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QUAD / FORMAT Graduate Fellowships 2022

11 Apr
24 Apr 2022
Ruth Sneesby
Image credit: Image courtesy of Ruth Sneesby

QUAD/ FORMAT Graduate Fellowships
11 – 24 April 2022

Following on from the inaugural QUAD/ FORMAT Graduate Fellowships that began in 2020, we are pleased to announce the two artists selected for 2022 – Sofia Yala and Ruth Sneesby.

The Fellowships were created as an annual award to recognise two outstanding graduating students from the University of Derby MA Fine Art and MA Film & Photography course – selected by members of QUAD/ FORMAT Curatorial team.

Both graduates will each undertake a 1-week fellowship and residency in QUAD’s Artist Studio, along with mentoring and curatorial support from QUAD’s Programme Team.

The Fellowships will take place between 11 – 24 April, and will include takeovers by each artist of the QUAD Gallery Instagram page.

Fellowship 1
11 – 17 April 2022
Sofia Yala

Sofia Yala’s work explores archival material combined with unexpected encounters in life. Yala's art conveys storytelling bringing in different times, textures, and layers. Her work considers (dis)construction of her identity as a diasporic or transatlantic body in this immense and complex world. The material process is based on photography, but Sofia enjoys testing and presenting her work with the photographic medium alongside other formats and compositions. Sofia has a special approach in every work, the way she takes, or even incorporates its own individual and family identity as a starting point for a reflection on issues of collective relevance.

Sofia Yala Biography
Sofia Yala is a visual artist & photographer, based in the East Midlands. She studied Anthropology and recently graduated from the University of Derby in 2021 with a MA in Film & Photography. During the lockdown period, she was one of the FORMAT 21 volunteers and also as part of the invigilation team during FORMAT presents. Sofia had her portfolio highlighted on the FOAM international photography Magazine, issue 59 focused on archives and contemporary ways of reactivating histories. She recently took part in the East Meets West masterclasses in order to continue her journey as an emergent photographer. For her MA graduate show she was awarded with QUAD/FORMAT fellowship which will support her to produce new work and develop her creative career.

Fellowship 2
18 – 24 April 2022
Ruth Sneesby

Ruth Sneesby is a photographic artist based in Nottingham in the East Midlands. Her work encompasses both digital and alternative photography, often crossing boundaries between landscape, nature and still life. Sneesby’s recent graduate work also expanded to include more experimental artistic practices including small sculptural pieces, and installation work.
Drawing inspiration from the natural world, her creative practice considers the relationship between human culture and nature. Exploring the contradiction between offering initial aesthetic attraction for a viewer whilst subsequently presenting wider messages of concern, her work aims to address ecological subject matter, to give a voice and visual context to ecological issues.
Interested in the juxtaposition between natural and artificial materials, previous projects have considered issues such as plastic and other environmental pollution, questioning the wider ethical implications of its impact upon our environments and wildlife, whilst recent work has subsequently begun to explore issues of biodiversity and species loss. Suggesting future outcomes in which the artificial subdues, merges with, or replaces nature, Sneesby’s current work explores narratives concerning the loss of nature, or the loss of the natural.

Ruth Sneesby Biography
Ruth Sneesby graduated from the University of Derby in 2019 with a BA (Hons) in Commercial Photography, receiving the FORMAT Graduate Award for her final degree show work. She continued to study at the University to achieve an MA in Film and Photography (2019-2021), completing the course with a Distinction and being awarded the QUAD/FORMAT MA Graduate Fellowship. Whilst at the University she produced photographic work as part of the DerwentWISE project, which resulted in an exhibition as part of the Wirksworth Arts Festival Art and Architecture Trail (2018). Other exhibitions include, Free Range Graduate Shows, Truman Brewery, London (2019) and 13:21: MA Film and Photography and MA Fine Art Graduate Show, Riverlights, Derby (2021).