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Stella Nguyen on the Process of Building a Folio

Stella Nguyen, part time student at PSC and full time secondary teacher, won two silver awards at the AIPP Victorian State Awards. Currently running her own portrait photography business in addition to her other commitments, Stella was kind to give us a walk through her process of getting work AIPP-ready!

'Be Here with Me' - Image by Stella Nguyen

‘Be Here with Me’ – Image by Stella Nguyen

By Stella Nguyen:

Image selection
•My first selection was based on support from Craig Wetjen, fellow students at PSC, Instagram and friend likes and my personal favourites. The second stage of selection was based on those favoured or struck curiosity from judges at the AIPP AN INSIGHT INTO CREATING AWARD IMAGES & CRITIQUE NIGHT. •The third was combining both work I loved and what I thought might be unique enough for the judges.

Freak out and set a goal
Being second year I was intimidated by the judges and other photographers at the AIPP Info night. The work was amazing and I was in awe. Freaking out was good for me as it provided a challenge and pushed me to drive myself further. In short ‘I felt the fear and did it anyway’ with the goal and hope of achieving one silver.

I looked at past winners from AIPP to get a further understanding of what AIPP Judges would look for, of favoured ‘styles’ and also what images have been ‘done’ so I can consider my point of difference.

'The Mist' - Image by Stella Nguyen

‘The Mist’ – Image by Stella Nguyen

Test print
Test printing and refining were key as well as seeking feedback and advice. I test printed:
•- For paper selection
•- For different combinations (tri-typch)
•- To re-evaluate pretty ordinary first few prints and test print again

Working with Peter
Peter has a good eye and knows his paper stocks well so when I knew something wasn’t right with my prints Peter could pin point what the issues were and share his knowledge of how to edit for specific papers and his knowledge of AIPP and their expectations. Peter was a great guide to tell me when I went too far or need to go further. It built a great learning curve for me to edit for print.

Let go
At some point I think I had to realise that I had to let go and leave the print alone, there was no more at that stage that I could see or do within my knowledge of printing at that time.


To follow Stella’s photography on Instagram check out @wide_eyed_stella  – also read more about learning photography with us part time, here.

Emma McEvoy stuns Melbourne with ‘Sand Castles’

Last week, our very own PSC graduate (of the Advanced Diploma and Pathways program) showcased breathtaking work in the most unique space in the world. Emma McEvoy created a series around her trip to an abandoned diamond mining town in the heart of Namibia and exhibited her work in a house that was about to be demolished, in Melbourne’s quirky capital of Fitzroy. Filling up the house with sand to recreate the experience she had in Namibia, crowds of visitors were astonished by the creative presentation and the glorious work of Emma’s that was presented on the walls.

The exhibition was only open for four days and this was enough to get the attention of the most influential media names in the world. Here is a quick kaleidoscope of the wonder behind Emma McEvoy’s recent work (click to play):

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Emma was also interviewed by PSC senior fellow and award winning photographer, Michael Coyne (who was the lead photographer at publications such as the National Geographic, Newsweek and Time Magazine). Here’s a short podcast about Emma’s inspiration behind her series and why she chose to design her exhibition space in a house that was up for demolition:


Here’s what setting up the exhibition looked like (click to play):

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Within the first few hours of her exhibition opening, Broadsheet Melbourne (a leading online magazine that covers the latest news about Melbourne culture) wrote a story about her incredible exhibition concept:

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Not surprisingly, Emma was then interviewed by Stephanie Ferrier from ABC News! Here is the entire story:

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The PSC community support has been unconditional. I’ve never once felt like I need to conform to any particular style or genre, i’ve been free to express my creativity however I please & that encouragement has been invaluable in helping me get to where I am now. After the overwhelming response from this exhibition I might look at exhibiting it elsewhere in Australia and no doubt i’ll be off on another overseas trip soon to create a new body of work, possibly in rural China.
– Emma McEvoy

We are really proud of Emma’s awesome work and look forward to sharing more updates about her progress!

