Three artistswere selected from a call for applications to UK based photography practitioners within ten years of establishing their practice. Each has received an award of £5,000 to support the making of new work for this exhibition, with a significant production fund and advice from a pool of thirteen Mentors including Alec Soth, Gillian Wearing, Broomberg & Chanarin and Michael Mack as well as curatorial advice from both of the award giving organisations.
Matthew Finn has been photographing his mother in a series of collaborative portraits since 1987. His Jerwood/Photoworks Award has enabled him to revisit this series at an emotional time that has seen his mother move from her family home into an assisted living residence. Matthew’s mother’s mental health has changed her role in the portraits from active participant to one of an observed subject; shifting the focus of his images towards objects and metaphor.
Joanna Piotrowska’s work explores anxiety and the effects of global and political events on the individual. Counteracting the passive role encouraged of adolescent girls, Joanna has enlisted young women to recreate poses from self-defence manuals. Her Jerwood/Photoworks Award has also enabled a research trip to Nagorno Karabakh - a conflict zone on the Armenian and Azerbaijani border. Joanna was prevented by the authorities from photographing the abandoned city but needed to take photographs to prove herself an artist rather than a spy. She turned her gaze away from the forbidden ruins and towards the many rosebushes found in the city – adding an extra layer of symbolism to the flowers.
Tereza Zelenkova has travelled to her native Czech Republic to explore themes of history, local legend and folklore. Tereza’s Jerwood/Photoworks Award enabled her to visit numerous locations, but the resulting images seem themselves out of place and time. Her eerily beautiful, black and white photographs of woodlands, stone structures and relics form their own dream-like, subconscious world, where stories fuel the viewer’s interpretation.