A young photographer has made art out of her arachnophobia in an end of year showcase to remember.

Darlington College student Zoe Bennett took close-up photographs of a tarantula’s skin for her micro-study of the world around us.

“I absolutely hate spiders but used a skin that one had shed, which I just about coped with,” said the 18-year-old, of Crook.

“I think it will be equally scary showing all my work at the end of year showcase but also thrilling too.”

Zoe, a Level 4 foundation diploma photography student, will display her work alongside that of 40 others who have been studying BTEC Level 3 extended diplomas in fine art, photography and graphic design. The exhibition will also include work by adult learners who have been attending the college’s photography short courses.

The End of Year Showcase, which is open to the public, will be launched in the ballroom of the Mercure Darlington King’s Hotel on June 14, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Talented singer/songwriter Eve Conway will provide the entertainment on the night, which will also include refreshments.

The work will be exhibited in the Cornmill for a week after the showcase and a section will be on display at the Open Doors Festival at Darlington College on Saturday, June 16 (11am-3pm).

Darlington College tutor Abby Potter said: “Zoe’s work exhibits incredible attention to detail offering images that are far from obvious. By going in close she has managed to capture the artistic beauty of a stone seawall, a rock, a bug, or a plant, focussing on the textures we often miss.

“The end of year exhibition is the perfect opportunity for the wider public to see some of the home grown talent Darlington College produces. Students have worked exceptionally hard and for some this is the first opportunity they have had to showcase a huge variety of work.”


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