Celebrating PSC’s Winning Students of AIPP VPP

This year for the 2016 state-wide AIPP Victorian Epson Professional Photography Awards, PSC students submitted their work to one of the most prestigious competitions in the photography industry. 47 photographs from PSC received silver and gold awards, with students Neville Jones and Robert Palmer receiving notably high points at the awards – not to mention Allison Rose’s overall highest scoring point in print in the entire state!

The three top winning students all come from our part time group of classes, signifying the enriching photographic experience they receive from our award winning college.

PSC is excited to celebrate the achievements of all students at the AIPP awards, on Thursday (April 7) with a special toast to our talented students. Here are some thoughts from Neville, Robert and Allison:


Images by Allison Rose

Images by Allison Rose

“I was overwhelmed by the positive responses to my recent series “The Readymade” selected for exhibition over summer at PSC, then at the show for Emerging Women Photographers at Queen Victoria Centre as part of International Womens Day Celebrations & finally awarded the highest score for a print in the Victorian State AIPP Awards.

The series itself is a futuristic view of the ultimate consumerism, readymade babies, raising questions about the hollowness of technology, balanced against the natural sweetness of creation.  The language, imagery & colour palette reference the pop & dada movements.

The images were created as still life arrangements using a digital Xray machine as the camera, & then coloured in photoshop.  I was concerned in the first instance about where they would fit in the scheme of the AIPP awards.  Clearly they arise from an alternative process, but this avenue, in the AIPP awards is restricted to processes with an analogue output.  As a conceptual series, the images are not easy to interpret without contextualisation, again not part of the awards system, so I was uneasy about the reception in the illustrative category. Thanks to advice from (PSC teacher) Julie Wajs I printed a grid of the images to aid in the appreciation of the narrative.  Indeed 3 judges left the panel at the time of judging because they felt unable to contribute (my heart fell as I watched the live stream) and Julie Ewing, a grand master, stepped in.  She awarded the highest of the judges scores, but also gave an excellent explanation about what she believed the series was about, so I was very excited to hear that someone actually understood what it was that I was trying to say.  

The exposure & commentary has given me the further confidence to pursue conceptual art photography as a medium for me to have my say.   It is a rare privilege to be able to do this in any small way & this recent success has been huge in my purview.”

– Allison Rose

'Serenity' by Neville Jones

‘Serenity’ by Neville Jones

“I credit Neil Stanyer, my second year teacher PSC, for transforming my approach to photography. I commenced second year practicing photography as a technology-driven pursuit. By the end of second year I was seeing through the camera not looking at it.”

– Neville Jones

Image by Robert Palmer

Image by Robert Palmer

‘PSC has been instrumental in getting me here, at this level & experience of photography.’
– Robert Palmer

We will keep you updated about our celebrations and stories from our AIPP VPPY award winning students. To find out more learning photography with us part time, click here.



PSC Student Jo-Anne Cripps wins at the International Color Awards (LA)

Jo-Anne Cripps, a full time student in the 3rd year of the Bachelor of Photography program won an Honorable Mention at the world’s leading awards for the field of colour photography. She received this prize under the ‘Abstract’ category in the 9th International Color Awards (Los Angeles) during the last week of March. Jo-Anne is currently in the running for another prize with a very prominent photography festival, which we will share details of in the next few days!

Image by Jo-Anne Cripps

Image by Jo-Anne Cripps


Here are some words from our amazing student-photographer, herself:

“During the past 2 years I have come to think of PSC as my second home. The encouragement and support from lecturers, staff and other students have contributed to my personal growth as a photographer.  The skills and knowledge I have gained has not only allowed me to understand ‘why’ I want to take a particular image but also ‘how’ I  visually want to convey the meaning of that image to the viewer.  I am majoring in Photojournalism and Documentary in the last year of my Bachelor of Photography. With the support of my lecturer, Katrin Koening, I intend to continue to develop my skills, both practical and personal and continue my growth as a photographer in a contemporary world. ”

Jo-Anne also won a silver award at the Epson AIPP Victorian Epson Professional Photography Awards for her image. We are extremely proud of her and are excited to share a feature on her this week!

Mastering The Foundation of Photography

Our Tier 1 students of 2016 are on an interesting path of developing their unique vision in photography with teachers Anat Cossen and Craig Wetjen. Introduced to the concept of constructing personal techniques in visual communication, students were encouraged to apply their styles and analyse a breadth of work from across the field.

