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Friday, 23 April 2010

Sony World Photography Awards 2010 Winners Announced

Last night, the winners were announced for the Sony World Photography Awards 2010 for the professional category, Italian photographer, Tommaso Ausili wins L’Iris d’Or and Vitali Seitz wins the award for Amateur Photographer of the Year. This prize provides a unique view into what's being created today in the world of photography - from art and advertising to documentary and fine art, poignantly reminding us that images surround us and have become entwined in the everyday.

Tommaso Ausili's evocative series of photographs in the Contemporary Issues category, entitled “The Hidden Death”, is an insightful depiction of an assembly line at an abattoir. Ausili was awarded a $25,000 cash prize plus Sony digital SLR camera equipment and he joins previous L’Iris d’Or winners David Zimmerman and Vanessa Winship as a member of the World Photographic Academy. Tommaso Ausili said at the ceremony: “I’m very glad to receive this award. Since I started this series on the death of animals, I have felt an enormous sense of guilt, and this prize goes some way to repay that debt. Thanks to the Sony World Photography Awards for honouring my work with this prize.”

Photographer Vitali Seitz was announced as the 2010 Sony World Amateur Photographer of the Year at the ceremony. Based in Munich, but originally from Siberia, Vitali’s image entitled “Hauskonzert: Home concert” was taken at an informal concert as part of a family birthday and also won the amateur Music category. In addition to his title Vitali picked up a $5,000 cash prize and Sony digital SLR camera equipment.

All the winning and shortlisted images of the 2010 awards are on display until 27 April as part of the World Photography Festival in Cannes. The images will then be showcased in the Sony World Photography Awards Global Tour exhibition which will tour around the world throughout 2010 and 2011.

The final presentation of the evening went to celebrated American photojournalist Eve Arnold. Presented the day after her 98th birthday, the Lifetime Achievement Award was collected by her grandson Michael Arnold. Eve’s 50 year career has captured some of history’s most memorable figures from Malcolm X to Marilyn Monroe and was the first female photographer to be taken on by Magnum. A retrospective of Eve’s work, curated by Zelda Cheatle, is currently on display in Cannes as part of the World Photography Festival.

Astrid Merget, Creative Director of the World Photography Organisation, said: “The quality of work submitted by this year’s professional photographers was remarkable. Narrowing down so many impressive selections to just 36 finalists was a feat worthy of a very distinguished jury like ours to undertake. We are all thrilled with the results and honoured to have such talented photographers participate in our awards programme.”

Yoshiyuki Nogami, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Europe, said: “We are once again honoured to support this unique competition which celebrates the power of photography. This year’s contest has produced an inspired showcase of phenomenal photographic talent and we congratulate all these deserving winners.”

Chosen by the 2010 Honorary Judging Committee, comprising 12 World Photographic Academy members, the professional category winners are:

Photojournalism and Documentary
·Walter Astrada (Argentina) for Current Affairs
·Barbour (New Zealand) for Sport
·Tommaso Ausili (Italy) for Contemporary Issues
·Paolo Pellegrin (Italy) for Arts and Entertainment

·Martin Brent (United Kingdom) for Advertising
·David Handley (United Kingdom) for Fashion
·Mohammad Golchin (Iran) for Music

Fine Art
·Philipp Lohöefener (Germany)for Architecture
·Tommaso Bonaventura (Italy) for Portraiture
·Renhui Zhao (Singapore) for Conceptual and Constructed
·Pere Pascual (Spain) for Natural History
·Peter Franck (Germany) for Landscape

On behalf of the Honorary Judging Committee Aidan Sullivan commented, “It has been an honour to be part of the judging of this years awards. Being able to view the remarkable work and spend time with such eminent colleagues was a real delight. The judging process was one of both pleasure, in seeing such a high calibre of work, and of pain in that the standard made reaching our decisions difficult and I would like to congratulate all of the winners across all of the categories.”

All the winning professional and amateur images can be viewed at www.worldphotographyawards.org

To read more about the World Photography Awards in 2007, CLICK HERE.

