The first national Jerwood/Photoworks Awards recognises outstanding future photographic talent. The award has enabled three artists to develop their practice and create new work.

Selected from an open call for applications, the three award winners Matthew Finn, Joanna Piotrowska, and Tereza Zelenkova have been supported by guidance from a pool of thirteen mentors including Alec Soth, Gillian Wearing, Broomberg & Chanarin and Michael Mack, as well as curatorial advice from both of the award giving organisations.

Matthew Finn has been photographing his mother in a series of collaborative portraits since 1987. His Jerwood/Photoworks Award has enabled him to revisit this series at an emotional time that has seen his mother move from her family home into an assisted living residence. Mathew’s mother’s mental health has changed her role in the portraits from active participant to one of an observed subject; shifting the focus of his images towards objects and metaphor.

Joanna Piotrowska’s work explores anxiety and the effects of global and political events on the individual. In this new body of work, she aims to counteract the passive role that has conventionally been encouraged of adolescent girls. Joanna enlisted young women to recreate poses from self-defence manuals, re-contextualising these poses within domestic settings. The resulting images feed our fascination with the unfamiliar or uncanny.

Tereza Zelenkova has travelled to her native Czech Republic to explore themes of history, local legend and folklore. Tereza’s Jerwood/Photoworks Award enabled her to visit numerous locations, the resulting images seem themselves out of place and time. Her eerily beautiful, black and white photographs of woodlands, stone structures and relics form their own dream-like, subconscious world, where stories fuel the viewer’s interpretation.

In a joint statement Celia Davies, Director of Photoworks and Shonagh Manson, Director of Jerwood Charitable Foundation said:

The Jerwood/Photoworks Awards are all about recognising future potential, supporting talented artists and their next steps. Working with our Awardees throughout the creative production process and seeing the ideas behind their projects develop into such strong bodies of work that may not otherwise have been made has been hugely rewarding. We’re looking forward to seeing where our Awardees’ career paths lead and to announcing the call for entries for the 2017 Jerwood/Photoworks Awards in autumn 2016.