CAMPUS

I want to begin and end this piece with saying that I love campus. 

 

The University of Warwick-in-Coventry-not-Warwick is in the middle of nowhere and is currently near-enough empty, though it hurt my heart a little to see so many people in the library on the 20th December. This place is weird. In first year, campus was pretty much my everything. The furthest I went for weeks was Wilko in Cannon Park. Cannon Park is terrible! Quite depressing. The New Look is not much bigger than Greggs. Tesco is an abomination. But there is ALDI now, which is a blessing. The egg prices at Iceland shame Tesco (10 for £1! 20 for £1.50!!!) Gotta give props to the new black hair store too, even if the prices make me laugh out loud and one of the two staff members is a white man, who would really impress me if he could answer my questions about Blue Magic. 

 

Cannon Park aside, campus itself is so beautiful (except for the Communist design of the Humanities building). The piazza literally blinds my eyes in summer when the sun is shining. Cryfield accommodation is hideous on the inside but a strange triangular architectural masterpiece on the outside. The Oculus building looks like an opera house. All of these buildings may be where the bulk of my £9000 course fee is going and that makes me angry but when I venture out into Canley and Coventry city centre I am grateful to belong to an institution which appreciates aesthetics.

 

The photographs featured here are meaningful to me but I hope that another student might see these and feel the familiarity in these sights. You will see photos of the library, alllllll day everyday library, term-time or not, that place is a constant in my life. Constantly lifting my head to look at people, completing every task but my seminar reading. Then you will see hideous, soul-sucking uni house which I punish myself with when I have lacked discipline in the library.  The darkroom will not be known to many but you will see it pictured above, made beautiful by the art produced there. You will see unusual sights here, like  tiny adorable schoolchildren, whose presence at university shocks me into realising that in most places in the world, the average age is not 20. You will see wide-open nature and close-up nature,  soft real colours contrasting with big hard white bricks. Walk beyond Cryfield towards Kenilworth or  Lakeside and you will find seemingly endless space. And this is what I treasure the most about campus - no matter how packed it is, no matter how stifling the learning grid is, I can find quiet. I once played basketball at the netball courts  at midnight encountering no-one in that hour. After the nonstop conversation which university life consists of, it felt so good to be alone. But it also entertains me to to just people-watch. 20,000 students to observe and talk to and learn from. 

 

I don't know who the hell runs this university and as a historian, fifty years of (University of) Warwick history does not impress me but I absolutely  love campus.

 

I shot this series on a disposable camera, my Nikon EM and my Canon EOS 550D. Two photos were developed and printed in the darkroom.