Katrin Koenning’s documentary projects are fluid in process and poetic in aesthetic. She often works on several series at once, and, similar to how she found her way into photography, lets intuition and circumstance guide her practice. Raised in Bochum, Germany, Koenning moved to Australiain 2003, completing a BA in Photography in Brisbane before relocating to Melbourne, where she now lives, works, and teaches. Koenning has won multiple awards, including Australian Photobook of the Year and the Daylight Photo Award, as well as receiving numerous nominations for prestigious prizes such as MACK’s First Book Award, and more recently the Greenpeace Photography Award. Many of Koenning’s projects –Lake Mountain and The Crossing – are driven by the anger she feels towards governmental policies that prioritise short-term profits over sustainable decisions for the environment and future generations. One of her most recent bodies of work, Swell, seeks to highlight this current state of urgency, not through the expected tropes of disaster imagery, but by focusing on a number of small ecosystems in Australia. As Swell goes on …
“I’ve spent so many hours on end in the dark, listening to loud music and just watching people, trying to see who I can take photos of and sussing out the environment” says Lionel Kiernan, “my work is a recording of what we can see with the naked eye in these constantly repetitive environments”.
At 21, Kiernan is the youngest photographer, and only Australian, to ever be shortlisted for the MACK First Book Award. After graduating from the Photography Studies College in Melbourne in 2017, Kiernan was nominated this year for his first major body of work documenting Melbourne’s nightlife scene, At Night.
Patricia Karallis and Giada De Agostinis, founding editor and editor of the online photography magazine, pick out their top five of the year – including Vincent Ferrané’s book Milky Way