With the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 2015 exhibition opening 4 November at Jerwood Space, London, we caught up with each of our three Awardees. Here Matthew Finn discusses the Awards and what comes next.

Please tell us briefly about your new body of work.

My new body of work is the continuation of an ongoing piece about my mother.

The award coincided with a dramatic change in my mother’s health, sadly for the worse, and her re-housing into a 24-hour dementia wing. This had a large effect on both our relationship and the work itself.

© Matthew Finn, Untitled, Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 2015 from the series Mother (1987-present)

© Matthew Finn, Untitled, Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 2015 from the series Mother (1987-present)

How have your ideas developed throughout this process and how did the mentoring process influence your approach to making the new work?

The award allowed me time to think about the existing work and how I might move forward given my mother’s health.

I have always viewed the project as a collaboration between us both. This is now changing at a rapid rate with my mother’s condition worsening on a weekly basis. It was important for me to consider how my mother would like to be photographed whilst also highlighting such a, sadly, common, awful illness. It’s important that my mother is viewed both as she was and now is.

The mentors have been so positive and gracious with their time and consideration of the work, especially at a time when it has become even more important to me.

I could not have expected such a positive response from everyone and it has allowed me to build confidence in the work and given me motivation to continue at a difficult period in my life.

© Matthew Finn, Untitled, Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 2015 from the series Mother (1987-present)

© Matthew Finn, Untitled, originally commissioned for Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 2015 from the series Mother (1987-present)

What’s next for you?

I hope this can be a springboard for the work. I have lived with it under my bed in boxes for so long, it would be lovely to see it have a larger life.

The positive comments from the mentors and Jerwood Photoworks Awards team, make me think it’s time for the work to be out there.

Given the part my mother played in this project, she deserves for it to be seen, even if, sadly, she will now never fully understand it.


For more information about Matthew’s work click here

For further information about the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 2015 click here. 

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