Finalist for Accademia Apulia Award

Gladstone Library, Royal Horse Guards

On the 1st of December it was announced here that I am a finalist for the Accademia Apulia Award to be held at Royal Horseguards in London in February 2011.

I’m up against two very talented Italian photographers, Matteo Sandrini and Stefano Morelli, whose work deals with concepts of multi-ethnicity, and those on the fringes of society such as the Roma people.

Both of these photographers have responded to the theme of cultural diversity and Genius Loci admirably, however my own inclusion amongst them may raise some eyebrows.

I have adopted a non-traditional approach of using a white male figure to depict diversity, which you can read more about here. For those who are interested here is my original artist statement to Accademia Apulia about the series:

“The Sonnets series of photographs attempt to explore both a local Scottish identity within a larger multicultural context, while also trying to question traditional visions of the landscape.

Named after a work by National Poet of Scotland Edwin Morgan, Sonnets aims to challenge stereotypical conceptions of what constitutes multiculturalism by rejecting the approach of making images concerned exclusively with race.

Unfortunately a reductive visual language exists today which tends to neglect the fact that European life has been culturally diverse for millennia, and that this mixing of Celtic, Latin, Slavic and Germanic cultures, amongst others, has led to a rich history of image and myth making.

My work explores this theme by presenting an ambiguous, solitary figure within grandiose landscapes. These locations were chosen because they were vital to the construction of modern Scottish identity.

While Sonnets uses a visual language drawn from 19th century German romantic painting, the viewer, no matter their background or heritage, concentrates on the figure’s relation to the landscape, often placing themselves in his position, contemplating the vista, transcending traditional issues of multiculturalism, and instead considering the role of the person within the environment.”

My entry should not be read as a complete rejection of traditional depictions of multiculturalism, more as my own interpretation.  As the photographer Wynn Bulloch said “…it is not that I am uninterested in telling visual stories about people and their everyday lives. I just like to leave this kind of work to others.”


About Alex Boyd

A photographer, curator, and mountain obsessive.

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