Our photography students are enjoying exciting opportunities documenting a great variety of issues and also matters close to their heart.
Kerry Barton, studying an HND in Photography, has been documenting a high-profile two-year campaign by Keep River Lawn Green, to save a significant horse chestnut tree which was earmarked to be felled by developers Assura, as it is on the boundary of a proposed new medical centre.
This particular tree, on River Lawn Road, Tonbridge, is close to Kerry’s heart, as it is beside the nursery that she regularly uses. After meeting the ‘Keep River Lawn Green’ group and showing her support for this community effort, she was commissioned by The Times of Tonbridge to provide a photo, which was published within an article in the 28th November issue: https://www.timeslocalnews.co.uk/tonbridge-news/stay-of-execution-for-tree-but-council-are-environmental-vandals
The story was picked up by the national newspapers, and Kerry’s photos appeared with credit on the Daily Mail website: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6429515/Locals-historic-market-town-form-24-hour-guard-90-year-old-tree.html
Kerry, who has dyslexia, first started on her photography pathway by completing a Functional Skills level 1 and 2 course with Kent Adult Education. She joined West Kent College and completed her GCSEs and then an Entry Level 3 qualification. Not letting her dyslexia get in her way, she is currently studying towards her 2nd year of the Higher National Diploma in Photography.
Having a great time on her course, she said, “This course has made me completely grow in confidence and self-belief. Without the support of my course and tutors, I wouldn’t have the confidence to carry out my photography work in the outside world.”
"Studying here has really opened doors for me. Since being at University Centre West Kent, I’ve met and photographed Dame Kelly Holmes, Russell Watson and the Local MP Tom Tugendhat. I’ve been the official photographer at many Tonbridge Castle events too."
"I like to think my photos really helped the start of the River Lawn campaign. I was there most days, it was great to be a part of an amazing group of people and I’m really pleased that we saved the tree! The property developer, Assura, will do all they can to keep it."
Recently, Kerry was commissioned by the Times of Tonbridge to photograph the Poppy 100 Remembrance Parade and the Tonbridge Christmas lights switch-on, where, on both occasions, her photos were used on the inside and the front cover, with credit.
Kerry’s aspirations are to continue to study at University Centre West Kent to achieve the BA (Hons) Photography. She dreams of owning her own photography shop, ‘Studio 23’, where she could possibly employ College students!