Submitting II

As I move towards the end of the MA, I am considering the amount of submissions that I have made versus the return on many of these. I am considering the important of being able to talk with professionals after the MA is over, especially as I move to get my project published. I have already made an inquiry to Gem Fletcher who is well regraded for her professional mentorship and have suggested that I can arrange an initial meeting in the autumn, ideally before the launch of the Four Corners exhibition to gain insight into how to maximise this opportunity. I have also applied to be a part of the next round of ‘East Meets West’ Masterclasses by Format Festival (Fig: 1), which I feel would be beneficial to continue to develop my practice. I am considering carefully, which opportunities that I apply for as in variably they are pay to play and it will be important to ensure value.

Figure 1: Format Festival (2021) East Meets West Master Class Program

One area that I am keen to continue developing is the way that I write about my work. I feel confident now writing academically, and also as part of the process of my practical work. Where I feel there is areas to improve is the short synopsis that supports my projects acceptance into exhibitions, festivals and other opportunities. For example, I applied for a number of Photo Festivals over the year, with little success. Although, Photo Australia 2022 did take the time to comment that they were impressed with my practice (McCleary, 2021) there is clearly some work to do in order to get my work across the line.

Figure 2: Royal Photographic Society (2021) Joan Wakelin Bursary

Considering my next steps, I also made an application to the Joan Wakelin Bursary and pitched a project idea that encompasses much of the research and practice that I have done over the past two years (Fig: 2). This will be considering the community of where I am from and where my family still live, considering the ways that they are finding it ever more difficult to live there.

As a subscriber to the British Journal of Photography, I have submitted my project to the International Photography Award and will also be able to submit a series of portraits for the Portrait of Britain Awards.

Figure 3: Rake Collective (2021) Open Call

I have also recently applied to the RAKE Community 2021: Practitioners-in-Residence! opportunity (Fig: 3), which is seeking persons to complete a month research activity and engagement online through their social media platforms and also in collaboration with other participants. I feel that this would be a good opportunity to continue my exploration into the cut photograph that started my FMP project.


McCleary, B., 2021. Photo 2022 Open Call. [Email]

Fotospeed and podcast interview.

Earlier in the year I discussed my project and the concepts and research behind it. This was an earlier iteration of the project than it is now but it was really valuable to discuss the work. I always find that these kinds of discussions are really valuable in consolidating my thoughts about the work:


Figure 1: Fotospeed & Phil Hill (2021) Fotospeed Talk with Phil Hill


I was also interviewed for an episode of the ‘Togcast’ talking about my experinece as a mature student doing an MA and how that has shaped my practice and my FMP project:

Figure 2: The Togcast (2021) Togcast Logo

Output – Exhibtion

During the MA, our cohort German Bight has formed a collective called ‘The Long Exposure,’ which was a response to the first lockdown where we would take turns to share experiences of the pandemic. We have since decided that it would make a good platform to continue collaborating after the MA is finished and have set up a web page in addition to the Instagram profile (Fig: 1).

Figure 1: The Long Exposure (2021) The Long Exposure collective Instagram profile page.

What this means in the short term is we now have a framework to work together and create output for our photographic works.

Landings 2021 – What happened Next?
Figure 2: Phil Hill (July, 2021) What Happened Next? Exhibition logo.

For this year’s Landings exhibition, everyone was asked to form curating teams and create mini exhibitions. TLE came together to create an open call postcard exhibition that would be a way of channeling thoughts, feelings, dreams and actions, journey of the last 15 months into the creation of a new single image that would be submitted and turned into a postcard, which would be printed and shared to create a series of local mini exhibitions.

We were pleased to be selected for Landings and will work on producing the exhibition. I have contributed a logo (Fig: 2) and will continue to support the effort in putting it together.

Four Corners

We also want an opportunity to celebrate our efforts of the last two years and are in the process of creating a group show, which would be held at Four corners gallery in Bethnal Green. As a group we considered a range of locations and have settled on Four Corners because of its position within the London Photography community. Victoria, Tim and I went for a visit over the weekend and were impressed with the space and level of support that they are willing to give us in putting together the exhibition in October.

Although Bethnal Green is slightly outside of an areas that might have a much higher foot fall, because it is a dedicated photographic centre it would have the benefit of being well-known to the photographic community who would be willing to make the journey to the gallery. Additionally, because of its status and also having labyrinth photo lab in the basement means that we would also gain incidental viewing of both the gallery and the lab’s clients visiting during the exhibition.

Figure 3: Phil Hill (July, 2021) Four Corners Gallery, Bethnal Green, London.

The space was large and bright, with plenty of room for everyone involved. It also has the opportunity to showcase multi media presentations and a good window display. Personally, having the opportunity to set up and exhibition as a collective allows me to show work in London to people interested in seeing it and potentially commissioning it. As I do not have a great deal of experience in exhibiting and setting up exhibition, this will provide me the platform to mitigate cost and be part of the process supported by my peers.

At the time of our visit, there was an exhibition by ‘PH: The Photography Research Network,’ who are a collective of PHD students creating work around re-considering the photographic medium in contemporary settings: “How must we – understand the connection between photography and people’s ways of life in today’s post-factual world’ (Pasternak, 2021). It was valuable to see an exhibition by a collective to gain a sense of how this work, which is all quite different, sits together in one space (Fig: 3).


Pasternak, G., 2021. Bridging The Distance – PH: The Photography Research Network [Exhibition]. London: Four Corners Gallery.

Communities and Communication update

Figure 1: Phil Hill (April, 2021) Reflecting on the Conference presentation

Off the back of the Communities and Communication conference that I took part in April (Fig: 1), I was invited to submit my paper for their upcoming publication. I am really please that I am able to submit an academic piece of writing for a university publication as this was one of the goals of the FMP. The paper will be an extension on the presentation that I delivered, with a deadline for submission just after the FMP deadline. I will have my work cut out putting together the writing as I am required to produce a 6000 word paper.

It is giving me the opportunity to revisit in detail a lot of the research that I have been considering throughout the FMP and see new relevance for it for the FMP. In particular, I am forming discussion around the idea of Roland Barthes’ ‘Iddiorrythmy’ (2013) Susan Keller’s Community as an ongoing search between the individual and the community whole (1988), Graham Harmon’s Object Orientated Ontology (2018). I am also able to apply in greater depth the way that I am also looking at photographic memory and nostalgia.

I will be able to apply much of this thought and discussion when I come to write the Critical Review.


Barthes, R., 2013. How to Live Together: Novelistic Simulations of some Everyday Spaces. Translation ed. New York: Columbia University Press.

Harmon, G., 2018. Object Orientated Ontology – A New Theory of Everything. 1st ed. London: Pelican Books.

Keller, S., 1988. The American Dream of Community: An unfinished Agenda. Sociological Forum, 3(2), pp. 167-183.