The editor of Vice Magazine UK picks out his top five of 2017 – including Lewis Bush’s Shadows of the State
Inspired by personal identity, the natural world, and the fear of dying, the three young artists in this year’s Jerwood/Photoworks Awards exhibition are presenting very different work. Picked out as winners in January 2017, all three have received a year of mentoring on their work from industry specialists such as photographer Mitch Epstein, publisher Michael Mack, and gallerist Maureen Paley. They each also received a bursary of £5000 and access to a production fund of another £5000, to make new work which goes on show in London’s Jerwood Space from 17 January-11 March then tours to Bradford and Belfast.
“I like to think that I’ve been giving myself time to find my own way of taking pictures – which of course means making a lot of mistakes, blowing a lot of resources and being very confused,” says fast-rising star Albert Elm
Daniel Castro Garcia wins the $35,000 W. Eugene Smith grant to continue his work on the European migrant crisis – read more about the work in BJP’s interview with him, first featured in our September 2016 issue. l. “The fact that my mum and dad are foreign, it’s played a massive role in my life. When those two boats capsized, the way that was written about, the adjectives used, and the type of photographs – on a personal level, that resonated. I know the kind of things my parents went through when they moved to the UK, and I know they’ve contributed really positively to British society. It felt increasingly uncomfortable, the way they were representing people who effectively did what my parents did, for the same reasons – poverty. Some of the things that were written were just unbelievable bullshit about people that are just the same as any of us. What an individualistic, separatist, regressive mentality.”
“Neverland came via my participation in the Wrzesnia Collection, a long-term photography project and ongoing photographic residency which is creating an ever-growing photo archive on the Wrzesnia Town and Commune. Every year, the Mayor of Wrzesnia Town and Commune invites one photographer, selected by the curator, to spend some time in the town creating a personal series of images that illustrates the district and its inhabitants. I had a very open brief, it was completely up to me how to portray the place. It’s an extraordinary little city, but it also seems very boring and calm on the face of it. I had to work like a journalist, cooperating with the local newspaper and researching every local event, initiative, meeting or story that could be interesting. All these events were an opportunity to meet the people, to spend some time with the community,” says Polish photographer Adam Lach
When George Pitts died earlier this year, Vice photo editor Elizabeth Renstrom was struck by how much he had influenced her work and her approach to photography. Deciding the theme for this year’s photo issue seemed a natural progression: Idols. The issue presents up-and-coming photographers alongside the more established names that have made a big impact on their craft.