The First Prize was awarded to Lottie Davies for Quints, 2008 from an ongoing project entitled Memories & Nightmares
Lottie Davies was born in Guildford, Surrey in 1971. After studying philosophy at the University of St Andrews she moved to London to learn about photography and work as a photographic assistant. She has been a professional photographer working for a range of lifestyle and travel magazines since 2000 and has exhibited at the AOP Gallery, the Schweppes Photographic Portrait Prize (2006) and at the Foto 8 Summer Show 2008. Memories & Nightmares is a series of portraits represented by the subject’s early childhood memories or nightmares. Quints, shot on large format, was inspired by her friend Caroline’s nightmare in which she was pregnant with quintuplets. Davies used a model, Alicia, to stand in for the subject to allow herself greater freedom to interpret the story and the quints were modelled by Alicia’s niece, Marla.
The Second Prize was awarded to Hendrik Kerstens for Bag, 2007
Hendrik Kerstens was born in 1956 in The Hague, Netherlands. Winner of the 2001 Dutch Panl Award Kerstens is a self-taught photographer who initially turned to a model close at hand, his daughter Paula. Since starting to photograph Paula in 1995 Kersten’s work has been exhibited in over 40 exhibitions across Europe and the United States. In his portraits Paula is always depicted as being austere, serene and illuminated with a characteristic ‘dutch’ light. In September he will open his first solo New York exhibition at the Witzenhausen Gallery. Kersten’s short-listed portrait was conceived in New York when he noticed the excessive amount of plastic bags given away in shops. As a humorous reaction to this environmental problem he photographed the plastic bag in the style of a seventeenth century cap.
Third Prize was awarded to Catherine Balet for Ines connected with Amina, 2007 from the series Connected.
Born on the outskirts of Paris in 1959, Balet graduated from the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris and began her career as a painter. Since 1998 she has progressively turned towards photography and works as a freelance photographer for French and International publications. Specialising in portraiture, her first book, IDENTITY, was published by Steidl in Sept 2006 and examines the social and aesthetic significance of signs, labels and dress codes of European teenagers. Her work has been exhibited in three solo exhibitions in Paris and is now touring major French cities. Ines connected with Amina is the first image from a new series called Connected which explores the themes of intimacy, technology, and globalisation. The series utilises the lighting of the computers, telephones and i-Pods for long exposure portraits of young people in their everyday technological environments.
Fourth Prize was awarded to Tom Stoddart for Murdoch Reflects, 2007 commissioned by Time magazine
Born in 1953 Tom Stoddart began his photographic career on a local newspaper in his native north-east England. During his time as a photojournalist he has witnessed the war in Lebanon, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the election of President Nelson Mandela, the bloody siege of Sarajevo and the wars against Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Notably, in 1997 Tony Blair gave Stoddart exclusive access to his election campaign, and his recent extensive work on Africa’s AIDS pandemic has been widely published and exhibited. Established as one of the world’s most respected photojournalists, Stoddart works closely with Getty Images, to produce powerful photo essays on the serious world issues of our time. His shortlisted portrait is of Rupert Murdoch in his office at News International in Wapping to illustrate a story in Time magazine about his $5 billion acquisition of the Dow Jones & Company.
Godfrey Argent Award
The Godfrey Argent Award, which this year goes to the photographer who submitted the best portrait in black and white, was awarded to Vanessa Winship for Sweet Nothings, 2007 from the series Sweet Nothings
This winning portrait is from a series of portraits inspired by a government campaign to educate rural girls. Winship visited a dozen schools to produce forty-five images of girls posing with their sisters or closest friends.
Born in 1960, Winship’s own childhood was spent in Lincolnshire where she developed an interest in black and white photographs of her family. This youthful fascination has continued into her own projects which are exclusively black and white. ‘For me, it feels strange that people associate black and white photography with reality and truth’ she says. ‘Yes, I am trying to be honest in my work, but I am not presenting it as reality. It is very much a two-dimensional representation of my perception of something.’