This year BJP‘s International Photography Award – series category attracted 733 entries from all over the world; faced with the difficult task of whittling this down to a single winner, the judges asked if they could honour some runners-up. After a day of deliberation, Erik Kessels, the curator and founder of KesselsKramer; Brett Rogers, director of The Photographers’ Gallery; Emma Bowkett, photographer director of the FT Weekend Magazine; Bruno Ceschel, director of Self Publish, Be Happy and SPBH Editions; and Hannah Watson, director of TJ Boulting gallery and Trolley Books, picked out three photographers for special notice – Mariela Sancari, an Argentinian living in Mexico, was awarded Highly Recommended for her project Moises, while Spanish photographer Alberto Lizaralde and Peter Watkins were Commended for their projects, everything will be ok and The Unforgetting.[bjp_ad_slot]
All three projects work with deeply personal, heart-felt topics. Sancari’s project, which won the PHotoEspana Descubrimientos prize earlier this year, reconstructs an image of her father, who died many years ago; placing small ads in a local paper, Sancari found men of a similar age and description to her father and photographed them, building up an image of what he might look like now. Watkins’ project, meanwhile, is a record of his mother, Ute, who walked off Zandvoort Beach into the North Sea on 15 February 1993.
Lizaralde’s project takes a dark period in the Spanish photographer’s life and re-invents it as a “chronicle of a magical journey”. Self-published with the help of acclaimed photobook-maker Cristina De Middel, it was shortlisted for the 2014 Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards. “In life we all go through good times and bad times over and over, tirelessly,” he comments. “I went through one of these cycles and transformed it into this book. It was my story but very well it could be yours.”
Their work will go on show at the TJ Boulting gallery in February 2015, printed by leading fine art lab Spectrum Photographic. The BJP’s International Photography Award has been running since 2005, and previous winners include: Edmund Clark, a two-time nominee for the Deutsche Borse Photographic Prize; Chloe Dewe Mathews, winner of the 2014 Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography at the Peabody Museum, Harvard; Peter di Campo, co-founder of the lauded Everyday Africa tumblr and Giulio di Sturco, a previous World Press Photo Award winner.
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