The World Photography Organisation has today revealed the shortlisted photographers for the Professional and Student competitions of the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards.
Within the shortlist are seven British photographers who are behind some of the world’s best bodies of work published in 2018. All shortlisted series will be exhibited as part of an exhibition at Somerset House in London, from 18 April until 6 May 2019.
Being shortlisted is significant as the Awards offer photographers an unparalleled opportunity to showcase their art to a global audience and present a vibrant and diverse insight into photography today. All shortlisted Professional photographers will now compete to win their category and be named Photographer of the Year, revealed 17 April.
The Professional shortlist comprises stunning series selected across 10 diverse categories. The six shortlisted British photographers are recognised in three categories.
British photographers have excelled in the Landscape category, with four photographers featuring on the shortlist. Edinburgh-based artist Kieran Dodds has been shortlisted for his series Hierotopia, which explores the tiny patches of protected forests surrounding churches in Ethiopia, where farming has led to huge deforestation.
West-Yorkshire based academic and artist Yang Wang Preston has been shortlisted for her series, To the South of the Colourful Clouds, which depicts an otherworldly “ecology recovery” landscape in Haidong Development Zone, Yunnan Province. In this series, Preston studies the environmental impact of turning a rural area into an international leisure town and its dramatic effect on the landscape.
Two London-based photographers have also been shortlisted in the Landscape category; Catherine Hyland has been awarded for her series Lithium Mining, in which she uses a muted colour palette to provide a meditative series of landscapes affected by industry.
Marco Kesseler’s series Polytunnel focuses on the environment of contemporary British farming, highlighting the hidden landscapes behind which food is produced.
Further shortlisted photographers include Ramsgate-based artist Edward Thompson, who depicts the quirks of British life and culture in his series, In The Garden of England. Thompson captured the South East of England over 18 years and describes the series as depicting "nostalgia, class and the beautiful uncanny of everyday English life".
In the Creative category, Poland-based British artist Allan Dransfield has been shortlisted for his series Sheep Dogs of the North Pole, which he describes as "how cultures, memories and phenomena drift and blur between one another as life echoes into the future".
Other shortlisted Professional series on British subject matter include Danish photographer Thomas Nielsen’s series The Big Score, which focuses on fans of the West London football club Brentford FC and has been shortlisted in the Sports category.
French photographer Laetitia Vançon’s series, At the End of the Day, has been shortlisted in the Portraiture category and offers a striking insight into island life in the Outer Hebrides for contemporary young people.
German photographer Toby Binder’s series, Youth of Belfast, documents daily life and the problems facing the young people in the city’s working-class communities. Binder was also shortlisted in the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards and has spent the last decade photographing British teenagers.
Specially selected by a panel of the world’s leading judges from academia, museums, publishing, festivals and the media, the Professional shortlist contains exceptional bodies of work which demonstrate artistic prowess and provide audiences with captivating stories about humanity and the contemporary world.
Meanwhile, the Student shortlist features bodies of work by 10 students at leading higher education institutions from across the world. Shortlisted photographers come from a range of countries including Bangladesh, Malaysia, Spain, Argentina and Canada.
Students were first challenged to produce a series of 3-5 images responding to the brief, "Evolution". From this, 10 students were shortlisted and received Sony cameras with which they have created a second series of work inspired by the brief "Belong".
Joel Davies, a 22-year-old student at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, was shortlisted for the series, Ageing Love. Davies has since created Adieu – an emotionally charged series that depicts the student’s French girlfriend preparing for life beyond Brexit, and her uncertainty at what is to come beyond university.
Produced by the World Photography Organisation, the internationally acclaimed Sony World Photography Awards is one of the most important fixtures on the global photographic calendar.
A total of 326,997 entries from 195 countries and territories were submitted across the four competitions of the 2019 Awards, the highest ever number of entries to date.
To book tickets for the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House in London, visit worldphoto.org. The show kicks off on 18 April 2019.