meeting someone who is biologically a part of me, but who I know nothing about. This is my process of healing. This is my process of becoming closer to myself.”

‘His Reflection’, 2021, an image from Quetzal’s on going project, ‘Baci, Piccoli Baci, Grandi Baci‘.

The judges were impressed by the multifaceted aspects of this project and how Quetzal approaches this personal subject, pulling on resources from different areas, looking inwards but also being able to reflect from an outward position back onto the project, often a hard balance when subjects are of a personal nature.

See more of Quetzal’s current work and read about her ‘Open Call for a collaborative project in the UK’ on her website – www.quetzalmaucci.com

The opportunity of the Made in Arts London x Metro Imaging mentorship will see both Esther and Quetzal receive bespoke advice for a period of twelve months, as they navigate their way through their studies and into their emerging creative career. They will also both receive £500 credit to be used on in-house services from Metro Imaging and will have access to all their facilities to support their continued practice. Alongside this, Esther and Quetzal will also join Made in Arts London as two of our represented Artists and we’re extremely excited to see were Esther and Quetzal go next and where their practices benefit from the mentorship.

Keep an eye out for Esther and Quetzal’s work which will be available to purchase from the Made in Arts London website with our new cohort of artists later this year.

Title image © 2021,  ‘At Night The Salmon Move’ and the following featured images © 2021, At Night The Salmon Moveand ‘Study Image’, Esther Gabrielle Kersley, all rights reserved. © 2021 featured images ‘His Hands’ and ‘His Reflection’, Quetzal Maucci, all rights reserved.