Final days of Female in Focus 2021 at Four Corners Gallery, London

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This Exhibition is Sponsored by MPB: the world’s largest online platform for used photo and video kit

The exhibition, which closes this Saturday 26 February, features the work of series winners Jodie Bateman and Paola Jimenez Quispe

Last week, the exhibition of 1854 Media’s annual competition, Female in Focus, opened at Four Corners Gallery in London. The show, curated by 1854 Media’s Zoe Harrison and sponsored by MPB, hosts the work of both series and single image category winners, and runs until Saturday 26 February.

© Jodie Bateman.
© Paola Jiménez Quispe

For the 2021 edition, Jodie Bateman and Paola Jiménez Quispe were selected as the two winners in the series category. Bateman was born and raised in London, and converted to Islam in December 2017, at the age of 23. In her connected projects, My Hijab Has a Voice and My Hijab Has a Voice: Revisited, she uses stylised, traditional portraiture to ruminate on the lived experiences of Muslim women. By shooting in the home, and in colour, she challenges perceptions and stereotypes, “in the hopes that it would humanise me, and show how much more I am than a piece of cloth,” she tells BJP. 

Jiménez Quispe works with the archie, unpublished works of her late father and textual records to piece together a narrative, attempting to find our more about her father’s untimely murder when she was just five years old. The series considers grief and loss, an attempt to understand the past to deal with the present. Shot in her native Peru, the process was somewhat cathartic for the photographer. “Digging into that loss is where I could finally find some kind of peace,” Jiménez Quispe says.

These works were also shown at the WOPHA Congress last November in Miami’s Green Space gallery. The two-day Congress of women photography organisations and notable industry professionals founded by Latinx art historian and curator, Aldeide Delgado, gathered practitioners from all over the world to discuss established arts canons and provoke change. Delgado formed part of this edition’s esteemed panel of judges, joined by Joanna Milter, Director of Photography for the New Yorker; Holly Fraser, Editor-in-Chief of WePresent, and others.

Elsewhere in the London exhibition, Imogen Freeland, Natalia Garcia, Marzena Hans, Maryam Khastoo, Thandiwe Muriu, Joanna Musial, Orna Naor, P. Wamaitha Ng’ang’a, Stephanie Noritz, Bailey Quinlan, Anouchka Renaud Eck, Layla Sailor, Kali Spitzer, Lebo Thoka, Annie Tobin, Teri Varhol, Paola Vivas, and Virginia Woods-Jack were selected as winners of the single image category. Their work is also on display. 


With thanks to this year’s sponsor: MPB, the world’s largest online platform for used photo and video kit

Printing and framing was supported by Beyond Print

Female in Focus 2022 is open now for entry. For more information, click here.