Film Photo Award: Spring 2019 Winners + Finalists
Continuing Project Award:
Susan Worsham: By the Grace of God
Susan Worsham is a Richmond, Virginia, USA based photographer who uses large format film to explore themes of family, loss, growth, and decay. Her ongoing series, By the Grace of God, navigates her relationship to her surroundings and the people who enter her daily life as she searches for the intimacy of home in others.
In this series, Worsham allows intuition to guide her along paths and to people she believes she was meant to encounter. She describes the work as “a wedding ring of life’s emotions and processes, joining beauty and decay, life and death, disease and healing.”
New Project Award:
Trent Davis Bailey: Son Pictures
Trent Davis Bailey is a Denver, Colorado, USA based photographer. His proposed New Project is intensely personal, as he plans to explore his enigmatic understanding of his late mother, who was an artist and a gardener, and the unfortunate circumstances and media frenzy surrounding the day she died in a commercial airplane crash exactly 30 years ago.
He plans to incorporate a variety of photographic approaches, strategies, and processes that will broaden his ongoing exploration of memory, family, archive, portraiture, and American landscape. Through a slowly considered body of work, made with a combination of large format film and repurposed and re-imagined archival materials, Trent expects this project to visualize his mother’s life and tragic demise, his limited relationship with her, his position as an ancillary survivor of the crash, and ultimately how his family has coped.
This project is intended to serve as an important case study and a necessary ploy for self-healing.
Student Project Award:
Jonathan Mark Jackson: Points of Entry
Jonathan Mark Jackson is a student currently enrolled at Amherst College, pursuing a Bachelors of Art degree within the Art & The History of Art department. Jackson plans to expand on his previous series, The House Servant’s Directory, which embodied Robert Roberts, a distant relative of Jackson’s, and the author of a book of the same title published in 1827. This expansion into his proposed project, Points of Entry, will shift his work from the interior lived archive of the home into the landscape. Jackson is interested in combining archival sources, images of the landscape that bore witness to his ancestor’s actions, and images and writing of his own personhood to collapse and merge multiple timelines. He will be visiting multiple sites throughout the Northeast where his paternal ancestors lived and worked as a means of exploring the question, “How do we visualize and track the production of history, in our families, communities, and nation?”
Aline Smithson: Juror’s Statement
The Film Photo Award has been one of the most challenging calls for entry I have ever juried. I was asked to do something that I love: to look at photographs, made with film—and to consider proposals that could use the potential of the medium to elevate the projects submitted. I spent days cogitating and revisiting hundreds of entries, essays and thousands of photographs - a daunting task to say the least. I am happy to share that there was an incredible amount of fantastic work--rich with intelligence, deep seeing, and a bit of film magic, and honestly, it made me wonder if being a film photographer elevates our art making beyond the nuances of the medium.
Does shooting film bring a different experience not only to the creation of the work, but to the concept and storytelling? Does it make us better photographers? I have always felt that the slowed-down tactile nature of making work with film brings more thoughtful considerations to the subject matter when we limit the amount of images taken, bringing a particular reverence to the act of taking photographs.
During this jurying, I discovered or revisited many stellar projects and selected over 40 that could have made it to the top. Much to my dismay, I could only select three. I likened the process to going to my favorite restaurant, hungry, and wanting to order everything on the menu—what would make me select the pasta special over the steak?
Was it simply the subjective nature of making a decision on that particular day? This experience shifted and inspired me, and I am so appreciative to have spent time with every single proposal. As the editor of Lenscratch and a reviewer at many photo events, I look at tens of thousands of images each year and I can state without hesitation, that this is some of the best work I have seen in years.
Congratulations to those who were selected and please know that this was not a cursory examination, but a long hard look at your work. I am one person with a particular perspective, so I encourage you to continue to support the unique medium of film photography and submit to future Film Photo Awards. Thank you to all who submitted and a big thank you to Eliot Dudik and to Kodak Alaris who have worked tirelessly to celebrate the art of film photography and continue its legacy. I am so honored to be part of this inaugural Film Photo Award.