Jerwood Arts and Photoworks are delighted to announce Heather Agyepong and Joanne Coates as awardees of the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards.
Now in their fourth edition, the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards are a major commissioning opportunity supporting early-career artists working with photography to make new work and significantly develop their practice. The awardees were selected from over 370 applications to a national call for entries and will now be supported to realise ambitious new works over the next 12 months for a national touring exhibition launching in London at Jerwood Arts galleries at Jerwood Space in autumn 2022.
The panel, made up of Christine Eyene (art historian, critic, and curator), Joy Gregory (artist), Sunil Gupta (photographer), Julia Bunnemann (Curator, Photoworks) and Harriet Cooper (Head of Visual Arts, Jerwood Arts), were impressed by the power and quality of the proposed work and felt both proposals were well considered, addressing current issues yet open for experimentation when it comes to the artists’ own photographic practice. Applicants were longlisted prior to the final panel meeting by staff from Photoworks and Jerwood Arts, along with members of ReFramed, a Midlands-based network for Black, Asian and people of colour interested in producing photographic visual art.
Heather Agyepong will work on a series of self-portraits birthed out of the collective compassion, empathy, and humanity witnessed during the pandemic. The work aims to represent these moments as our collective divinity and our true capacity to memorialize these moments. The work questions if these depictions usher in ideas of collective healing deeper sense of solidarity and our ability for wider change.
Coates, who comes from the same area, will work collaboratively with 12 lower-income women participants across the rural North East of England for a period of 8 months — producing work through mapping, archives, sound and photography. The artist will shed light on women’s contribution to the farming industry. There are underlying barriers such as access to land, class, motherhood, and lack of clear leadership roles. Via community engagement, she aims to explore her home soil whilst unearthing gender bias and societal and political changes.
Both artists will each receive a £15,000 award (comprising a £10,000 fee and £5,000 production budget) with a full support package from Photoworks and Jerwood Arts to create new work over a 12-month period. The full value of each award package is £32,000.
Previous recipients have included Silvia Rosi, Theo Simpson, Alejandra Carles-Tolrá, Sam Laughlin, Lua Ribeira, Matthew Finn, Joanna Piotrowska, and Tereza Zelenkova.