1. Contemporary Issues Tommaso Ausili, Italy ©Tommaso Ausili courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards 2010
2. Landscape winner Peter Franck, Germany 13361-51922 © Peter Franck courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards 2010
3. Amateur Music Winner Name: Vitali Seitz © Vitali Seitz courtesy of the Sony World Photography Awards 2010

Thursday, 22 April 2010

A Review of Emerging Painters this spring at Jerwood Space

Yesterday, the fourth and final Jerwood Contemporary Painters exhibition opened at the Jerwood Space in London with great acclaim. This innovative and varied exhibition provides a unique opportunity for emerging artists at a particular stage in their career, somewhere in between student and recognised artist to exhibit alongside their contemporaries. It also provides audiences a rare chance to get a glimpse of future greats, so to speak. The exhibition supports imaginative and vibrant practice in contemporary painting by encouraging young artists during what can be, at times, considered their most creative period. Each of the participating artists, who must have graduated after 2000, receives an equal share of £30,000 to support them at this critical point in their careers. This fee is unusual to other prizes as it rewards every artist in the show. Paul Huxley, Vanessa Jackson and Callum Innes selected the 24 artists (scroll down for biographies).

Lately, several great painters have been brought to my attention, for example, the incredibly poignant Mitch Griffiths whose new show The Promised Land opens later this month at the Halcyon Gallery, London) and Jonathan Wateridge, who is relatively unknown, but a strong newcomer, has a show the will be opening in July. What I love about painting is the ability to negotiate the form, taking a traditional medium and turning it on its head through modern day interpretation. Painting has a long a varied history; it doesn’t have the same relationship with contemporary image-making, as say, the photograph. However, because of the nature of a painting, it’s presence resonates, there’s a certain sort of permanence, which is a quality that is increasingly becoming rare in the early part of the 21st century.

The twenty-four artists are:

Neil Clements, Stewart Cliff, Natasha Conway, Kevin Cosgrove, James Ferris, Lotte Gertz, Nick Goss, Tommy Grace, Charlie Hammond, Iain Hetherington, Thomas Hylander, Ellen Macdonald, Jill Mason, Lucy Kumara Moore, Jack Newling, J.A. Nicholls, Ben Pritchard, James Ryan, Daniel Sinsel, David Small Lucy Stein, Shaan Syed, Mimei Thompson, and Hanneline Visnes

Exhibition Events
A series of Monday evening events will accompany the exhibition at Jerwood Space. The events will explore contemporary painting, offering a platform for debate around the topic. Events are free but must be booked in advance. For further information and to book, please email jva@parkerharris.co.uk or check the Jerwood Visual Arts website.

Paul Huxley RA was elected a Royal Academician in 1987 and has been Treasurer of the Royal Academy since 2000. Previous to this he was a member of the advisory panels for the Arts Council of Great Britain and the Serpentine Gallery. He was also a Trustee of the Tate Gallery from 1975 to 1982, acting for a period as chairman of its Exhibitions Committee. Recent projects have included large-scale wall drawings in Chichester and London, and an ongoing series of paintings on a Chinese theme. In 2009 his work was exhibited in solo shows in Beijing, China, and Seoul, South Korea.

Vanessa Jackson is an abstract painter concerned with optical and illusionistic process. She was Head of Painting at Winchester School of Art until 1997, and later MA and Research Tutor at the Royal College of Art until 2008. Currently she tutors at the Royal Academy Schools. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in London and internationally. Her most recent show was a 10metre wall painting, 'Vertigo in Three Parts,' at Sadler's Wells.

Callum Innes has had numerous solo exhibitions, most recently at Frith Street Gallery, London; Fruitmarket, Edinburgh; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. In 1992 he had two major exhibitions at the ICA, London and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, and in 1995 he was short-listed for the Turner Prize. He was awarded the Jerwood Painting Prize in 2002.

The exhibition runs until 30 May, at the Jerwood Space, 171 Union St, SE1 0LN
It’s free admission, and definitely worth the visit.

Images (c) the artists
1. (c) James Ferris
2. (c) Hanneline Visnes,Stain

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Dorothy Bohm: A World Observed 1940 – 2010

The first major retrospective of the London-based photographer Dorothy Bohm, A World Observed 1940 – 2010, will open this April at Manchester Art Gallery. Bohm is widely acknowledged as one of the doyennes of British photography. She was born in Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad) in 1924, and has lived in England since 1939.

This comprehensive exhibition brings together over 200 photographic images, many of them seen in public for the first time, tracing Dorothy Bohm’s career which spans more than six decades and several continents. Curated by her daughter, Monica Bohm-Duchen and Colin Ford, this riveting exhibition showcases a wide array of photographs that document a rapidly changing world in the second half of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Bohm’s images are aesthetically striking, visually sophisticated, yet deeply humane and immediately accessible.

