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Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk educational workshops

30 Jan 2020 3:15PM

Ed Sheeran’s photographer, Mark Surridge, has hosted two workshops as part of the Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk exhibition.

The exhibition at Christchurch Mansion is curated by John Sheeran and Wolsey Gallery curator Emma Roodhouse and features Mark Surridge’s work.

A group of Photography and Fine Art students from the University of Suffolk took part in a masterclass on Tuesday.

Ed Sheeran, who is an honorary doctorate of the University, said of the educational workshops “I am happy that the exhibition has exciting creative activities for young people, including portrait painting, photography, song-writing and music workshops.”

The group from the University included final year Photography student Lauren Vince who said “It has been a fantastic event. It’s been really interesting to hear the stories of how the photographs by Mark Surridge were taken and what happened behind the scenes. I think it’s really helpful for us students to hear how photographers have made their way into the professional world. We’ve spoken to several photographers throughout our degree and it’s interesting to see how everyone’s achieved success through different paths.”

Mark Edwards, Associate Professor in Photography at the University of Suffolk added, “The link with industry and internationally regarded photographers is at the heart of our Photography degree here at the University of Suffolk. We are delighted to be able to offer our students the chance to have a masterclass with Mark Surridge and for them to have a private tour of Ed Sheeran- Made in Suffolk at Christchurch Mansion. Many of the students visiting today are in their final year and I’m sure meeting Mark and seeing his work will be a source of inspiration.”

Mark Surridge said, “There were a couple of students asking questions about how to get into ‘Rock Photography’ as it’s called. We spoke about some of the challenges in Photography and shared experiences. There isn’t one route in pursuing Photography as a career, there are so many options. The best advice I can give is to start assisting and start learning that way. To be successful I think you need enthusiasm, an enjoyment, drive and thick skin, to put up with the inevitable knocks. Being a people-person is important too but overall you’ve got to enjoy it.”

On Wednesday, a group of Year 12 students from across East Anglia took part in a workshop with Mark at both Christchurch Mansion and the University. The students explored the theme of identity and sense of place and edited their work using the newly- refurbished Photography studios at the University.

16-year-old Jacob Staddon attends Northgate High School. He said, “The workshop was really interesting. I’d like to go into Photography as a career so today was really inspirational. It showed me that what I’d like to do is possible and something I can work towards. Mark is really down to earth and relatable.”

Madison Hymns, 16, from City College Norwich also took part in the workshop. Madison said “The exhibition at the Mansion was really cool, and I loved seeing Mark’s work; it was amazing. I’ve learnt a lot of useful tips from Mark, he is was really inspiring. Photography is definitely something I’d like to pursue. I like how you can capture a moment within a photo and it’s there for the rest of your life and the rest of time.”

James Steward, Ipswich Museums Manager, said, “We were really proud to welcome Mark and two groups of students to the workshops and would like to thank the University staff and their students for making them such a success.”

The University of Suffolk, Ipswich Borough Council and One sixth-form college are supporting and hosting the Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk educational workshops which are taking place in January and February.

For more information 

For more information about studying Photography at the University of Suffolk

Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk will be at Christchurch Mansion until 3 May 2020.


University of Suffolk Press Office
T: 01473 338476