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An image from Dreaming Blind People's Dreams reflecting a dream in which the blind person felt others were laughing at them.

BA (Hons) Photography student, Alberto Gonzalez-Gabarre, has been nominated for a national 2020 Eizo Student Colour Award​ for his project Dreaming Blind People's Dreams in which he drew on blind people's recollection of dreams as the basis for meticulously-crafted and staged images. For his dreamworld project, Alberto collaborated with the University of California, Santa Cruz, who gave him access to 60 years’ worth of research into dream narratives. Alberto’s work now takes pride of place alongside fellow nominees in an online gallery of shortlisted entrants at: http://eizocolour.com/awards/gallery/list. His images can be viewed at http://eizocolour.com/awards/gallery/alberto-gonzalez-gabarre/

The distinction is the latest in a series of accolades for Alberto, who was also nominated for the online Nationwide Degree Show featured in Instagram and joined other outstanding graduates receiving billboard exposure at: https://www.instagram.com/_freshmeet/. Furthermore, he has also collaborated in ‘Seeing with an Expert's Eye’ within the Tate exchange programme, (in collaboration with perception experts at Liverpool Hope University). He is also a recipient of the University of Chester’s 2020 Valedictory Award for BA (Hons) Photography (one of a number of University of Chester awards recognising the achievements of exceptional students).

Alberto said: “Choosing to study photography at Chester was just the right choice for me. The course strikes exactly the right balance, supporting students to hone the skills that will bring out the best in their work but also liberating us to become original thinkers, expressing distinctly-personal points of view. Staff have always been very encouraging and supportive.

“Alberto's work is exemplary on a technical as well as theoretical and wider contextual level in the depth of his engagement and studentship”, said his Project Supervisor, Dr, Cian Quayle (Associate Professor). “He has methodically and diligently pursued this via experimentation and a meeting of practice and research, where the two are integrated in the best possible way. His work embodies a contemporary surrealism, which addresses our daily lives, lived experience and the fragility of existence.”

It was Alberto’s final-year project work at the University of Chester – exploring dreamworlds and individual perception and demonstrating how a photographic project is also a work of art - that gave rise to his collaborations with the universities and Tate Exchange. His distinctive undergraduate work reflects the ethos of Chester’s BA (Hons) Photography course. Cian explained: “We focus on nurturing students as curious, independent thinkers developing their own visual identity, rather than responding, primarily, to prescribed briefs or commissions. I believe this is what makes Chester’s course distinctive and a springboard for graduates to find work in music and sports journalism, fashion photography, environmental portraiture, editorial and advertising roles as well as pursuing longer-term projects.”

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