Students from our BA (Hons) Photography and MA Commercial Photography courses impressed industry to be awarded prizes at this year’s Free Range, an annual exhibition of the UK’s best talent in photography.
Taking place at the Old Truman Brewery in London’s trendy east end, the exhibition is curated by the NTU Photography tutors and presents students with the opportunity to engage with industry and press. Over 15 UK universities took part in Free Range, making this year a highly competitive one for the awarding judges.
Polly Evans won the highly sought-after first prize for best individual photography student show. The work she presented, entitled 'No Man Is An Island', consisted of a video installation and photography series commenting on identity after Brexit. Her prize comprises of an exhibition space at Free Range to show work in February 2019, along with a generous £1000 bursary and a £1000 printing award.
Polly, who is planning to do an MA in Anthropology, told us: “I feel absolutely honoured to have been given this award. My work represents everyone in my generation and the problems they may face due to policies passed by our current government. The fact that other people resonate with this makes the work that went into my project worth it. I hope this bursary will enable me to continue this and keep on educating people on these issues. I am exceedingly grateful to Free Range for this opportunity.”
Fellow students Bridie Lewis and Lucy Holland were both highly commended in the individual photography student show category. Lucy commented: “It felt amazing to have my work recognised by the judges at Free Range. It really was the perfect end to an amazing three years studying at NTU.” Bridie added: “I felt really proud and honoured. The fact that my work has resonated with so many people made all the hard work, not just over the last year, but three years, worth it.”
Our students continued to impress in the industry sponsored awards. Jade Fantom won the Genesis Bursary award, which will provide her with £1000 for printing and the chance to have an exhibition at Djanogly Art Gallery at University of Nottingham later this year. She told us: "I feel honoured and extremely grateful to have won the Genesis award. It has given me confidence, and the ability to believe in myself that little bit more."
Fellow BA student Rasha Kotaiche and MA Commercial Photography student Sophie Pyke scooped WEX photography awards, each receiving £500 towards equipment. Rasha was delighted to have been recognised by WEX, telling us: “It came as a real surprise and I really appreciate the recognition for all I've done this year on the course!”
The judges at this year’s Free Range had a considerable amount of high profile industry experience behind them, making our students’ awards all the more meaningful. They were Jermaine Francis, a portrait and beauty photographer, Nina Joyce, PR Director at Refinery 29 and former Communications Manager at VICE, Honagh Marshall, a fashion curator and author of the book ‘Postering’, and Alex Milnes, Deputy Photography Director at Wallpaper* magazine.
Senior Photography lecturer Andy Cantouris commented: “The work shown at Free Range this year was very well received, in particular the work of Polly Evans, who won the overall best individual show. The work of Lucy Holland and Bridie Lewis were highly recommended by the judges. Their work, as well as the rest of our student work at Free Range, highlights the level of creativity and diversity evidenced in their shows.”