Welcome to Unlocked

BA (Hons) Photography Online Degree Show 2020

Bolton School of the Arts | The University of Bolton 

Creativity, artistic expression and individuality cannot be locked down. Covid-19 has forced a revolution in the art world and within Photography. Never have the skills of a photographer been more in demand, more of us than ever are viewing our world through online images. On the 23rd of March 2020, the UK went into lockdown, the usual activity and buzz of our busy photography department ceased and rapidly changed to an online only experience.

Communication with our university colleagues, friends and students now takes place through a screen; we are learning, talking and laughing through technology. Photographic challenges,questions and problems are being embraced. How do you make a portrait of a person you have never met while in isolation? How do you produce a convincing product shot outside of the studio? These challenges have been met by our students through innovation, abundant creativity and resilience.

Unlocked celebrates the talents and successes of the final year students on the BA (Hons) Photography course at The University of Bolton.

The final degree show is testament to the flexibility and strength of community between staff and students, supporting and encouraging each other to produce this most unusual of degree shows.

Projects range from documentary to fine art photography. The Degree Show of 2020 will never be forgotten, it brings together the student achievements - of not only the last few months, but of the three years they have worked towards their degrees.

To our students we wish you every happiness and success in your future pursuits. Thank you for taking us with you on your journey, we will miss you all!

The Photo Team

BA (Hons) Photography, The University of Bolton

Unlocked Showreel 2020 - BA (Hons) Photography

A selection of work by our graduating students

Short video presenting BA (Hons) Photography final major projects of our graduating students of 2020.

BA (Hons) Photography

Individual final major projects by our graduating students of 2020


Being Human

@liesajanephotography / www.liesajanephotography.wixsite.com/home 

Being Human presents extracts of Liesa Samuel's andher son's daily life during lockdown.

Since the outbreak Samuels has become not only a mother but also a teacher, and whilst still in the midst ofher degree and with deadlines looming, she maintains a balance providing everything she can to keep things as normal as possible.

We all cope with things differently, Samuel’s way to escape is to hide behind her camera and capture what will soon be forgotten.  




Al-Hoor is a small independent Middle Eastern inspired clothing brand that designs Arabic garments to suit the needs of the 21st century western individual.

Photographer Romana Atcha has been working with the clothing brand for over 6 months, collaborating alongside her mother, the creator of each piece. Working closely means Atcha was able to understand the brand’s needs and produce the images it required.

Atcha has chosen to shoot the clothing in Bolton, where it was first conceived, to link it to its identity.


Punk, Past & Present


Megan Clarke is a member of a Cross Fit gym, predominantly used by females. Feminist: Past & Present shows the companionship and empowerment of the female community within the gym, and the connection between physical and mental strength. 

As early as the 1990’s, the punk feminist movement began to heighten, when more women began to stand up forthemselves.  Feminist punk movements such as Riot Grrrl  inspired women to fight back against issues such as sexism, discrimination, rape and body image. The community of punk feminist offered women authority in their lives and today’s generation needs to acknowledge this.

The phrases shown have come from punk feminists and punk feminist bands/songs such as Bikini Kill and Bratmobil3e,which had a major input to the punk feminist movements.



@ceathertonphotography / www.chloeralphsxo.wixsite.com/chloeatherton

Photographer Chloe Atherton sees creative possibilities in simple objects, like a shoe, and interprets them through her own artistic filter. She seeks out imaginative ways in which to photograph these objects.

For Atherton the photographic studio is like a blank canvas, which offers endless possibilities, a space where she can grow and develop her skills as a photographer.

Fila is product fashion photography, the products – shoes, were chosen for their vibrant colours, as well as the strong fashion statements they create. They are the latest collection from Fila, and with these shoes she has created beautiful eye-catching advertising images, that could be seen in a high-end glossy fashion magazine. 


Big Litter, Little People

@richartltd / http://www.richartltd.co.uk/

Big Litter, Little People investigates plastics and other litter found at Loch Ness, Scotland. The fact that these objects were there, left or thrown away by people, is perhaps an indicator that the problem of litter continues to exist at our inland bodies of water and thus has the potential to keep growing.

It is claimed that by 2050, plastic in the oceans will outweigh fish (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2016) however, we need to be careful not to turn all our attention away from our inland bodies of water and Loch Ness is just one example.

This series imagines a world where the problem of litter at Loch Ness has become so extensive that it is larger than the people that visit. In such a scenario, perhaps those visitors would then begin to interact with some of the objects of litter.


Lost Focus


Imagine creating a project based on movement and not being able to leave the house...

