Mrs Monk is a bit of a punter when it comes to competitions, and when the Independent announced the Royal Academy’s competition, “Eyewitness Photography” we had a go.
Photography is an obsession with Mrs Monk and Mr Monk spends many hours sorting and publishing her photographs. So which of these thousands of pictures should be chosen to enter the competition.
Due to the subjective nature of all art and photography, it is important to select carefully and artfully. Photography is in itself a matter of choosing from a number, of imponderable choices, colour, light, manipulation by filter or photo-shop, and above all, the choice of subject. These choices are in fact infinite.
In this competition all entries were published on line so we were first able to view what other photographers had entered, and we noted the tendency to select from a number of clichés. Our first rule would be to avoid such clichés. No craggy faced peasants on a Mediterranean wharf, no Vorticist architecture disguised as abstraction. No cute pets, no pretentious magniloquence and above all, absolutely no sunsets.
We know how these things work, and whatever the published criteria of the competition, the Royal academy are mightily impressed by work which celebrates celebrity. The Royal Academy has littered the walls with Royal faces, for over a century and only recently has that changed in favour of less regal, so called “B” list celebrity.
These considerations should of course add no value to the art and the photography, but that does not stop artists and photographers trying to catch the eye of the judges by the inflating the importance of their subject in this, and in other ways.
The categories of submissions to this competition were as follows.
The judges chose a picture that avoided potential cliché, of a street image by simply avoiding a street setting. They chose instead a 20 year old picture by Sefton Samuels of local people in Maderia with a mountain and a sunset, in black and white. Charming.
The judges chose a Vorticist style picture by Adrian Murphy who won the Abstract category for this image, shot in the City of London.
The judges chose a picture by James William Murray with a photograph of his friend, the artist and musician Bryony Bodimeade.
Aaron Levi Simic won the Fashion category with an image, apparently inspired by Tarkovsky's film, Stalker. Sure, it was.
Over All Winner
David Gould scooped the overall prize with a beautiful image, in Black and White which would have been entered in one of the four categories above. But which one? Could it be an abstract street scene inspired by Tarkovsky's, Sacrifice or a fashion picture.
We are not bitter.
Here are the WINNERS and on this page you can also view the entries by both Mr and Mrs Monk.
Meanwhile, Mrs Monk is currently out with her camera trying to make sense of the infinite choices, swimming with ladies, shopping for lottery tickets, and whatever else that takes her fancy, and seems to make sense.