We spent time with one of the 2015 Jerwood/Photoworks Awards winners, Tereza Zelenkova, discussing what it means to have been selected as a JPA15 winner.
Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 2015
Each artist has received an award of £5,000 to support the making of new work for exhibition, with a significant production fund and mentoring support. The three artists will present their work in a group exhibition as part of the Jerwood Visual Arts programme which will open at Jerwood Space in November 2015 and tour to other partner venues including Impressions Gallery, Bradford.
PW: What does winning a Jerwood/Photoworks Award mean to you?
TZ: Winning the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards is really important for me and my practice because first of all, it allows me to work on a new body of work with very generous financial help and secondly, it’s good to get some form of structure for your work; which here is provided for with various meetings we have, with different mentors which is a great opportunity. And then of course, it’s reassuring to know that you must be doing things the right way if you can succeed in competitions so yes, I’m very happy and pleased with it.
Since finishing my studies, I miss having the opportunity to be in touch with other photographers and being able to discuss the work and also to have access to more established artists, so I think the mentoring part of the programme is really good because it allows a space for critically engaged discussion about the work.
PW: Could you briefly describe what you’re working on now?
TZ: The project I proposed for the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards was very tightly bound with where I’m from in Czech Republic. I’m interested in representing or visiting different places with historical importance or relating to a mythical aspect of the culture or places with a more mysterious history, perhaps sometimes quite dark places.
So right now, I’ve spent a lot of the winter just researching the subject more in depth, reading books, watching videos and trying to gather as many places as possible. Now as the weather is finally better, I’m going to start going for 2/3 weeks trips back to Czech Republic and shoot at the locations.
Tereza Zelenkova (b. 1985, Czech Republic) is an artist who works predominantly with black and white photography, creating series based on ephemeral and poetic relationships between the individual images. Her work often enquires into the possibility of myth within the rationally structured modern world.
She received her MA in Photography from the Royal College of Art in London in 2012 and BA (Hons) in Photographic Arts from the University of Westminster in London in 2010. She is a recipient of the 1000 Words Magazine Award 2012, she was shortlisted for the Saatchi New Sensations 2012 award, and was finalist of Fresh Faced & Wild Eyed 2011 awarded by The Photographer’s Gallery in London. She has several self-published books as well as Supreme Vice published by Mörel Books. Her self-published book, Index of Time (2012), made in collaboration with Peter Watkins, was selected as one of the best books of 2012 by Photo-Eye and latest publication, The Absence of Myth, was selected as one of the best black and white photobooks of 2013 by Telegraph.
For Tereza’s Instagram Takeover for Photoworks, click here.