15 June 2021
15 June 2021 - Written by PhMuseum
To accompany our current exhibition at PHmuseum Lab, this week we share the stories behind the images of some of the last year's awarded photographers on waiting times, meditative moments, and chasing the sunlight.
From PHmuseum's Book + Exhibition INSIDE © Marianne Van Loo
UK based photographer Marianne Van Loo tells us about this powerful photograph and the experience she shared with her son: "Oliver started University in September 2019 but on 23rd March we went into lockdown and he was with me at that time, so we spent the next few months on walks together. This photograph is taken in Grizedale Forest, a 25km sq forest in the Lake District in the UK. We would normally walk for an hour or so, but on this day my son said shall we go a bit further and we ended up doing a 3-hour walk in the sweltering heat with no water to drink. Here we stopped to have a little break and the shadows of the tree branches just aligned perfectly with his body and I asked to take his portrait. This photograph is a reminder of the very special days we had during the lockdown in the UK. It was in a way a wonderful time for me as a mum to have my boy back whilst he had briefly flown the nest already. He is now happily back studying and living away at University and has ditched the covid haircut".
From PHmuseum's Book + Exhibition INSIDE © Yana Anokhina
Ukraine-based photographer, Yana Anokhina used to travel often to different countries every month to discover new scenes to photographs before the pandemic hit. While being at home she worked with what she found within her reach and started styling staged scenes in her surrounding. "Visiting new places is like opening a new world. As we were no longer able to leave our home, I decided to find new worlds inside my house. This one is the most emblematic from that moment". She says, proving that outstanding images can be created literally anywhere when you need to feed your imagination and enjoy some your creativity.
From PHmuseum's Book + Exhibition INSIDE © Nadina Stoica
Surely our relationship to the domestic space has changed a lot lately and needs to be reconsidered. This is what Romanian photographer Nadina Stoica examines in her image. The act of looking out the window often recalls this daydreaming state which in Stoica's photograph we are invited to get lost in. "The balcony became the only contact with the outside world for two months. I think I missed the sun the most, its light, warmth, and touch. The sunset was always for me a moment of silence and contemplation of the day that passes by, now this moment is a ritual. Every day I’m at the balcony to watch the sunset until its light leaves the space. I let the sun embrace me. I feel like a plant with its roots deeply stuck in the apartment floor and its eyes staring into the sun, wondering, forgetting, dreaming, traveling far, far away". For Stoica looking outside at sunset seems to be a way of embracing life, awaiting a brighter future ahead.
From PHmuseum's Book + Exhibition INSIDE © Anastasia Kolesnichenko
Some photographers have the gift to transform the overlooked into images of extraordinary delicacy. It is the case of Russian photographer and set designer Anastasia Kolesnichenko. "My hobby is studying objects that are next to me. On that day I was at home. I watched the sun. And then, grapes on the chair caught my attention. They were in a strange plastic bag, looks like they were cramped there. I decided to help, release them from the bag and take a picture. At the time of the shooting, the rays of the sun touched the grapes and helped me to draw out of them the essence of their existence. This story helped me not to forget that there are invisible things that can reveal themselves to you".
This content is part of a series of articles that looks back at our last edition of the Mobile Photography Prize and what it meant for the photographers involved. To join the conversation and become an active part of our research project on the phenomenon, learn more and apply to the third edition at phmuseum.com/m21