“A lot of my work has undertones of female sexuality and ritual, because photography was a place where it was okay to explore those things,” says Tabitha Barnard, the oldest of four sisters raised in a close-knit, religious community in rural Maine. “In photographing my sisters, and in trying to find a private place to do that, we kind of found this escape. I could always just tell my parents it was make-believe.”
Barnard has just won the 2018 Gomma Grant with this work, which she’s titled the Cult of Womanhood. Second prize went to Vladimir Vasilev with Nocte Intempesta, which was shot at night in a small city in Normandy, France. Fatima Abreu Ferreira took Third prize with How to disappear completely, “a work of struggle, obsession and complete hallucination” shot over two years in the photographer’s home town. Yorgos Yatromanolakis, meanwhile, won an Honourable mention for The Splitting of the Chrysalis & the Slow Unfolding of the Wings, which was also shot back home in the Greek island of Crete.
Our pick of the key stories from the past week, including details of Photo London 2019, an interview with Don McCullin, an interview with photobook specialist Manfred Heiting, and several emerging photographers
42 shortlisted photographers have been announced for The Gomma Photography Grant – a prize for emerging image-makers
With its roots in New York ghetto subculture, modern graffiti has long been viewed as an outsider art associated with law-breaking youths. Over the years the graffiti community has become increasingly international, yet a life lived outside of the law is far less romantic than it sounds. Italian-born Valerio Polici started documenting members of the graffiti movement two years ago. “I was in a subway station in Lisbon and noticed a group of guys who were changing their clothes and covering their faces while hiding from surveillance cameras. They walked along the platform and entered the tunnel. My first reaction was a mixture of adrenaline and curiosity; then I saw their bags were full of spray cans. I spotted security guards running towards the tunnel so I told the lookout. Before long I began hanging out with them and photographing their missions.” Following the graffiti writers across Europe to South America, Polici became part of their cocoon-like community, documenting their every move. “Living, running, sleeping together, I found myself in the weirdest places and situations,” …