APHE Award & Skinned Exhibition

I'm writing this from America. We just got in from a walk where we burned through the rest of my black and white 35mm film I had here, and tested how a VHS camera worked in the dark. It feels nice to create things here, it feels homey. But the point is: I'm in America. 5,000 miles and a 12 hour flight away from London. And I had some stuff happen there while I've been gone. 

Firstly, a while ago I was nominated for an award from the Association for Photography in Higher Education. I ended up being one of the three winners selected nationwide, with APHE saying that "the intensity of [the] images are a forceful tool to deliver striking content with artistic sensibility and a strong political standpoint."
Although my work is very personal and I'm making it for myself in a sense, I don't believe in making it completely isolated from context - I think the best work, when you're working with political sentiment, has to make sense in a broader contemporary conversation about what you're photographing. You have to look at what people around you are saying about it, what other artists are making about it. So it's very validating to be recognised so early on by people who have been doing this for much longer - other photographers, editors, gallerists - and have them think that it's deserving of that. All in all, I'm beyond happy to have won this. 

I was also part of Itch Collective’s Skinned:Live festival at the Camden People's Theatre, a great London venue that I've attended events at before. Although I couldn't be there in person, I met them before I left to drop off some of my prints - they're a good bunch of people. You can read a blog post they wrote about my work here


My work was part of the Dermis night of the festival, amongst other piece of photography, poetry, and performance around themes of identity and the body. I was so happy to be a part of this - identity and representation are subjects that not only mean a great deal to me, but also the subjects I photograph. How we identify with our bodies, through them, and how much of that can be seen and represented in visual mediums is something I'm always thinking about. Showcasing this relationship of the inner and outer selves is something integral to my work, and I'm always happy to placed alongside other artists who are questioning and exploring these relationships as well. 

Photograph by Jemima Young