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David Copeland Portrait
David Copeland Portrait

David Copeland

Born 1995, January 6th, Belfast, N. Ireland

David is a Northern Irish based photographer who graduated with an MFA in Photography with distinction in 2020 after achieving a first-class Hons degree in 2017 from Ulster University. David’s work utilizes conceptual and documentary approaches to explore states of mind, place and the boundaries physical and psychological that can hold us in-between.

Bio & Career

David’s work, ‘a place to sleep,’ examines his position within the boundaries of the provincial town he calls home. 1 

Interested in Landscapes’ power to both delight and disturb, David continues to explore psychology, landscape and place. Showing work in both solo and group exhibitions and commissioned recently as part of the renowned ‘SIXTEEN’ exhibition – which toured in 2019 throughout the UK. His portrait of Patrick Adams was made as part of the Sixteen project and was published on the cover of the Guardian weekend magazine. 2 

David has recently been awarded a membership Bursary with Shutter Hub and has also had his project ‘a place to sleep’ shortlisted in this year’s Royal Photographic Society’s International Photography Exhibition 163. 

In 2020 David received the Belfast Exposed Futures Award, which helped him to develop his new work ‘A Blanket of Woven Shadows’ culminating in a solo exhibition in Belfast Exposed Photography Gallery (2021) 3 4 5 


Appears in

  • 2021, Shutter Hub(s), Yearbook,: shutter hub

Awards and honours

  • 2020, Futures Artists, Belfast Exposed, Belfast, N.Ireland 


Solo exhibitions

  • 2021, A Blanket of Woven Shadows, Belfast exposed photography Gallery, Belfast

Group exhibitions


  • A Blanket of Woven Shadows (2021) 

Comforting yet cold exploring a state of mind that moves between darkness and light.
‘Landscape’ has the power to both delight and disturb be beautiful yet haunting.
Unable to live with or without one another life and death, day and night, light and dark, the familiar yet unfamiliar set beside each other, evoking a state of dissonance. 7

  • ‘a place to sleep’ (2020) 

Held by circumstance, I photograph the place I call home, a small introverted dormitory town situated astride an ever-flowing River and the constant drone of the bypassing motorway.Leaving childhood behind, my relationship, experience and position in the landscape have changed. Place or home has become overshadowed by life beyond its borders. 8

  • Sixteen (Dear, Future self ) 2020

At Sixteen I recalled being asked what I wanted to be, what if it didn’t work out, what would have to fall back on and What was my plan B?
Recognising this as a question that might raise doubts in a young person’s mind I travelled across Northern Ireland photographing sixteen-year-olds who reflect on my 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. 9 10