A World Observed 1940 – 2010 opens with a selection of Bohm’s work as a student at Manchester College of Technology (from which she graduated in 1942) and of the portraits she produced while working first at Samuel Cooper and then, from 1946, in her own Studio Alexander in Market Street, Manchester. These portraits will be displayed in a reconstruction of her studio, while a separate replica darkroom will demonstrate the now almost forgotten technique of black and white photographic processing – staging an important historical aspect of the photography process.

The next segment charts her discovery of open-air photographer when she began to spend time in the late 1940s and early 1950s in the artists’ colony of Ascona, in the Ticino, Switzerland. By the late 1950s she rejected studio portraiture for so-called “street photography.” With her husband Louis Bohm (a fellow émigré from Nazi Europe, whom she met when they were both students in Manchester) she travelled widely, and her work of this period provides fascinating insights into the changing face of post-war Europe, as well as the USA, the USSR and Israel.

The first time Bohm experimented with colour photography was in 1956 on a visit to Mexico. However, the first consistent body of colour was unveiled almost three decades later, in the early 1980s, when she explored the potential of Polaroid photography. In 1984, on a visit to the Far East, Bohm used Kodak colour film for the first time, and thereafter abandoned black and white entirely. Since then, although the human figure in its natural setting is still the primary focus of her work and she continues to use photography in its purest, unmanipulated form, her approach has become more painterly and allusive, with an ever greater interest in spatial and other forms of ambiguity.

Further exhibition displays include cameras that Bohm used throughout the course of her long career, plus a selection of family photographs, books, past exhibition posters and examples of her correspondence with other photographers and artists. In addition to her work as a photographic artist, Dorothy Bohm was a co-founder of The Photographers’ Gallery, London in 1971 and its Associate Director until 1986. Her exhibition Dorothy Bohm: Colour Photography 1984 – 94, held at the gallery in 1994, was one of its best-attended exhibitions ever. In 2009, Bohm was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.

The exhibition will tour to The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich in 2011. For further information visit www.manchestergalleries.org.

Also featured in Aesthetica's current issue.

All images (c) Dorothy Bohm
Place du Tertre, Monmartre, Paris, 1950, Dorothy Bohm
Torn poster, Hampstead, London, 1990s, Dorothy Bohm
Sweden, 1971, Dorothy Bohm

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

East End Film Festival Opens in 2 Days!

I've always had my eye on the ball with regards to film, with our editorial focus looking at the interdisciplinary nature of the arts, I feel it's important to engage with not only what's happening in the world of visual arts, but also that of film, performance, music and literature. I see all the arts connected - art influences art, and so on and so forth.

With our current issue, looking at the Artists' Cinema Project and the Aesthetica Short Film Competition, my focus has been even more acute, so I wanted to give you the heads up on this year's East End Film Festival (22 - 39 April).

Now in its ninth year, the festival offers a 9-day packed programme of features, documentaries and shorts, plus film-focused discussions and live music and arts events spread across thirty East End venues. Opening this Thursday, the festival will screen over 200 films, showcasing an impressive range of premieres from across the globe. As well as screening the best of East European, Middle Eastern, and South East Asian cutting edge urban cinema, East End Film Festival endeavours to keep its feet firmly planted in East London – and to this end will put East End filmmakers in the spotlight by screening new films from local emerging talent.

Films by British filmmakers include COWBOYS IN INDIA, SHED YOUR TEARS AND WALK AWAY, LAND GOLD WOMEN, ANA BEGINS and THE COST OF LOVE. The festival will also hark back to the East End of yesterday, with a specially commissioned programme of heritage films. Indeed, the festival opens with a gala screening of the digitally restored HD version of cult 1969 classic BRONCO BULLFROG; with another highlight being a free outdoor screening in Spitalfields Market of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1927 thriller THE LODGER, accompanied by a live soundtrack performed by Minima.

Mindful of the general election, there’ll also be a selection of thought-provoking films themed around cultural politics, such as a new cinematic version of acclaimed stage play SUS; a programme of films screening at Amnesty International’s Human Rights Action Centre including TIBET IN SONG and PRESUMED GUILTY; and a series of events, debates and gigs celebrating ROCK AGAINST RACISM. Other musical highlights include TAQWACORE: THE BIRTH OF PUNK ISLAM, a screening at Whitechapel Gallery of ALL THE YEARS OF TRYING alongside a debate on punk poetry, and the World Premiere of THE RIME OF THE MODERN MARINER.

