BJP International Photography Award Launch – In Pictures

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Dominic Hawgood’s International Photography Award exhibition Under the Influence kicked off at the packed-out TJ Boulting gallery in Fitzrovia, central London last night.

Thank you to everyone who came down – it was a great night. The BJP would also like to thank Dominic Hawgood, who worked tirelessly in the week leading up to the show to create a genuinely atmospheric photography exhibition.

The judging panel included Brett Rogers, director of The Photographers’ Gallery; Emma Bowkett, picture editor of the Financial Times’ award-winning FT Weekend Magazine; Hannah Watson, director of Trolley Books, Sean O’Hagan, photography critic of The Guardian, and Bruno Ceschel, founder of Self Publish, Be Happy. They selected Dominic Hawgood from over 700 photographers to enter the competition. Diane Smyth, BJP’s deputy editor (pictured at the centre of the second image above), was chair of both judging panels, and she organised the entire contest.

“There was a huge sense of relief that everything came together; the printing, fabrication, set build and light installation,” Hawgood told BJP on the night.

“It was ten days solid work installing the exhibition, and to attain the high build quality meant a great deal of dedication and attention to detail. I was very pleased with the turn out, it was great to see so many people, and nice to know there’s support and interest in my practice.”

Hawgood’s first major solo exhibition was “a steep learning curve”, he says. He built a new floor and walls and installed a LED-based lighting system that transformed the space almost entirely.


“The LED lighting setup took a great deal of problem solving, he says. “It went way beyond a hobbyist project and bordered on an architectural installation.

“I used 3d renders initially to visualise the space and plan how the environment would react to having a platform, walls and LED’s built into it,” he says. “I then set about realising the render. As everything came together, the exhibition became unreal,  and it’s this uncanny quality that allowed the imagery to be experienced in a new way. There was literally a transformation.”

The colour created in gallery space is something that could only exist today, he says, with modern lighting – “a contemporary palette,” he says. “The exhibition has an atmosphere I would explain as cold, minimalist, clinical, digital spiritualism.”

“We began the award more than a decade ago with the simple aim of enabling one person to present a major body of work as a solo show at a prime London venue,” say Simon Bainbridge, editor of British Journal of Photography. “And although the award isn’t aimed specifically at emerging photographers, we’re proud to say that we’ve offered debut shows for artists and projects that have made an important contribution to photographic culture.

Edmund Clark, Chloe Dewe Mathews, Alvaro Deprit, Peter diCampo have all won the award in the past. “They are photographers with something to say, and we are happy to have been able to help get them the credit they deserve, and disseminate their work to a wider audience,” Bainbridge says. “Dominic Hawgood is another such artist; previously featured in our Ones to Watch 2014 issue, he’s a new talent with a very clear handle of the medium and what he can convey with it.”

The award wouldn’t have been possible without BJP’s partners. “With this latest edition, we put more investment behind the award, and found the ideal partner in TJ Boulting gallery, located in the heart of Fitzrovia, joining forces with Spectrum Photographic, which has supported the competition for many years, providing lab support for the printing of our exhibitions,” Bainbridge says.

The exhibition is now on show until 07 March at the TJ Boulting Gallery, 59, Riding House Street, London W1W 7EG. More details can be found here.