The first national Jerwood/Photoworks Awards recognise outstanding future photographic talent. The awards have enabled three artists to develop their practice and create new work. 

Selected from an open call for applications, the three awardees Matthew Finn, Joanna Piotrowska, and Tereza Zelenkova have been supported by guidance 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 photographed 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. Mathew’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. In a series of portraits of adolescent girls recreating poses from self-defence manuals, Joanna counteracts a passive gender stereotype. 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 unfamiliar, 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.

Image at the top by Joanna Piotrowska

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