Esteemed judges from across the creative industries have praised the talents of graduating BA (Hons) Photography students at London College of Communication.
Each year, leading professionals are invited to explore major work from the course, and award prizes that recognise outstanding concepts, narratives and practical skills. This not only provides students with valuable industry insight, but also enables judges to discover the future of the medium through the exciting visions of creatives as they launch their own careers.
The winning works for 2020 reflect the breadth of interests and approaches found in the BA (Hons) Photography Class of 2020. Themes range from explorations of selfhood, heritage and mental health to reflections on form, consciousness, society and culture.
Prize from Emma Bowkett, FT Weekend Magazine
Emma Bowkett is an acclaimed curator, associate lecturer and Director of Photography at the FT Weekend Magazine. Emma’s prize commends three students from the Class of 2020 in recognition of their work:
- Byeori Sung: Receipt for Life explores the confusion, struggle and endurance demanded by the labour market. Assembled through notes, audio files and photography printed using receipt technology, Byeori’s project records three months of life lived as an artist’s assistant, studio intern and café barista.
- Phoebe Somerfield: On Fairly Solid Ground contemplates the presence of the feminine in landscape. Phoebe’s work merges performative interactions between her body and post-industrial settings.
- Byron Chambers: Fashion in the Anthropocene reflects the tension between Bryon’s aspirations to become a fashion photographer and the implications of unsustainable consumerism. His project poses ethical questions about fashion while interrogating the relationship between clothing and society.
Wilson Centre for Photography Prize
Dating back to 1978, the Wilson Centre for Photography is a private archive and collection for research on the history, aesthetics and preservation of photographs. This year, its prize recognises the work of three graduating students:
- Tami Aftab: The Dog’s in the Car is a playful collaboration between Tami and her father which reflects on the impact of his short-term memory loss. Tami’s work explores themes such as illness, collaboration and consent, family as subject, and the space between documentary and performance.
- Sebastian Atkinstall: The Sign of Your Presence is a diary of images captured on daily drives during Lockdown. Sebastian’s work touches on the timeless yearning for connection during a time of unprecedented social and spiritual distance.
- Andrew Little: The Forgotten Monument depicts a series of abandoned structures and considers the mystery of their lost purpose as he asks: ‘Am I intruding on the ghostly remains of someone’s life, or am I shedding light on these beautiful environments?’
Simon Bishop Prize
Simon Bishop is a fine art photographer, artist and lecturer in cultural history. Simon’s prize celebrates the work of four graduating students:
- Rachel Gordon: The Fruit and the Flies is a visual diary which encourages viewers to experience a ‘fragmented and metaphorical journey through the delirious space of the photographic’, with a particular emphasis on the thesholds of love and loss.
- Haydn West: The Return of the Native offers a journey through a childhood landscape and an attempt to access early memories as they gradually fade. Haydn’s full work is presented as an interactive website which encourages the viewer to create their own unique journey
- Sebastian Atkinstall
- Aimee Day: In My Own Image is an exploration of the self through a variety of mediums as Aimee uses ‘phototherapy’ to reflect on her childhood and recover lost parts of her personal narrative.
Prize from Niamh Treacy at FORMAT Festival
“Thank you for inviting FORMAT and myself to present an award to your graduates this year. This has been a really hard decision to make; I could have very easily selected multiple winners. They should all be proud of the work created especially in the face of a pandemic!”
- Prim Patnasiri: It's Always a Changing Stream of Water Before we Meet the Big Blue Sea is a video installation on personal growth marked by shifts in location and perspective from the city to the beach.
- Haydn West
- Karolina Gliniewicz: Wogóle Magazine is an interactive publication which encourages readers to create their own interpretations of its content. A selection of stock photography is complimented by notes taken from Karolina’s phone diary.
- Lily Boyle: Named for the Swedish Döstädning (or ‘death cleaning’), Lily’s work examines a collection of objects from her grandparents’ garage, and encourages viewers to consider the transfer of function between use, waste, removal and restoration.
