Logo close icon

National exposure for Middlesex photography graduate

A Middlesex University photography graduate is seeing his work displayed across the United Kingdom as part of a national showcase for emerging artists.

Andrew O'Dell Barbican Photography

Andrew O'Dell is one of 20 graduates selected for the Talent Spotting scheme – a collaboration between visual arts magazine Creative Review and advertising company JCDecaux. Throughout the month of August, more than 1,000 digital screens are featuring illustration, photography and animation projects by some of the year's most talented graduates, screening their work in railway stations, shopping malls and other public spaces across the country.

Andrew, who graduated from Middlesex in 2015 with a first class honours in photography and received the Deans Academic Excellence Achievement Award, was selected for his final year project, a study of the iconic 1960s Barbican Estate in east London.

After gaining much interest in his work at the Middlesex art and design degree show and the D&AD New Blood Festival, being chosen for the Talent Spotting showcase nevertheless "came as quite a shock," Andrew said.

"Once I fully understood the actual size and how many places and people would see my image, it became a little surreal. I feel really privileged to have this opportunity and I only have my friends, family and the tutors at Middlesex to thank for it."

The Talent Spotting team praised Andrew for offering a "new perspective" on a structure which has captivated photographers for decades. Presenting the building in a new light was an important factor for Andrew when undertaking his project.

Andrew O'Dell Barbican Photography

"I was well aware even before I took my first photograph of the Barbican of just how many photographers had already captured the architecture, be they amateur or professional," Andrew said.

"The one thing I was most keen on avoiding was creating a body of work which was exactly the same as all the other photographers who had decided to photograph the Barbican. I wanted to move away from photographing with a wide angle lens and shooting in black and white; I didn't want my work to be generic.

"I wanted to capture the smaller pieces of exterior and interior design which the average person would not notice, or would likely forget instantly. This way the viewer of the work would hopefully see a brand new aspect of the Barbican Estate they had never seen before. I deliberately captured images from a variety of angles and always tried to keep the concept of abstract architecture photography at the forefront of my mind."

Following the success of his final year project, Andrew plans to return to Middlesex to begin his MA in Photography – and continue to document London's built environment through his work.

"I am looking into continuing the architecture photography of Brutalist buildings, and I want to try and capture more abstract images of interior design in buildings across London," he says.

In this section

Back to top