The Photoworks Monograph Series

11 March 2011

Reflecting a time of unprecedented creative energy and diversity in photography, the Photoworks Monograph series surveys the work of the most important emerging photographers in the UK.

Comprehensively illustrated, and with new, specially commissioned texts, these substantial monographs are the first in-depth study of each artist’s work, acknowledging their achievement to date while introducing their work to a broader audience.

The Photoworks Monograph series aims to match critical integrity with high quality design and production. The series has a strong and coherent identity, one that will, as the series develops, become instantly recognisable – a benchmark for the most exciting photographic work published to the highest standards.

Photoworks aims to publish one book every two years, gradually building a series that helps define and promote photographic culture in the UK to an international audience. The publishing contracts for the first six books in the series were awarded following a process of national nominations. Accordingly, the first two books in the series, launched at The Photographers’ Gallery in September 2004, focused on the work of Gareth McConnell and Nigel Shafran. The next two books were by Dan Holdsworth and Sophy Rickett. A further monograph by Bettina von Zwehl was published in 2007. And Clare Strand’s book was launched at the Folkwang, Essen in 2009. All are photographers who have achieved wide recognition for their work over the last decade.

Comments from the artists:

“To be included in the Photoworks Monograph series stands out as one of the highlights of my career to date. The experience gained and the support given from working with the Photoworks team of curators, writers, designers and printers has been invaluable and incredibly rewarding. I continue to benefit from the publication of Edited photographs as it has put me in touch with audiences around the world, thanks to Photoworks worldwide distribution network and has resulted in my inclusion in international exhibitions, publications and lectures.”

– Nigel Shafran

“Publishing my monograph was very exciting at the time. It was a great pleasure and privilege to work with everyone involved at each stage. Even just the couple of days I spent at Steidl I made contacts/friends at the ICP and Corcoran…

As a result, I got a couple of commercial galleries and had a few London solo shows, was in Frieze, Art Basel, Armoury etc and for about five years sold a bunch of work. When the book was published, DAP sent a copy to the New York Times amongst others and subsequently I have worked them since on various projects and am in a ‘best of’ type of thing they are doing with Aperture soon. From this I got signed by the agency Art + Commerce in NY and was with them for a couple of years and was sponsored for a US visa… I was nominated for a Discovery award in Arles…, was invited to speak at Tate Modern and included in Phaidon’s Vitamin PH.

So yes a few things came out of it…It put me on the map a bit I suppose and spurred me into continuing with photography… maybe had me believing my own hype for a bit but you grow outta that one. It was a great thing to do.”

– Gareth McConnell

“My Photoworks /Steidl Monograph was a dream come true and a milestone in my career. I couldn’t imagine a better publisher, editor and designer. The introduction by David Chandler is the essay that keeps me going when I have an artistic crisis. The production of the book was made with so much attention to detail and I really enjoyed the experience (although I was not able to go to Germany for the printing of the book, which is my only disappointment regarding the experience).

The Monograph has been invaluable as a tool to promote my work, to introduce myself to curators and writers. It was important to have the book, to reflect upon it and it was quite challenging to move forwards conceptually once it was published. It so much felt like a chapter in my career. The book has been incredibly useful to give various audiences an immediate impression of what I do and how I think about the creative process.

It is a slow burning thing with a life of its own and will be around longer than myself and my prints… Most definitely, it has given people confidence in my professionalism and I’m sure it has helped as a huge bonus when I applied for the right things i.e. my current V&A artist residency.”

– Bettina von Zwehl

“My Photoworks monongraph offered me a unique opportunity to take stock of my photographic practice over the last decade. It gave me a chance to step back and identify and understand the trajectories of my interests and how they have fused with the photographic medium. Though the monograph has provided many benefits to my career, the true gain is of my own and others understanding.”

– Clare Strand

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