Course studied: BA (Hons) Photography
Graduating year: 2016
Bath Spa University Photography graduate Benjamin Jones beat stiff competition to be awarded a ten-month studio space at Bristol’s Spike Island. The studio, funded by Bath Spa University, was part of Spike Island’s Fellowship programme, which brings together graduates from a range of universities.
Benjamin used his time and the space at Spike Island to explore processes and techniques in photography that he felt he wouldn't otherwise have been able to.
Through the programme, Benjamin quickly developed opportunities with other Spike Island Fellows, and through this organised a joint exhibition in Bristol’s Broadmead Arcade. He also undertook a printing course at Spike Print Studio and took part in the Spike Island Creative Exchange at Tate Modern.
“Ben was very involved in Spike Island's studio community and he was also very active as part of our Associates network. He benefitted from being with other artists and he was keen to learn and eager to share his knowledge with other peers. He had an exhibition at Test Space (an exhibition space at Spike Island run by Studio Holders) showing initiative and a hands-on attitude. During the installation period of his exhibition, he sought feedback from Spike Island's curator and assistant curator, making the most of being part of Spike Island's community.”Carmen Juliá, Spike Island
In addition to his time in the studio, Ben has been busy working as an assistant for Mariele Neudecker and as a technician for Parker Harris in London. He also manages the darkrooms at Bristol Folk House, and this variety of roles has given him great opportunities to grow his networks within the creative sector.
Following two years in Bristol and exhibitions in the UK as well as Greece and Georgia, Benjamin left for a residency in Graz (Austria) where he'll return for a large exhibition of the resulting work in the autumn of 2019. From Austria he'll be moving to London to set up a new studio and focus on commercial photographic work as a primary means to support his artistic practice, along with specific jobs for Mariele Neudecker such as an upcoming exhibition installation in Limerick, and trips to CERN.
What advice does Benjamin have for the next cohort of Fine Art graduates?
“Try to get a space and keep making work however you can – it can always be fitted in! Consider self-employment and if possible, work as an artist's assistant.”