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University of Derby degree show - The public will be welcome to attend the various exhibitions on Saturday June 3, and then between Monday June 5 and Friday June 9, from 9am-5pm.
The German Shepherd leaps up and snarls savagely, baring its teeth. The ageing security guard holds back his attacking dog.
But take a closer look.
The security guard is a woman. The German Shepherd is naturally placid.
This is role reversal of the alter ego in the most extreme of forms. And its all in the name of art.
This image is just one of a selection which will be displayed by Photography student Mel Westerman during this years University of Derby Arts, Design and Technology Degree Shows being held for the final time at the historic Green Lane site next month.
Entitled 'DogTag', Mel scoured the country looking for owners of pedigree dogs to take part in her studio photoshoots, and many of her selection of eight images feature dogs who have won trophies at Crufts.
The 30-year-old, from Wolfa Street, Derby, said: "I am not only portraying women as men in stereotypical male roles, but also capturing images of the animals accompanying them to compliment their personality characteristics. It is all about exploring stereotypes and then challenging them."
"The German Shepherd dog was naturally placid but reacted to the light flash in the studio. This made her jump towards the camera, and by happy accident, made her behave in a way supporting the look of the character."
"In another image, I captured a moment where a Beagle is looking inquisitively, but obediently, with his owner, a perturbing and macho sheriff."
Mel was attracted to the course because her peers had said the course was one of the best in the country and had a good reputation.
Commenting on 'Dog Tag', Mel said: "Paradoxically, the 'creation' or 'birth' of these ludicrous personalities addresses significant themes of identity, perception, narcissism, sexuality, feminism and gender."
"To enhance the characters further to a state of complete ridiculousness and self-indulgence I wanted to give these 'men' something else a best friend. Using dogs of an appropriate breed and corresponding 'dog stereotype' emphasizes the character to an even greater extent."
"This plays upon the adage of a dog being 'a man's best friend', and the resemblance between a pet and its owner. These clichs illustrate the British love of animals and also the stereotypical genre of dog and owner within photography."
Her tutor Mark Durden, Programme Leader for Photography said: "Mel's work is particularly distinctive with its combination of the visual joke and more serious reflections on questions of identity."
"Our programme prides itself on the calibre of work in the final show and Mel, like a number of graduating students, is really beginning to push boundaries here. It's a very exciting time for photography at Derby."
See for yourself!
The annual Degree Shows are the highlight of the year for our Arts, Design and Technology (ADT) students, enabling them to display their artistic achievements and innovative conceptual designs.
This years event is particularly poignant as it will be the final ADT Degree Show at Green Lane formerly Derbys Art School and Britannia Mill before the new 20m Markeaton Campus opens next spring.
There will be two separate private views and openings taking place.
The work of the Art and Design students including Mels work will be on show at the University's Kedleston Road, Green Lane and Britannia Mill sites on Friday, June 2, from 6pm-8pm.
The public will be welcome to attend the various exhibitions on Saturday June 3, and then between Monday June 5 and Friday June 9, from 9am-5pm.
The work of the Design and Technology students will be on show at the Universitys Kedleston Road site on Monday June 12, 2006 from 6-9pm.
The public will be welcome to attend the various exhibitions on June 10 and 12, from 9am to 5pm.