“Dublin is the city I grew up in, I wanted to make work about me but also about the youth in Dublin today,” says Daragh Soden. “I approached young people in the streets of Dublin and asked them if I could take their photograph, and allowed them to stand as they wished. The idea was to champion the youth of Dublin today, to celebrate them and also revisit my own youth.”
It’s a deceptively simply premise for a project that’s already brought him international success – last year the single image prize in the undergraduate category of BJP‘s Breakthrough Awards, and now the Photography Jury Grand Prix at the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography.
Judged by a prestigious panel including photographer Tim Walker, gallerist Michael Hoppen, agent extraordinaire Camilla Lowther, and curator Robin Muir, the win means that Soden will stage a solo exhibition of his work at next year’s festival, a €15,000 grant from Chanel, plus a €5000 grant for the Janvier photo lab.
This year each of the shortlisted photographers were also invited to take part in two other competitions – the Prix de la Photographie American Vintage, and the Prix Nature Morte. The Prix de la Photographie American Vintage will run for the next three years at Hyères, and comes with a €15,000 prize fund. In the Prix Nature Morte, the shortlisted photographers are commissioned by the festival to shoot four still life images, using fashion accessories of their choice.
In addition, Hyères now offers one more competition to photographers – the Elie Saab grant, which offers one winner a three-week residency plus €6000 grant in Beirut. The Le Coeur project space will showcase an exhibition for one of the photography winners during Paris Photo. The exhibitions at the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography include both fashion and photography, such as a solo show by Tim Walker, and another by Vendula Knopovà, winner of the 2016 Photography Jury Grand Prix.