The Final Six | Catalyst Mentorship Program

In collaboration with IC Visual Lab, the Bristol Photo Festival launched CATALYST, a program for locally-based, national and international artists looking to expand their approach and ways of photographing and exhibiting.

The select six will delve into “A Sense of Place” (the program’s theme); exploring the complexities of locations, their narratives and polarized histories, and its components: people, landform, water bodies, climate, economy, cultural, social and political elements that influence the identity of a place.

Meet the artists:

Billy Barraclough (UK)

Billy Barraclough is a photographer based in Bristol who is interested in the metaphorical power of photographs. His subject matter is broad and ranges from pigeon fancying in Lebanon to more introspective and personal work about his own family history. Barraclough’s practice lies in photographing signs and signifiers that appear within his environment and speak to, or hint at, themes within his projects. He is just coming to the end of his Master’s Degree in Photography at Bristol UWE, and currently works as a picture editor.

Debsuddha Banerjee (India)

Born in 1989, is an independent photographer from Birati, West Bengal, India. Since 2015 he has been involved with photography, professionally. He does not possess any formal education in photography from any institution despite having aspirations to be educated from art school. All the knowledge he has been gathering from the workshops he got selected.

Jenna Garret (US)

Jenna Garrett is an artist and editor living in San Francisco, California. Her current practice focuses on the Ozarks in southwest Missouri, where she was born. Her work was selected for American Photography 36 and has shown at the Aperture Gallery, Photoville, and Slideluck. She received an MA in Fine Art Photography from the London College of Communication. She can also ride a unicycle, but only in a straight line.

Kelly O’Brien (UK)

Kelly O’Brien is a photographic artist and educator from Derby, UK. Her current practice focuses on historical and personal narratives, tuned with methodologies that explore both the personal and political. The central themes are class, identity, memory,  fragmentation and the imagined landscape. She holds an MA in Documentary Photography from the University of South Wales, and her work has been displayed both nationally and internationally.

Maria Gracia Cebrecos  (Peru)

Maria Gracia Cebrecos Loayza was born in 1990, and is an independent photographer, designer and architect. She graduated from Architecture and Urbanism at PUCP University. She is an autodidact artist interested in developing a body of work that starts from documentary photography and is followed by the application of different techniques, such as material exploration, video, painting, sculpture and space. Her purpose is to construct new realities that most of the time cannot be easily seen, not only through images but also through the experience of inhabiting.

Sibusiso Bheka (South Africa)

Sibusiso Bheka was born in 1997 in Thokoza, South Africa. He discovered photography in 2012 while in secondary school, with the Of Soul and Joy project. He studied photography at the Vaal University of Technology through the Rubis Mecenat and Easigas scholarship grant.