Screening in atmospheric St Anne’s Church, this artist documentary narrated by musician Carl Barat explores the culture, community and folklore of the London Docks, with a live music score performed by composer Anthony Rossomando, Rose Elinor Dougall, and very special guests. A pop-up cinema at Village Underground will combine film, alternative music and live performance; including the UK Premiere of DOWNTOWN CALLING. International highlights include UK Premieres of THE WILD AND WONDERFUL WHITES OF WEST VIRGINIA, and anticipated Polish feature PIGGIES. Russian filmmaker Aleksey Balabanov will visit the East End to present his two most recent films CARGO 200 and MORPHIA.

For more information on these and other films, plus details of shorts programmes, networking events and masterclasses, visit www.eastendfilmfestival.com

Monday, 19 April 2010

The Aesthetica Short Film Competition: 2 Weeks Left to Enter

Are you a filmmaker? Do you want to win some fabulous prizes, cash, and screenings at 6 Festivals in the UK and Ireland, and a weekend with Raindance to boot?The Aesthetica Short Film Competition is well underway, and in fact we’ve attracted entries from all over the globe from Jamaica to Japan, Germany to Finland, USA, Canada, and Argentina to Brazil. The office is buzzing with creativity!

Judges: Tony Earnshaw (Director, National Media Museum); Helen Jack (Head of Events, Shooting People); Joe Bateman (Director, Rushes Soho Shorts Festival); Seonaid Daly (Glasgow Film Theatre) and Cherie Federico (Editor, Aesthetica Magazine).

Don’t miss your chance to win! For further details visit:

Light, Architecture and Experience

Feelings Are Facts, opened earlier this month at The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) and continues until 20 June. This exhibition marks the first collaboration between Olafur Eliasson, the Danish-Icelandic artist, and Ma Yansong, one of the most prolific Chinese architects. Together the artists have created an installation specially conceived for the space, uniting architecture, light and fog.

Eliasson is known for his exploration of human perception, and he often works with light, shadows, colour, water, wind, or fog to create a specific environment in order to move us to think about our experience of our surroundings – perceptions we usually take to be self-evident. Ma's architecture stands at the forefront of new experimentation in building structures, refashioning form in bold pursuits of perfection. Their collaboration invites audiences to enter an endless space of fog, with colour emanating from fluorescent tubes of red, green and blue. By moving through the space, the colours blend, and so the viewers will endlessly create their own colour spectrum.

In Feelings are Facts; Olafur Eliasson and Ma Yansong challenge our everyday patterns of spatial orientation, thereby suggesting the need to invent new models for perception. The installation was specially crafted to fit the Big Hall of the UCCA, the dimensions of which were altered by substantially lowering the ceiling and constructing an inclined wooden floor.

“UCCA is proud to present Feelings are facts, an exhibition which catalyses a dynamic cross-fertilization between art and architecture. The final result is born of a unique collaboration between Eliasson and Ma. This breathtaking installation promises to transport the viewer on a journey, which reverses his normal art experience. Here the spectator, rather than simply viewing an art object from the outside, surprisingly witnesses himself becoming an integral part of the artwork. The viewer enters a world of extra-sensorial perception whereby colour, light and architecture enable him to re-evaluate his relationship with his surroundings,” says UCCA Director, Jérôme Sans.

Basing this project on a series of previous experiments with atmospheric density, Eliasson introduces condensed banks of artificially produced fog into the gallery. Hundreds of fluorescent lights are installed in the ceiling as a grid of red, green, and blue zones. By permeating the fog, these lights create walk-through spaces that, in Eliasson’s words, function to ‘make the volume of the space explicit’. The coloured zones introduce a scale of measurement in the gallery, their varying size and organization referencing urban-planning grids. At each colour boundary, two hues blend to create transitional slivers of cyan, magenta, or yellow, and so the visitors will create their own unique colour spectrum when making their way through this seemingly endless space. The artists use this structural marvel to present inquiries into the nature of reality. What should be the basis of our thinking and judgement in a space where reality and illusion interconnect? As we stand amidst such accomplished phenomena, can we re-examine with greater concern our sensations and experiences of that which is around us?

For further information visit on Olafur Eliasson visit www.olafureliasson.net or Ma Yansong www.i-mad.com. And for Ullens Center of Contemporary Art visit www.ucca.org.cn. Feelings Are Facts is curated by Jérôme Sans and Guo Xiaoyan,

Images (c) Olafur Eliasson and Ma Yansong
Photography by Sebastian Behmann

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