Simon Devitt Prize for Photography Winners 2020

The Prize for 2020 is different because the world is different.

This beckoned the theme Isolation for its entrants to interpret. No shortage of material for us to draw on and so we have this year a record number of entries.

The shared experience of lock down was a time for reflection, creation and new ways of doing things. These experiences are reflected in the quality of the work entered this year. Which, made the process of choosing a winner very, very challenging. Which is why this year I have a runner up and a number of commended finalists.

The winner of this year’s prize has created a photograph that I think we can all relate to. And paired with good humour, it allows us in and in a way, many photographs can’t or don’t. But there is a seriousness as well…. ironically the humour has company. So, sometimes we get to know what something is by also seeing what it is not. And so, the winning photograph has created an atmosphere. We are caused to look and look again and again.

The winner of this year’s Simon Devitt prize for photography is John Golena with his work ‘It’s just me, myself and I, solo ride until I die’.

Runner Up: Leifi Joesua

The work of the runner up and winner were very hard to seperate. The work of the runner up is very sophisticated and provocative, and so, asks the viewer to not only engage but to ask themselves why. And this is crucial in the craft of making a memorable photograph. The photograph is confronting but doesn’t seek to dominate. The runner up for this years prize with their work entitled ‘You’re unable to connect’ is Leifi Joesua. Congratulations.

Highly Commended:
Justine Nicholas
Kseniya Porodnova
Eric Jang
Zhu Qiaoyan
Harriet Cameron
Leslie Son

For their fine work they each receive a copy of my photo-book, Rannoch.

We have 23 finalists who will now be exhibited online. Fingers crossed we will be back to a physical event and exhibition next year. The commended finalists commanded my attention and they need to be acknowledged. Their work made the winner and runner up prove themselves.

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