Following a lengthy judging process, the shortlist for Postcards from Copenhagen has been announced. The competition, organised by British Journal of Photography with the generous support of Wonderful Copenhagen, is giving three photographers the opportunity to travel to Denmark’s capital and create a body of work that captures the city from an alternative point of view.
Over one long-weekend, the three winners will explore and document Copenhagen from a local perspective; steering clear of tourist hotspots and instead shedding light on Copenhagen’s best-kept secrets. The resulting work will be published on British Journal of Photography and by Wonderful Copenhagen.
Below, we present the final shortlist, from which three winners will be selected.
Marco Kesseler graduated from Falmouth University in 2012 and now splits his time between London and south-west England. His work has featured in publications including The New York Times, The FT Weekend Magazine and TIME, and he has exhibited across the UK. “My interest lies in the role of narrative, studying both fact and fiction, as a reference point in representing contemporary social stories and interrogating cultural history,” he says. “I navigate between editorial portraiture and long-term narrative, choosing to work with a considered approach, requiring a collaborative trust between subject and photographer.”
Kesseler’s latest, and ongoing project (featured above), is set along the English Riviera. “The work,” he says, “examines the dreams that drive the migration of communities on a recurring seasonal basis, as well as those in search of refuge who follow the train line to its final destination.” Kesseler describes the project as a “lyrical exploration of escapism.”
Laura Stevens is a British photographer currently based in Paris. Her work is distinctly personal. While Another November explores the emotions experienced by women dealing with recent relationship breakdowns (created following Steven’s own relationship ending), Further, Farther is the result of a solitary journey through the American Southwest. Stevens plans to adopt a similar approach to that of Further, Farther if selected as a winner of the Postcards for Copenhagen commission.
“[Further, Farther] was created in an instinctive fashion, moving through the environment, looking and waiting for moments and meetings to arrive, which would signal attention. Through the editing process, the melody was then written,” says Stevens. “I would work in a similar way for Postcards from Copenhagen, firstly having in mind the particular emotion I would want to find, and then developing this intuitively over the few days.”
Steven’s work has been exhibited around the world at galleries and events including the Singapore International Photography Festival, Chicago’s Schneider Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery in London, and The Centre for Fine Art Photography in Colorado.
Chris Hoare is an MA photography student currently based in Bristol. He is at his most comfortable when photographing on the street and relies upon a unique interaction with his subjects to collect portraits, landscapes and details to form visual stories.
“Getting beneath the surface is always an ambition within the work that I produce,” says Hoare, “whether this is through sub-cultures, communities or working on the street for hours on end.” Hoare’s published work explores themes of community and youth culture, as well as topics that include gambling and hip-hop. The photographer recently travelled to Australia and is currently in the process of creating a new body of work that explores fortuity.
Ashley Bourne is a portrait and documentary photographer currently based in Bristol. While studying Photography at Falmouth University (graduating in 2016), Bourne was selected by Magnum photographer Mark Power as the winner of his Black Country Stories competition. He was also recently shortlisted for the Felix Schoeller Photo Award under the category Best Emerging Photographer. He works exclusively in medium format.
Sara Nicomedi is a street and documentary photographer who employs the medium to explore the sense of loss and instability experienced by people living in an era of significant change. Although based in London, Nicomedi regularly travels to cities overseas where she spends intense periods wandering the streets and capturing the quirks that are presented before her.
Maria Jou Sol
Barcelona-based Maria Jou Sol uses photography as a means of self-expression. “I am inspired by the moments that we lose to memory,” she says. Photography is a way to “collect both good and sad moments and save them for later. I make pictures to allow myself to better understand my reality and also to document the world around me.”
The photographer knows Copenhagen well. When she was 18, Jou Sol spent a year living in Lyngby, a small village situated 20 minutes outside of the capital. The photographer’s interpretation of the Postcards from Copenhagen commission would draw upon this familiarity. “Copenhagen is very close to me, but at the same time, I feel as if I keep a distance to it,” says Jou Sol. “The city, like its people, is formed by change and it is constantly moving. I want to go back and experience this change.”
Peter Holliday is a Scottish photographer currently based in Helsinki. He graduated from The Glasgow School of Art in 2015 and is currently studying a Photography MA at Helsinki’s Aalto University. “Informed by my childhood growing up in the Scottish Highlands, my work explores the physical memory that exists between the past and present as I seek to understand mankind’s relationship with the land,” says Holliday.
In 2017, the photographer was shortlisted for Magnum Photos’ Graduate Photographers Award. Holliday’s submitted project, Where the Land Rises, explores the interrelations between mankind and nature within the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago in southern Iceland. “Examining the legacy of the eruption of Eldfell on the island of Heimaey in 1973, I combine landscapes with portraits of people who witnessed the event,” he says.
Postcards from Copenhagen is a British Journal of Photography commission made possible with the generous support of Wonderful Copenhagen. Please click here for more information on sponsored content funding at British Journal of Photography.