Alums - RISD

Alan Charlesworth 

artist statement about Brotherhood of Bears, 2008 - 2012:

I never truly felt as though I belonged anywhere in the gay community while growing up. In the late 1990’s I became aware of the Bear community, a gay subculture that idolizes the often overweight and hairy male body. The stereotypical homosexual male is commonly featured with an impeccable hairless and toned body. The Bear culture has always dismissed these stereotypes and creates its own interpretation of beauty. Despite being a gay man it was difficult for me to relate to these men. I am not a Bear, but I do adore the brotherhood and its camaraderie.

what do you love about the MFA program at RISD?

In the fifteen months I have been at Rhode Island School of Design there is no doubt that I have changed as a photographer, artist and designer. With the incorporation of numerous artistic disciplines, collaboration and the pursuit of new ideas is inevitable and welcomed. Before coming to RISD I felt the impending staleness of my work taking hold. Since working with the students, faculty and staff in the Photography department I have pushed my photographic work in directions I was afraid to tread. Discussions and individual critiques by faculty from various other disciplines and departments are incredibly beneficial at RISD.

graduation date: June 2012

Alan Charlesworth, Randy & Gates - Drinks, Orlando, FL, 2010




Odette England

artist statement:

Home is the center weight of my work.  Memory and forgetting are the counterbalances.  I use the past, the expired, to create intimate experiences of the risk involved in what it means to be home, love home, leave home.  My photographs are fragile, contemplative, temporal spaces; fantasy paths once trodden that yearn to be retraced, inscriptions of “then”, “now”.   The evolving, revolving door of home is where I use photography to treat memory as I will my daughter: I must nurture her, watch her mature; then let her go. In Photos of Me Without Me, I reenact the family album through the deliberate DIY act of scissoring myself from personal original snapshots, and then realigning the hand-cut splinters. 

what do you love about the MFA program at RISD?

RISD’s MFA (Photo) is a professional, rigorous program of study that has helped me to foster a deeper assessment and understanding of my work, and develop new forms of expression. It’s been important to me to have both an intellectual education experience and a journey of self-discovery. RISD actively encourages self-direction, cross-pollination, and the academic context for debate and experimentation. This dynamic environment has allowed me to better formalize my ideas and improve my ability to create distinctive, risk-taking contemporary work. The development of my practice is dependent on my ability to continue to engage viewers in some of the social and scientific issues surrounding memory and identity, and RISD has given me the time and space, and access to experienced faculty and staff, which has inspired me to create work that shows people something new about these issues.

graduation date: June 2012

Odette England, Without Me #9.