Exploring areas of colour, light and composition our new group of student photographers were asked to develop a small portfolio of work that touched upon themes of ‘pattern and repetition’, ‘harmonious colours’ and ‘leading line’. Students came to class to have their work seen by their group, where elements were analysed and ideas about future photoshoots were brainstormed.

Image by Emily Skelton

Image by Emily Skelton

Image by Christina Tainsh

Image by Christina Tainsh

Image by Dan A'vard

Image by Dan A’vard

Anat also encouraged her students to make mix media collages to develop their understanding of communicating with imagery.


With Jonathan Shaw in the mix this month, we also had the privilege of taking part in an international online collaboration with Disruptive Media, Coventry University and Europeana Space, called #photomediations. Students enjoyed showcasing their collages online and playing a vital role in an international conversation about the technology of photography and ‘open access’.



During this time, Anat led her class to a Pat Brassington exhibition at the Arc One gallery, to immerse them in the current photography scene of Melbourne. Each student analysed one piece of work from the exhibition to further apply their practice of visual communication, with real world examples.


While students were looking at building their understanding of image design, they were taken on a hands-on exercise of lighting design with Craig Wetjen. The tier 1 class learnt about shape and form through lighting. Craig taught them different techniques that utilized ‘backlight’, ‘sidelight’ with reflectors and natural light.





Students transferred their understanding of lighting to their practice of image design, to successfully build a strong foundation in visual communications. We look forward to hearing about their assessments for their first module will go in the upcoming weeks! To know more about our curriculum, visit our website.

PSC’s First Buddy Lunch of the Year

PSC hosts buddy lunches for new students with their mentors. Students in their 2nd and 3rd years provide their support and wisdom, as they start a new chapter of finalizing their portfolios for their final assessments. New students get the chance to network and build life-long connections at our lunches.

They also have the chance to see how the work of their mentors have evolved over the years, as 3rd years showcase their previous assignment pieces. These lunches often provide a fun and reflective space for our students, who unite in their passion for the craft of photography.

Here are what some of our student mentors had to say:

 ‘The buddy lunches at PSC help new students to settle in. I think it’s inspiring to come together to think about our folios together in this way. It’s pretty cool because the mentoring gives them an anchor – they have 2nd and 3rd year students to help them out. We love to spend time with people at the college and like getting to know about what they want to do while they’re at PSC.”

– Alysha Jacobi

good tendai

“I’m excited about mentoring students; I’m taking it as another opportunity to learn from others while sharing my knowledge with them. I would like to teach photography in the long run, so mentoring is really special to me. PSC has been a huge change for me, personally. I was working in the finance industry for a really long time before I came here. I can definitely say that now, in my 3rd year, I’m starting to see my work come alive – it’s so exciting. PSC has been great because of its academic structure and support system. It gives you a good balance of the photography practice and business. It’s not just about studying photography at PSC, you learn to network.”

– Tendai Hatendi


“I plan to meet my mentees every four to six weeks to find out where they are with their projects and show them my work. It’ll be great to share feedback and ideas. I aim to help them with areas they need further development in, as I really want to encourage them to experiment with their work. Entering my 2nd year at PSC is exciting, because I know I’m going to dabble in every genre of photography I can while I’m here – I might try nature or fashion photography, and even portraiture. That’s what I love about PSC – the freedom to try out new styles and learn new things. The supportive network of teachers has been amazing; we get feedback from people who have active and successful careers themselves!”

– James Thorn


PSC also has industry mentor programs, where students in their final year of studies get to correspond with a practicing photographer from the field and get feedback from them . Learn more about our programs here. We look forward to seeing how our new students and mentors collaborate in the year!

March Highlights at The PrintShop @PSC

The month of March has been thrilling, with the number of exhibition openings during the busy awards season, in Melbourne. Renowned photographers (both professional and emerging) have been diligent in getting their finest works printed in the most high-ranking centre for photography printing in Melbourne. PSC’s Peter Hatzipavlis at the PrintShop gives us a snapshot of the artists who have come to us for their prints and who’ve given us their perspective on some contemporary topics in photography.

