David Copeland

‘a place to sleep’ might suggest no more than a frugal use of place; somewhere that satisfies our basic need for rest. Sleep might also suggest comfort and security that most of us come to associate with home. It might at the same time be morbid, reminding us of the inevitability of life and its end.

Held by circumstance, I photograph the place I have come to call home. A small, introverted dormitory town situated astride an ever-flowing River and the constant drone of the bypassing motorway. The young, the old, and the middle-aged appear in my images consumed by their surroundings, isolation, and darkness never letting us truly move foward.

a place to sleep

a place to sleep

a place to sleep

a place to sleep

a place to sleep

Patrick Adams - Guardian weekend magazine from Sixteen project ' Dear future self'

Using the vivid memory of a school careers class at the age of sixteen to establish my approach to the 'SIXTEEN' Project. I recalled being asked what I wanted to be, what if it didn’t work out, What would have to fall back on and What was my plan B? Recognising this as a question that might raise doubts in a young person’s mind I travelled across Northern Ireland photographing sixteen-year-olds who reflect on my invitation to write a letter to themselves, sixteen years hence, a lifetime away. ‘It would be a reminder of their dreams and aspirations, at this potentially life-defining the age of sixteen’.

Sixteen project ' Dear future self'

Sixteen project ' Dear future self'

Work in progress - Life and death, light and dark, the beautiful and the banal. ‘A Blanket of Woven Shadows’ take these opposing states of being unable to exist with or without one another, and, like the writers of sad songs, finds harmony in their dissonance.

Work in progress - a blanket of woven shadows.

Work in progress - a blanket of woven shadows.

Work in progress - a blanket of woven shadows.

Returning to the school almost decade since I had left. I found quiet spaces that spoke to a contradiction in my own personal experience and that of the recorded experience in my annual school report from which the title of the series was taken.

Co-operates well with others

Co-operates well with others

Co-operates well with others

Co-operates well with others

David Copeland

Graduating with an MFA in Photography with distinction in 2020 after achieving a first-class Hons degree in 2017 from Ulster University.

Davids personal work utilises conceptual and documentary approaches to explore states of mind, place and the boundaries physical and psychological that can hold us in-between.

His most recent work, ‘a place to sleep,’ examines his position within the boundaries of the provincial town he calls home.

Interested in Landscapes’ power to both delight and disturb. David, like the writers of the sad songs’, looks to find harmony in that dissonance.

Showing work in both solo and group exhibitions, commissioned most recently as part of the renowned ‘SIXTEEN’ exhibition – which toured in 2019 throughout the UK including Belfast Exposed Photography Gallery, FORMAT International Photography Festival etc.

His portrait of Patrick Adams made as part of the Sixteen project was published on the cover of the Guardian weekend magazine.

His commissioned practice as a freelance photographer consist of Socially engaged  projects like ‘the Sixteen-touring exhibition, as well as providing images for clients such the BBC / Martian parr, Ulster Orchestras, OH yeah music center and the Ulster University to name a few.

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