Lost Focus depicts De Souza’s mental struggles during her physical imprisonment through the Covid-19 pandemic. Inspired by the likes of Hiroshi Sugimoto and Charlie Engman, the work created was as a form of therapy in these hard times. 




Looking at expression and empowerment, this work aims to empower people through photography, specifically focusing on skin colour. Some British people today are prejudiced and unconsciously biased toward skin colour. It is well documented that black men are 25% more likely than white men to be remanded in custody (www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk). Western society can be biased towards people with darker skin colours, automatically judging and acting upon their misconceptions. 

Through a set of portraits, each subject has been treated in the same way, each image shows the confidence and the attitude held by the subjects; an inner strength and beauty asking the viewer to put aside any preconceptions. 


Broken Britain


Broken Britain is a photographic documentation of groups of protesters from boththe EU leave and remain campaigns as they attempt to make their voices heard in this turbulent political climate. 

‘Broken Britain’ is a term used in newspapers and by the Conservative Party for a decade to describe a perceived widespread state of social decay in the UK today.

Alongside ‘BrokenBritain’ Brexit further added to the political disarray, tearing Englandbetween EU ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ voters. On the 23rd of June 2016, the Brexit referendum was held; the result was a close call of 17,410,742 voted to leave and 16,141,241 voted to stay. Following the referendum there has been a widespread epidemic of ‘fake news’ and click bait around the ever-growing debate, making more meaning of the term ‘Broken Britain’. 



@spiritguide65 / www.jackiedagnallphotographer.com

Inspired by photographers Eugene Atget, Brassai, and Michael Kenna, photographer Jacqueline Dagnall’s Connections focuses on what remains of former Canal Wharf buildings in the town of Burscough (Lancashire).

The Wharf was built in the late 19th century as a goods warehouse and veterinary centre for canal horses. It is now restored and used as a small shopping centre.

Dagnall shot at night in very low lighting to create the intimate atmosphere of bygone days, and to obscure modern aspects to highlight the little Victorian details that still remain. High contrast has been used to give the images a timeless appearance.


Life With Diabetes


Type 1 diabetes causes the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood tobecome too high. It happens when your body cannot produce enough of a hormone called insulin, which controls blood glucose.

Life With Diabetes by photographer Carrie Smith is a project that aims to educate and inspire, not only those who have been diagnosed but also the general public too. Life With Diabetes attempts to provide insight to those who are not familiar with the daily struggles and hurdles that these people have to overcome, whilst also giving hope to others who are affected.

Focusing on three individual stories, Smith included empowering portraits as well as documentary style images to create a series that aims to catch the viewer's eye through emotion and keep them engaged with storytelling. 


The Mixed Martial Artist


The Mixed Martial Artist builds up a comprehensive collection of documentary portrait photographs that offer an insight into the training sessions of a semi-professional competitor, Domenic, who is involved in combat sports.

Taking influence from the photographic work of Bran Holloway and Ryan Loco, photographer Santino Crisi depicts the personality of Domenic as he trains to become a professional Mixed Martial Artist. 

This set of gritty authentic photographs reflects raw talent, sheer hardwork and determination that the sport demands. Shot in black and white, the images are reminiscent of a pre-digital era when great sporting heroes like Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson were immortalised on film.


Cast a shadow


The fashion photography industry has been hit hard by the2020 Covid-19 global pandemic, without any models to cast, shadows were the replacement for Lauryn Hampton.

Cast a Shadow is a project based around Hampton’s experience in lockdown, with a global pandemic causing a lack of people being allowed outside, shadows seemed to be the only presence on the streets.

Hampton has expressed the lack of people by incorporating the use of her own shadow into her fashion shoots. The shadow substitutes where the models should have been.


Protection From Your Angels

Photographer MeganMcMullen’s project entitled Protection From Your Angels is based on the superstition surrounding feathers,feathers are often considered to resemble the presence and protection from aloved one that has passed away. The feather is often recognised as a message ofhope and encouragement from our loved ones who have passed on. The inspirationcame from the continuous appearance of feathers after my dad passed away.


True You


True You by photographer Molly McDonough explores portraiture that empowers the subject within the capture process. Subjects are asked to pose and portray themselves to the camera as they are; to pose in comfortablepositions and choose their own clothing.

True You engages the viewers and asks them to connect with the subjects and reflect on their beauty. In a world that is saturated by photoshopped images, the public is constantly told to strive for physical perfection, which is of course unobtainable. The idea of True You is to bring back a more realistic view of natural beauty without the false idealism of digital manipulation.

The subjects of True You have overcome obstacles throughout their lives. Taking part in this project has enabled them to take back their image and own it! 

To view the main homepage for the University of Bolton Creative Degree Showcase 2020 click here.

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