Bill Bachman – Commercial Photographer, Photojournalist and PSC Teacher

“I think the future of photography is brighter than it has ever been. Never before have there been so many opportunities to publish images across such a variety of platforms, and technology will continue to offer new, challenging and perhaps surprising opportunities to stretch the medium.”

Image by Bill Bachman

Image by Bill Bachman

Black swans, Australia

Image by Bill Bachman

“While we may currently be experiencing peak technology in terms of image capture, processing software, colour management and printing equipment, it still takes human expertise to get the best possible results out of a digital file. I recently revisited some old transparencies that had previously only been printed in a darkroom, and with Peter’s help to massage the files and match them up with the right paper, the resulting prints were by far the best I’ve ever seen of those images.”

Peter Clarke – Commercial Photographer

Peter Clarke is an established photographer with over 20 years experience in his field. Over the years, Peter has gained extensive knowledge and experience documenting the built environment, as well as natural and man-made landscapes. His collaborative approach and strong vision has seen his unique graphic style applied to a wide range of industries including architecture, construction, mining and aviation. Peter works with a diverse range of clients including architects, design practices, government bodies, listed companies and publishers (source).

Peter Clarke 01

Checking out his one metre print on HahnemuhlePhoto Rag Bright White paper.

Image by Peter Clarke

Image by Peter Clarke


Katrin Koenning – Artist and PSC Teacher

“I’ve been lucky to have been working with Pete for almost three years now, and his deep understanding and knowledge of the visual, and of how to translate this into a materiality, makes him my master printer.”

Katrin Koenning

Exploring visualities of the anthropocenic, The Crossing (printed on Canson Baryta paper) is a long-form work engaged with human impact and a wounded Australian ecology.


“The future of photography is a big question that we’re all trying to navigate. All I know is that we are moving in exciting times, in which scope and processes of photographic storytelling are begging to be re-learned, re-evaluated and re-negotiated.”

Katrin’s upcoming exhibition ‘The Crossing’ will be launching at @ccp_australia (Melbourne) and @acp.photo (Sydney)


Aleks Danko – Artist

Aleks Danko is a prolific visual artist who worked across a range of media, such as films, books and public commissions. He has focused on creating a body of work which critically engages with the social, political and cultural landscape of Australia.

Aleks Danko 100x71cm Canson BFK Rives Print 01

Printing for an upcoming exhibition at Sutton Gallery in Melbourne on Canson BFK Rives Paper


Jo Scicluna – Artist

“There are many spheres of practice sitting under the umbrella of photography. Photo-based practitioners are no longer bound to the rules and debates of what the medium should be, but are now asking what it can be. We have gotten over the ‘rupture’ that the digital revolution presented and now approach this process as just one option in the image maker’s tool kit.”


Jo Scicluna 02

Image by Jo Scicluna for her exhibition ‘Where We Find Ourselves’ at he Max Bell Gallery, Geelong

“The future of the medium acknowledges and draws upon the multitude of processes, methods and outcomes that photography offers. This future allows for the photograph to communicate beyond the confines of the image, exploring the scope of the object of the photograph and the varied material and spatial processes and outcomes that this presents.”


March has indeed been an invigorating month for Peter @PrintShop . We look forward to seeing more distinguished photographers come by to use PSC’s stellar services and welcome you to come by to say hello!

PSC’s Industry Engagement with The Age

Many of you may be familiar with the way we create opportunities for our students as they hone their talents in their specific areas of photography. One of the most notable Industry Engagement Programs at PSC is our tie up with The Age newspaper. Specifically organised for those in the photojournalism major, the internship gives selected students a chance to work with staff photographers from The Age, as well as the experience of working ‘independently to produce a range of published work in various sections of the paper’.

Our part time students, Daniel Pockett and Adrianne Harrowfield, were chosen in 2015 as a result of their hard work and rich folios. Working over the period of December to January, Daniel and Adrianne had their work published in print and online. They immensely enjoyed the opportunity of working towards deadlines and receiving ‘valuable mentoring from established professionals at both the photographic and editorial level’.

