We were delighted to meet the Jerwood Photoworks Awardees at Impressions Gallery and are grateful for everything they have shared with us about their most recent projects, showcasing at Impressions currently. The three Awardees were selected from over 350 artists and all three photographers have created an exciting, diverse range of work; themes explored are death, belonging and the fragility of the natural world. It is interesting to see how each photographer’s individual interest has resulted in equally innovative outcomes!
In conversation with the Jerwood Photoworks Awardees at the Impressions Gallery (from right, Shoair Mavlian, Director of Photoworks, with Photographers: Sam Laughlin, Lua Ribera and Alejandra Carles-Tolra)Enter a caption
Photographer 1 – Lua Ribeira
‘For me photographing is freedom’ – Lua Ribeira
Lua Ribeira’s work brings the viewer to be curious around the intriguing scenarios presented. Ribeira’s work is motivated by a desire to escape from reality and a longing for mythological significance in contemporary life. She questions her own Catholic teachings about death and creates imagery around the subject of the myth of death. To me, her work goes against the dark, dull and morbid nature of death. She presents it as colourful, bold and striking. There is definitely drama in the way her photographs are composed and the way she has included dramatic characters are which add to the meaning of her work. Lua Ribeira really plays with the topic of death and the ultimate purpose of this work is to let the viewer wonder and think for themselves and perhaps to look at death in a different way than we have been historically taught.
© Lua Ribeira, Pesadilla Ligera (Weightless Nightmare), from the series Subida al Cielo
Photographer 2- Alejandra Carles-Tolra
‘I am interested in trying to challenge stereotypes ‘- Alejandra Carles-Tolra
I am personally very fascinated by Alejandra Carles-Tolra’s work after having a conversation with the artist. She has explored identity though photographing a community of ‘Janeites’ who celebrate Jane Austen’s work, dressing up in Regency period clothing and performing activities to keep the novelist’s words alive. The artist Alejandra has called this series ‘Where We Belong’ as she is interested in how this ‘community has created their own ‘Jane Austen’ world and is living in their moment within the 21st century’. Her work is shot in a theatrical-like scenario and looks fictitious, which allows the people within to live in their own little imaginary world; which in actuality her models of ‘Janeites’ are already doing.
Photographer 3 – Sam Laughlin
‘I have to do a lot of walking and looking to see what is happening in the landscape’- Sam Laughlin
Sam Laughin’s photographs can be seen as a comment on environmental issues such as loss of habitat and urbanisation. His work explores a completely different theme from the other photographs and his photographs are extraordinary. Sam photographs in black and white, in which he does not give too much away to the viewer. The importance of his work is what he has photographed opposed to the details of how it looks.
Sam says ‘The behaviours we see are adaptations that have evolved to suit an ecological niche. The word ‘niche’ is derived from the French ‘nicher’ which means ‘to make a nest’. Like a nest, an animal’s niche offers protection and slows survival, but can easily be disturbed’.