When photos tell ‘visual stories’


Photographs taken by Khalid Al Busaidi and Lamya Al Hashemi on display at the show. Photo –Times of Oman

Muscat: Graduates from the Photography department at the Higher College of Technology  (HCT) exhibited their work at the Royal Photographic Society Oman on Monday evening.

The 2012 graduating class's exhibition, called 'Visual Stories', was an opportunity for the community to meet new photographers and witness the outcome of their two years of study, a programme that not only teaches technical aspects of photography but also the history and visual literacy of modern images.

"We are particularly interested in reaching out to the visual art communities with the exhibition, such as advertisement agencies, galleries, and local publications to inform them of fresh faces in the Muscat visual arts scene and encourage them to form working relationships with new Omani talent," said Heather Burt, photography lecturer and head of community outreach for the Photography Department at HCT.

The college plans to hold annual exhibitions for those graduating, beginning with this one which includes the students' final projects. It aims to give the community an idea of what kind of work the students have done and encourage dialogue about visual arts as a professional field, rather than a hobby, an idea which needs to be explored in order to push forward the media market in Oman, Burt explained.

"We hope our show sparks feedback both positively and critically to help shape the young photographers graduating from the programme," she said.

For the students, the exhibition is a point of pride because for some it marks their first public display, and allows them to showcase the results of their hard work. Lamya Al Hashemi, one of the graduates, said she's excited about the show because people will be able to see her artistic vision in her work. Her black and white photos show faces that are partially concealed by white swirls and blurs.

"My work shows how art can be very different from other photography, and it shows our life, how we are supposed to be disappearing," Al Hashemi explained.

Improving skills

While Al Hashemi was always interested in photography, she said she was very happy to have studied it because it helped her improved her skills and understanding of the subject. She is currently working on her portfolio and looking for work in her field, which is artistic photography. "It was so much fun to study photography. I still take a lot of photos. I'm improving my skills," said Al Hashemi.

The exhibition will be on display at the Royal Photographic Society Oman in Azaiba until February 28.

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