Salona Chithiray – a PSC graduate who also studied part time and was selected for this exclusive internship with The Age in 2014, directed, filmed and edited this year’s highlights. Here’s a snapshot of the exciting experience that PSC offers:

PSC’s industry opportunities provide work experience to those who are passionate about the craft, throughout their time here. We aim to give students the real-world exposure they deserve, allowing their amazing talents to be shared with those in the field of photography. Our aim is to support our students as they carve out successful and prolific careers for themselves. For more information on our programs, visit our website.

[Source: Bill Bachman]

PSC’s Women Photographers at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre

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The Queen Victoria Women’s Centre is a haven of organisations and groups dedicated to empowering and helping women in all walks of life. From arranging emotional support to getting political and professional networks in place for supporting causes, the centre has worked on all fronts to build a stronger community of women in Melbourne. Having graduates and students exhibit their work in such an important centre is therefore a great achievement. Selected by Julie Wajs, each series reflects some aspect of womanhood, spanning over generations.

PSC teacher/curator Julie Wajs with PSC students Margaret Lim and Cassandra Tzortzoglou

PSC teacher/curator Julie Wajs with PSC students Margaret Lim and Cassandra Tzortzoglou

Patricia Saca, the venues coordinator for the centre was pleased to see the public’s reception of work that went up last week. According to her, the strength of the exhibition lies in the variety of styles in photographs that are already drawing widespread appreciation from those who pass through the corridors. Encouraging an open-policy approach to circulating fresh artwork by emerging artists, Patricia never places restrictions on the nature of work, often refusing to take down images even when the most seldom of complaints are expressed. She is proud to promote and support such spectacular talent from PSC.

QVWC venues coordinator, Patricia Saca and Margaret Lim

QVWC venues coordinator, Patricia Saca and Margaret Lim

Margaret Lim:

Margaret Lim with her Family

Margaret Lim with her Family

Margret Lim has one of the largest installations at the exhibition. Using materials and objects from Op-Shops around Melbourne, she created a series that signifies the dynamic nature of women. According to her, women reinvent themselves continuously throughout their lives and build upon their understanding and wisdom of the world and themselves, with time.

 Cassandra Tzortzoglou:

Cassandra Tzortzolgou with her work

Cassandra Tzortzolgou with her work

Cassandra Tzortzolgou on the other hand, takes us on a path that is mysterious and focused on elements of nature. Inspired by Greek mythology and tales revolving around bees and the symbolism of honey for her series Natural Phenomena, Cassandra exhibits the second part of the series with the ‘complex relationship between man and nature’.

 Elma Gradascevic:

 Elma Gradascevic with her work

Elma Gradascevic with her work

Elma Gradascevic constructed a project based on how technology can overpower or diminish the innate nature of women. She believes that ‘our natural world is largely disappearing from our daily lives, but its symbolism in cultural motifs demonstrate how integral it is to our internal and creative selves.’ She uses feathers to represent hope.

Elena D San Roman:

By Elena D San Roman

By Elena D San Roman


by Elena D San Roman


Elena D San Roman based her series ”Point of Entry’ on ‘the experience of remembering’. From her artist’s statement she expresses: ‘I’m exploring the process of recall, accessing a memory and the transformation that comes from reliving an experience of childhood trauma.No matter how much time passes, the fear and anxiety that comes from trauma is always present, it hides in the shadows, haunting you every day. Ugly images flash before your eyes when you least expect it, making you question what is real and what is not.’

Allison Rose:

by Allison Rose

by Allison Rose

Allison 2

By Allison Rose

Allison Rose creates a vibrant series that ‘explores the contradictions of a readymade life from conception to birth – futuristic, convenient, mass-produced and fast.’ Each piece of artwork conveys a message about how the basic human need to create is now so ‘automated’ and often described in a language that mirrors the process of manufacturing.  Objects used in her work represent ‘a part of the cycle of creation’ and have been captured by x-ray machines.

Emma McEvoy:

Copyrighted, Emma McEvoy

Copyrighted, Emma McEvoy

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Copyrighted, Emma McEvoy

From a section of Emma McEvoy’ artist statement, we can definitely note how she deals with metaphor in her photography language: ‘(This is) a series which embraces the hues of authenticity via femininity and nakedness, and the water’s symbolic ebb and flow, through the thought-provoking palette of photography. Each photograph attempts to surface the fear of fragility. Bare skin emerging from a body of water – canvasing a reflection of Mother Nature, and sculpting a refuge for surrender: a place where vulnerability enfolds.’

