Six artists shortlisted from more than sixty will compete in the inaugural £20,000 Visionary Award, created in Tim Hetherington’s memory
The legacy of British photographer and filmmaker Tim Hetherington lives on in a brand new award that celebrates innovation in visual storytelling. More than sixty photographers, filmmakers and visual artists were nominated for the £20,000 Visionary Award by an international team of industry experts, and six (four individuals and a duo) have made the shortlist.
Dominic Bracco II was chosen for The Backs of Men, a three-chapter series that combines photography, video and theatre to explore the border region of Texas and Mexico, and ‘the killing fields’ of Honduras.
Colombia-based Erika Diettes was shortlisted for Reliquaries, an installation that looks at the country’s ‘disappeared’ by encasing photographs and objects that belong to the missing persons in an amber-like substance. These ‘memorials’ will be arranged in a designated space to evoke the feeling of walking through a graveyard.
The short film Fight Hate With Love, created by Andrew Michael Ellis and Mediastorm, follows young black American Michael Tabon, caught up in a cycle of imprisonment but now focused on promoting his message of community, love and understanding.
The UK’s Jack Hatton was chosen for Ghana Oil and Navigating the Resource Curse. Hatton, who graduated from Manchester School of Art in 2014, will look at the socio-economic and environmental impact of oil in Ghana, told through its people and landscapes.
Lastly, husband and wife team Kel O’Neill and Eline Jongsma have been shortlisted for The Ark, an ‘immersive documentary’ project shot in Kenya and in the US that turns the spotlight on the last remaining five northern white rhinoceros in the world.
The Visionary Award, which was founded by the Tim Hetherington Trust in 2014, will see one shortlisted artist or duo awarded £20,000 to work on their proposed project. The Trust will also assign a mentor who will offer help and guidance during the making of the work.
Hetherington died in April 2011 after he and colleagues came under attack in Misrata, Libya. “Tim was all about moving forwards, innovation and trying to solve the media puzzle – how do we use media in a way that is really effective?” the Trust’s executive director Stephen Mayes told BJP. “Through this Award, we hope people will recognise Tim’s spirit of adventure, of experimentation, of challenge, which is at the Trust’s core… we want to support innovation, not for innovation’s sake, but creative thinking towards a wider, more effective communication.”
The Award seeks to encourage artists and journalists whose work crosses the boundaries of art, reportage and technology, says Mayes. “Tim would do whatever it took to express what he had to say. With the video Diary – a 20-minute stream-of-consciousness reportage – Tim gave his footage to video artist Magali Charrier who edited the film and did the sound design. It’s a very different way of doing journalism. By [stepping into] this cross-fertilisation between journalism and art, Tim created something completely dynamic, and breath-taking. Our aspiration is to do something similar… to extend Tim’s vision. We’ve tried to put the Award together with the same imagination and dynamism that Tim applied in this own practice.”