David Copeland

David is the first student contributor to SIXTEEN. His photography explores ideas and rituals around the everyday, examining ‘locality and the human condition within place to document a vernacular visual landscape’. His work was selected as part of the Beyond View exhibition celebrating ten years of photography at Belfast School of Art and his ongoing project was exhibited at A Place to Sleep, an Ulster University Group show alongside photographers Paul Seawright, Donovan Wylie and Martin Parr.

David used the vivid memory of a school careers class at the age of sixteen to establish his approach to SIXTEEN. He recalled being asked what he wanted to be, what if it didn’t work out and what he would have to fall back on? Recognising this as a question that might raise doubts in a young person’s mind he travelled across Northern Ireland photographing sixteen year olds who reflect on his invitation to write a letter to themselves, sixteen years hence, a lifetime away. ‘It would be a reminder of their dreams and aspirations, at this potentially life defining age of sixteen’ he says.