Winners Absalom and Bardsley are to have photobook published by Steidl Verlag
University of Brighton graduate Sam Bardsley, who collaborates with Ben Absalom, a graduate of the University of Wales Newport, has won the Steidl Student Book Award, a photobook prize for young photographers.
Ben Absalom & Sam Bardsley have completed two major bodies of work together, ‘8X’s’ and ‘Paris Revisited’, exhibiting at the Welsh National Eisteddfod, Brighton Photo Biennial fringe festival and Brickhouse Gallery, London.
Their work has now won them the Steidl Student Book Award, a Europe-wide prize for young photographers presented every two years. European universities and art academies with a focus on photography are invited to nominate book projects from students who have graduated no more than two years prior to the competition. Ben Absalom & Sam Bardsley's work was selected by an independent jury of critics, curators and teachers and the prize will be the realisation and distribution of the book by Gerhard Steidl and Steidl Publishers.
The inaugural award was presented this year as part of the “next 1” forum in Essen. Ben Absalom and Sam Bardsley's project 8X’s was nominated by the European Centre of Photographic Research at the University of Wales in Newport.
In 8X’s Absalom and Bardsley explore and revive the landscape of their childhood in South Wales, a landscape built atop a network of tunnels originally used in 1939 by the military and later by civilians. 8X’s employs different photographic genres, combining them with contemporary and historical images as well as diverse texts.
The competition jury consisted of Ute Eskildsen (Director of the Photography Collection in the Museum Folkwang, Essen), Silke Grossmann (Professor of Photography at the Hochschule für bildende Künste, Hamburg), Kristina Hasenpflug (Consultant for Culture at the Wüstenrot Stiftung, Ludwigsburg), Elke Seeger (Professor for Photography and Photo Design at the Folkwang Universität der Künste), and Kerstin Stremmel (art historian, Cologne).
The book will be released in 2011 by Steidl Publishers.