Competitions, Features

Austria. The Art of Discovery: Five standout submissions

© Cody Cobb

Win an exclusive commission to explore and document the country. Submit your work today!

From Cody Cobb’s ethereal landscapes to Catherine Hyland’s epic Chinese and Mongolian vistas, British Journal of Photography presents a selection of the most impressive entries to Austria. The Art of Discovery, an exclusive commission organised by British Journal of Photography in collaboration with the Austrian National Tourist Office.

The selected photographer will travel to the regions of Linz, in Upper Austria, and Vorarlbergto create a body of work that captures the culture, communities and creativity they encounter. Travel and accommodation will be provided, as well as a £3,000 grant. The project will be published on  BJP and by the Austrian National Tourist Office. There will also be an opportunity to exhibit at Photo London 2018 alongside a group exhibition of contemporary Austrian photography.

If you have a compelling series, or selection of single images, on any subject-matter, BJP wants to hear from you. The competition is free to enter and open to all photographers, based anywhere in the world, working in any format.

Austria. The Art of Discovery is closing soon; Submit your work today!

Catherine Hyland

From the series Universal Experience © Catherine Hyland

London-based photographer Catherine Hyland studied Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art before completing a masters at the Royal College of Art. Her work explores the themes of fabricated memory, grids, enclosures and national identity, with a focus on landscape. Hyland has received numerous accolades, most recently, the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize 2017 and Renaissance Photography Prize 2017.

Universal Experience explores scenes of epic beauty, which have undergone development to become tourist destinations around China and Mongolia. Tackling themes of nostalgia and abandonment, the series captures the intertwining of natural beauty with the artificially engineered viewpoints from which people choose to observe and remember it. Wait-And-See Pudding with Patience Sauce documents inhabitants on the island of Nevis in the Caribbean. Although very small, Nevis has grand ambitions to become one of the world’s first carbon-neutral nations.  

Cody Cobb

© Cody Cobb

Seattle-based photographer Cody Cobb attempts to capture brief moments of stillness amid the chaos of nature. His work has been featured in numerous publications and exhibited internationally, most recently at the Lenz Photography Festival in Manchester.

Cobb spends weeks upon weeks wandering across the American West to fully immerse himself in the wilderness. Exploring remote landscapes in solitude enables Cobb to observe both his internal and external experiences more sensitively. From abstract rock formations to the tangled interiors of forests, his images freeze those fleeting moments of light and geometry, which imbue the disjointed forms of nature with the appearance structure.

Sem Langendijk

© Sem Langendijk

Growing up in the ‘hinterland’ of Amsterdam, Langendijk studied documentary photography at the Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague. His practice centres on communities and their environments, exploring the relationship between the two. He has exhibited internationally, most recently in Foam First Editions 2018 and produces work for myriad commercial and editorial clients.

Langendijk seeks out difficult environments and explores the ways in which the residents of these places interact with their surroundings. He is careful to distance himself from subjects in order to keep his photographic observations neutral. Choosing to shoot on large and medium format cameras lends a certain tranquility and poeticism to his work, which blends visual storytelling with personal documentation.

Pablo Lerma

From the series A Place to Disappear © Pablo Lerma

Pablo Lerma is an image-based artist living in New York. His practice involves researching and collecting photographs, maps, drawings, illustrations, and geological material to address concepts that include time, change, erosion, and extinction. Lerma’s work takes various forms, from installations to publications. He has been exhibited at numerous galleries and spaces, including Flowers Gallery and La Fábrica.

A Place to Disappear is a visual, research-based project that imagines a near future where humans will disappear from the planet before returning centuries later. The series features landscapes, utopian in appearance, which are undergoing transformation and extinction. These are paired with vernacular photographs from 19th-century expeditions, which depict the same locations. This sequencing collapses space and time in a manner that reflects the relationship between the archive and human memory.

Lara Faria Jacinto

© Lara Jacinto

Based out of Porto, Lara Faria Jacinto is a documentary photographer whose work addresses contemporary issues. She regularly works on commissioned projects for organisations and publications, and, in 2015, co-founded COLECTIVO, an experimental research platform dedicated to documentary practice.

Blur captures the complexities of everyday life in the countries surrounding the Adriatic Sea. Repeated border changes have obscured the cultural distinctions between different regions. This series explores the disparity between political borders and the shared identities that override them.

The deadline for Austria. The Art of Discovery is 13 March 2018. Submit your work today!

Creative Austria

Austria. The Art of Discovery offers a unique insight into different regions across Austria, from the perspectives of some of the most creative local thinkers, artists and entrepreneurs.

Throughout the submission period for Austria. The Art of Discovery different cultural voices – from the regions of Linz in Upper Austria, Vorarlberg, Kufstein, South Styria, Bad Gastein, Lake Millstatter See, Lake Attersee and Vienna – will introduce their area, providing inspiration for the winning photographer’s commission to explore the country.

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Lake Millstätter See

© Eva Mayrhuber, Österreich Werbung

Situated in the heart of Carinthia, Austria’s southernmost province, Lake Millstätter See is surrounded by rolling hills and mountain peaks. Shielded from cold winds, the shallow, sloping lakeside gives way to stretches of warm, turquoise water. The surrounding area is scattered with small restaurants and cafes: from a small hut in an Alpine pasture serving regional cuisine, to an all-day breakfast spot in the neighbouring village of Seeboden.

In the picturesque town of Millstätt am See there lies the Villa Verdin. Visitors call it “a real-life Villa Villekulla” – the fictional house of Pippi Longstocking. Thomas Helml, owner of this beautifully unconventional hotel, calls it “a bunch of crazy people.” With its brightly painted rooms and pointed turrets, the old Hubertusschlössl villa used to be a casino for Allied officers after the War. Today it exists as a place for people to come and retreat.

Three disco balls dangle in the passageway from the bar to the dining room, which serves food grown in the hotel’s garden and fish from nearby Lake Millstätter See. Located between the Tauern, Karawanken and Dolomite mountain ranges, the villa is bathed in constant light. With temperatures reaching 20°C during the winter months, it is warm enough for kiwis to grow, and they thrive on the pergola, under which guests dine year round.

Learn more about the artistic and cultural offerings of Lake Millstätter See from Helml here.

Austria. The Art of Discovery is a British Journal of Photography commission made possible with the generous support of the Austrian National Tourist Office. Please click here for more information on sponsored content funding at British Journal of Photography.