Sophie Pigram:

Photograph of Sophie Pigram taken by Cassandra Tzortzolgou

Photograph of Sophie Pigram taken by Cassandra Tzortzolgou

Aesthetically driven and inspired by the physical molecular basis of memory itself captured by The Albert Einstein College of Medicine in early 2014, Blank Spaces is an exploration into the abstract realm of memory. Through self portraiture and object the work creates a physical representation of  the physiological workings of the mind, focusing on retained and recollective thought that have been confabulated over time and its effect on the subconscious. [From Sophie Pigram’s website].

Claire Blankendaal:

Images by Claire Blankendaal

Images by Claire Blankendaal

‘The Autonomous is a series of photographs born from a conceptual idea of self and what it means to be a female artist in Australia engaging with feminist issues in 2015. Approaching my camera like I would a diary and allocating time and space to each entry, I use methods of automatism, ritual, endurance and the performative body. In these I have found my position in the discussion—freedom of choice, celebration of differences and above all personal autonomy, these are the scaffold that structure my outlook and actions. By stripping back pre-conceived notions of femininity and being conscious in my influences and environment I have found freedom. In the act of creation and immersing myself in my practice, in these moments I am completely autonomous.’

Sarah Maslan:

Sarah Maslan with her work and Elma Gradascevic

Sarah Maslan with her work and Elma Gradascevic

‘The idea that people from different parts of the world, with completely different cultures, religions and life experiences can share the same dream is fascinating. In fact, some psychologists believe that our shared dream experiences serve to connect us as a human race. We can find meaning in everything. Even the everyday shapes and symbols that repeat in nature, and our world around us, can convey a message. When we dream, the conscious reality of today disappears and all that existed beyond the bounds is brought forward so time seems to be just a notion that slowly fades, leaving the past and the present intertwined. Herein resides our true awareness.’


PSC is proud of these students who come from a range of the course we provide (Bachelor of Photography, Advanced Diploma and Part Time cohorts). It is wonderful to see such talents come together and their work to reflect something so meaningful.

We will be updating this page soon with statements from other artists of PSC who are exhibiting. It would be great for you to come by and see the exhibition during March. If you’d like to exhibit your work at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre, feel free to contact them.

Conceptualising a Women’s Day Exhibition with Julie Wajs

Teacher and head curator at PSC, Julie Wajs takes a fresh approach to curating an exhibition for one of the most important days of the year. For our ‘Women in Photography’ focus this month, she gives us an insight into the care taken to organise ‘Our Stories… Our Vision…’ . This is a celebration of International Women’s Day with works selected by PSC’s talented pool of female photographers. These are currently being exhibited at the Queen Victoria Women’s centre.

Here are Julie’s thoughts about the event and her approach to curating the exhibition:

For International Women’s Day our exhibition at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre had to be a selection of work by our female students across different majors of the college. It’s always good to have a bit of a mix in the scheme of things stylistically, especially in such a public space that has a historical aspect to it. We were very conscious of the fact that the centre supports women in all areas of life; both politically and emotionally, and the work chosen for this had to be reflective of that. There’s always a sense of responsibility when putting any exhibition together – you definitely have to be sensitive to the space you’re in.

By Elena D San Roman

By Elena D San Roman

Selecting some of the bigger pieces of work by students and graduates, the subject matter in each series deals with personal, political and fashion-related issues in some way, mirroring the perspective of women.

Margaret Lim

By Margaret Lim

What makes this exhibition interesting is the fact that it ranges across students who study full time and part time at PSC, which means that we are looking at work produced by a cross section of different generations. It’s a great way to see how a wide age group approaches certain topics differently, or sometimes in very similar ways.

By Emma McEvoy

By Emma McEvoy

I hope those who come to the exhibition are provoked into engaging with the work and having an opinion about them. It’s important for us to get people to think about some of the aspects that these photographs are touching upon.

To be a part of the exhibition, visit the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre on 210 Lonsdale Street, on 9th March at 6pm.  You can hear more about Julie’s process of curating here