- Zoe Tigner-Haus – Juicy is a mixed-media body of work which offers a visual interpretation of the complex relationship between human society and food, with a particular focus on questions of production, consumption, history, tradition and ritual.
Paul Smith Prize
- Matilda Hollander: The Other Is Present takes the form of an installation which reacts to the presence of its viewers and the ways in which they move around it. As the viewer reflects the sound, and the sound affects the work’s reflections, the human affects the environment simply by being present.
- Astrid Aagaard-Svendsen: Enter Hel draws similarities between the underworld of Norse mythology and depression, particularly in respect to temporal absence. Astrid’s work utilises HAMA beads as props and performers in an unfolding, ‘pixilated play’, creating a void in a series of natural landscapes.
- Lulu Zhou: Untitled Universe (Fake) Your Ghost, My Shell. is a digital video which explores the growth of a complex internal world into a ‘massive incomprehensible universe’. Lulu asks us to consider the resulting implications on selfhood and the very nature of consciousness.
Photographers’ Gallery Instagram Take-Over
The Photographers’ Gallery was founded in 1971, and works to promote the value of photography to the wider world while ensuring its position as a significant art form. This year, the Gallery opened its Instagram account to 24 graduates whose work was felt to best represent the breadth and diversity of future photographic talent. The resulting #InstaGradTakeovers featured work from two graduating students from BA (Hons) Photography at LCC:
- Tami Aftab
- You Hah Kim: Home-Master reveals the ways in which K-Pop fans hide cameras on their bodies to capture exclusive footage and photography to become powerful and famous in online communities. You Hah’s work suggests an inversion of female bodies as photographic subjects, and instead proposes a new framework in which they symbolise autonomy, independency, and even aggressiveness.
Metro Imaging Mentorship Award
Metro Imaging is one of Europe’s leading professional photographic labs. Their mentorship platform supports photography graduates to transition out of higher education and into the creative industries, offering advice and opportunities to students who have the potential to grow and mature into successful career artists.
- Maite de Orbe: I Took This Polaroid of an Angel Once is a 2-panel glass installation with a slide projector and photographs. Maite’s work introduces a new perspective to representations of teenagers by focusing on the impact of rapid physical and emotional shifts throughout the liminal space between childhood and adulthood.
- Peter Stewart-Sykes: Red as Blood, White as Snow uses key elements of The Juniper Tree, a fairytale popularised by the Brothers Grimm. Peter’s photobook uses elements of the narrative to engage with notions of the photographic: namely, ‘its ability to construct narrative [...] and its often complicated relationship with the truth’.
- Remi Ijaiya: Remi’s short film, Control, is based on the creator’s own experiences with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and aims to raise awareness of the condition alongside its impact on everyday ife.
Prize from Hannah Watson at TJ Boulting
Hannah Watson is the Director and Co-Founder of T. J. Boulting, the gallery space of independent publishing house, Trolley. Reflecting on the work produced by the 2020 graduates of BA (Hons) Photography, Hannah said:
"I chose Tami Aftab's final project as the winner because it possessed not only a strong visual identity and voice, but was thoughtfully presented for exhibition. The combination of text, audio and video with the still images held together very cohesively. Even when formatted as a PDF, Tami has given a really clear idea of the 3D concept and backed it up with the images and content of the project. Well done to Tami.
Zoe Tigner-Haus is also to be commended on a strong conceptual and very well executed presentation, and Kaplan Urul for work that suited the planned exhibition space well. I like the way both had used opportunities to experiment with spaces and installations that otherwise might not be a reality!
Congratulations to all graduates, and wishing you all the best for the future.”
- Zoe Tigner-Haus
- Kaplan Urul: Orange comprises of digital photographs which depict a male navigating the domestic space. By contemplating issues such as the formalities of ‘civilised’ society and the nature of the outcast, Kaplan’s work distils questions around wider social conventions into the microcosm of the home.