“We are so delighted with the finished piece that we have it on permanent display in the most prominent place in the Medical School”
Brief: Produce a piece of artwork to hang in the the new student facilities building at the University of Birmingham’s Medical School. The process should include the students in some way plus reflect the School’s large cultural diversity.
My approach: The logical place to start was to talk to the students and Professor June Jones to get their perspectives on what it means to be studying to become a doctor. What struck me was the dedication needed to start what would be a long road to become a medical practitioner, with the course itself being an intensive five years to graduate followed by years of further on the job training.
The final vision for the piece came to me while sitting in London Euston train station, watching the ebb and flow of people going about their journeys through life. I was afforded a brief glimpse at that moment into their world and there was almost a rhythm to the movement, as from my perspective they became one in a snapshot from a Broadway show.
I asked the students to dress in whatever they felt summed up their cultural identity to them, so each could tell their own story. I think it’s the sort of piece that would very much appeal to Baz Lurman!
Client’s view: “We commissioned Adrian in 2010 to produce a photographic piece of art for the Medical School at University of Birmingham. We wanted to capture and celebrate the diversity of our students, to help them feel valued and respected. We chose Adrian because of his exciting portfolio, and testimonials from people we knew who had been photographed by him. He is well known for helping subjects relax and capturing their personality. It was very important to us that our investment produced a piece of art that would be a testament not only to visual diversity but also capture the unique and yet sameness of our students. Adrian spent a lot of time with us over several months discussing exactly what we wanted and offering creative ideas about how our goals might be achieved.
Once we had agreed on the project, the students were very keen to take part. On the day of the shoot they all arrived in their traditional costumes, feeling proud but nervous. Adrian was able to put everyone at their ease effortlessly. He was able to capture some amazing images and allowed students to take their own photographs too, which meant a lot to them.
The production of the final image was a composite of all the students. He carefully arranged the image and sent various options for proofing. He personally oversaw the printing and installation process. He also arranged miniature copies of the image so that participants could have a personal copy.
We are so delighted with the finished piece that we have it on permanent display in the most prominent place in the Medical School. It has become a focus of visitor interest, with people still coming into the Medical School just to see the photograph. The image speaks far louder than any words about how much we value the diversity of our students. We are delighted with the investment we made and we look forward to working with Adrian in the future.”
Dr June Jones PhD, MSc, RGN
Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Ethics
University of Birmingham
“Adrian translates a brief into beautiful and striking imagery”
Brief: Produce a portrait of an academic lecturer for a cover shot for a magazine, the image should avoid looking too corporate.
My approach: Having requested a previous picture of Dr Chris Allen I quickly realised that if he wasn’t a lecturer in Social Sciences he could quite easily pull off being a writer or musician, so I decided to steer towards an image that could appear on the front of the NME!
Client’s view: “I have been lucky enough to work with Adrian on a number of projects, and have always been impressed by his honesty, creativity and professionalism. Adrian translates a brief into beautiful and striking imagery. He has an exceptional ability to put people at ease and is a pleasure to work with. I regularly recommend Adrian to colleagues looking for high-quality, creative photography.”
Head of Communications and Marketing
St Hugh's College
University of Oxford