Juror: Mark Walton
September 26 - November 13, 2020
The Once Unknown:
Online Juried Photography Exhibition
This exhibition asks the viewer to contemplate the theme "The Once Unknown". Photographers were asked to submit work to the open call exploring new experiences. Open to interpretation and diversely explored, this exhibition features work that investigates a sense of newness in relation to objects, actions, locations and viewpoints. We welcome you to engage with this online exhibition featuring analog, digital and experimental processes in photography.
Kate Short, Winner of the Grand Prize
Samantha Robbs, Winner of the Youth Prize
Chad Durnford, Special Selection
*Click images to expanded and view artist info.
Letter from the Juror, Mark Walton:
The Once Unknown - Selection Process
I love photography. Film. Digital. Alternative process. Documentary. Editorial. Abstract. Portrait. Landscape. Experimental.
More importantly, I like engaging photography.
Engaging, however, is a subjective term. My definition of is not the same as yours, nor my friends', nor another curator's. As such it can be exceedingly difficult to explain why I choose what I choose when I am jurying a show or editing a magazine or exhibit.
But I can try.
To me, an engaging photograph is one that jumps off the page (or screen) and screams "LOOK AT ME!". It can do that with its colour, or lack thereof. It can do that by its subject matter and how well it explains itself (or not) just through what it is. Most of all it does that by making me think. Is it perfectly self-explanatory, where everything is answered with a glimpse? Does it make me ask more questions about the photographer, the photograph itself, or better, of myself? Does it make me feel warm? Or uncomfortable?
An engaging photograph is also one that tells some sort of story or encourages me to make up a story about it. It makes me want to infer a meaning, even when it is something totally different to what the photographer intended.
Finally, an engaging photograph shows a high level of technical skill. Or an abandonment of it. You can see the choices the photographer had to make in capturing and presenting the image.
When all of these elements are in a photo, I know that the photographer has really advanced in the art of photography. We may not agree on what kinds of photos we both appreciate, or the processes involved, or the gear used... but we undeniably share a love for the medium.
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