Photo London x Nikon Emerging Photographer Award
Heather Agyepong, Le Cake-Walk: Rob This England (#1 ), 2020, Wish You Were Here , 63.5 x 44 cm, C-Type colour print on Hahnemuhle paper. © the Artist Courtesy James Hyman Gallery.
Launched during the first edition of Photo London in 2015, the Emerging Photographer Award continues to spotlight new talents exhibiting at the fair in partnership with Nikon.
Visual artist & performer Heather Agyepong, represented by James Hyman Gallery, is the winner of the 2021 Award. The announcement was made on Sunday 12 September during a special event that took place in the Nikon Gallery at Photo London 2021.
On view at the fair, was Agyepong’s latest project Wish you were here, which focuses on the work of Aida Overton Walker, the celebrated African American vaudeville performer who challenged the rigid and problematic narratives of black performers. Agyepong embodies Overton Walker as a guide, ancestor, and advocator. The series uses satirical commentary and depictions of radical self-worth to disrupt the roadblocks affecting our collective mental health. The project was commissioned by the Hyman Collection.
As the winner, Agyepong will receive the ultimate Z Series kit suited to their photography style – including a Z 5, Z 6II or Z 7II camera and a choice of two NIKKOR Z lenses. She will also receive specialist Nikon training to help take advantage of the capabilities that Nikon’s Z range has to offer.
Heather Agyepong, Le Cake-Walk: Razzle Dazzle, 2020, Wish You Were Here © the Artist Courtesy James Hyman Gallery.
Heather AgyepongLe Cake-Walk: The Body Remembers (#4), 2020, Wish You Were Here © the Artist Courtesy James Hyman Gallery.
Besides Agyepong, the artists who were nominated for the Award are:
- Alia Ali, Galerie Peter Sillem
- Hsu Ching–Yuan, Galerie_Frederic_Moisan
- Oli Kellett, HackelBury Fine Art
- Amber Pinkerton, Alice Black Gallery
- Almudena Romero, Fisheye Gallery
The 2021 jury is composed of Photo London’s Curatorial Committee: Philippe Garner (Chair), Former Director at Christie’s and International Head of Photographs and 20th Century Decorative Arts and Design; Simone Klein, Photography Specialist and Consultant and Former Global Director of Print Sales at Magnum Photos; Sofia Vollmer de Maduro, Director of Programs, Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, collector, and Curator Emeritus of the Alberto Vollmer Foundation collection; Martin Barnes, Senior Curator, Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Tristan Lund, Art Consultant, Dealer and Collection Curator of The Incite Project, a UK based collection of photojournalism and documentary photography. Tristan also represents a select group of emerging photographic artists.
Previous award winners have included Marguerite Bornahuser, Daisuke Yokata, Thibaut Brunet and Tania Franco-Klein.
Heather Agyepong, Le Cake-Walk: F.U.B.U. (#5), 2020, Wish You Were Here © the Artist Courtesy James Hyman Gallery.
Heather Agyepong, Le Cake-Walk: Spotlight on Rest (#5), 2020, Wish You Were Here © the Artist Courtesy James Hyman Gallery.
Heather Agyepong is a visual artist, performer/actor and maker who lives and works in London. Her art practice is concerned around mental health and wellbeing, invisibility, the diaspora and the archive. She uses both lens-based practices and performance with an aim to culminate a cathartic experience for both herself and the viewer. She adopts the technique of re-imagination to engage with communities of interest and the self as a central focus within the image.
She has worked within photographic & performance arts since 2009 with a range of works that have been published, performed, and exhibited around the UK and internationally. She has been nominated for Prix Pictet & Paul Huf Award in both 2016 & 2018. Her work is part of a number of collections including Autograph ABP, Hyman Collection, New Orleans Museum of Art and Mead Art Museum.
Agyepong has been commissioned by several organisations including the Mayor of London, Photoworks, Artichoke & Tate Exchange. In her television/film and theatre work, she is drawn to challenging and compelling writing with an intrigue for unique voices. She is a former associate artist of a black-led theatre company Talawa and continues to perform both nationally & internationally. She was nominated for the South Bank Sky Arts Breakthrough Award 2018 and was recently awarded the Firecracker Photographic Grant 2020.