Three artists; Matthew Finn, Joanna Piotrowska and Tereza Zelenkova were selected from an open call for applications. 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. Mother draws us into the fascinating dynamic of mother and son offering an intense and honest view of this most natural and universal of bonds. His Jerwood/Photoworks Award has enabled Matthew to revisit this series at an emotional time that has seen his mother, Jean, move from her family home into an assisted living residence. Jean’s mental health has changed her role in the portraits from active participant to one of an observed subject; widening 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.She offers the viewer a reclamation of the private body from the public sphere, and re-contextualising these poses within a domestic setting, feeds our fascination with the uncanny or the unheimlich.
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.
The Jerwood/Photoworks Awards are a new collaboration between Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Photoworks, supported by Arts Council England. Other touring partners include Jerwood Space London; Impressions Gallery, Bradford and Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool.
This exhibition was made possible by the generous support of Arts Council Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council.