On Thursday 21st January I submitted a panel of 20 prints as part of an application for a Fellowship with The Societies, the largest European Professional Photographic Society in Europe.
The submission consisted of prints form my Conceptual Relationships project which has been running since 2012, and continues to be ongoing. There was an accompanying statement of intent, which is shown below.
The work consists of prints that represent relationships on a conceptual level. Each photograph is constructed and presented in a way that invites interpretation by the viewer.
By manipulating light, shadow, perspective and colour, each picture is by design intended to unsettle the viewer. The content shows relationships conceptually between alcohol, religion, each other and ourselves. I have included subtle linking throughout, which links certain images together.
Fellowship with The Societies is the highest award available by submission, and was judged by five judges who themselves are industry proven professional photographers and artists, that have also achieved fellowship and above with their own work.
I had a choice of panels to submit and had originally intended to submit a different one for the Fellowship application. As with all things, Im never to proud to ask for a considered opinion from people that have far greater knowledge and experience than myself, so after a consultation with Damian McGillicuddy where Damian kindly reviewed my work, and considering his advice, I decided to submit the panel on Conceptual relationships, and it proved to be the right thing to do.
The judging of the Fellowship started with private access to the room which enabled me to spend some time hanging the prints and getting the prints to be represented just the way I wanted them to look. I think this is a really important part of the process. I was fortunate enough to have Magdalena Sienicka working the room, who was brilliant to answer any questions I had and even had a spirit level on hand!
Being an avid supporter of print work, and a keen print worker, I had printed the panel of work at home, and carefully balanced the set in terms of colour and contrast at the final printing stage. it was really important to be able to hang the prints exactly how I intended them to be viewed.
Once the prints were hung and ready for the viewing, Terrie Jones the Distinctions Manager who was conducting the running of the distinctions called the judges in, and since there is a pool of judges to be called upon, I had no idea who they would be. The judging panel consisted of Richard P Walton, George Fairbairn, Aled Oldfield, Mark Cleghorn and Lyndsey Thompson Vinny, an extremely distinguished set of people.
After what seemed like an age of the judges looking at the pictures and inspecting various ones individually under the light box, the judges decided to leave the room for a private discussion. The judges returned after ten minutes and had made a decision, Terrie asked them for their votes, and thankfully the vote was a unanimous one in favour of the work being awarded Fellowship.
The judges then each commented on the work, and they were extremely kind with their words and also advice for pushing on from that point.
Slideshow of the panel of images.
This is the third Fellowship I have been awarded in 12 months, and has started 2016 off with a bang.
My personal thanks go out to George Fairbairn, Richard P Walton, Aled Oldfield, Mark Cleghorn, Lyndsey Thompson Vinny, Terrie Jones, Magdalena Sienicka, my friends that attended and my family for all the support afforded to me through the process, and the people and models Ive worked with to create this body of work.