The V&A Parasol Foundation Prize for Women in Photography

In partnership with Peckham 24

The V&A Parasol Foundation Prize for Women in Photography is an exciting new annual initiative dedicated to identifying, supporting, and championing innovative women artists working in the field of contemporary photography.

Successful photographers will be selected by an independent selection panel consisting of global industry professionals and inspiring international artists. Our selectors will identify a shortlist of ten artists, with five selected for a group exhibition at the Peckham 24 photography festival in May 2023. Each shortlisted artist will receive a bursary of £2,000 each and participate in scheduled networking events to support career development.

The V&A Parasol Foundation Prize for Women in Photography is free to enter, open to all women internationally; both professionals and amateurs. The Prize is conceived as part of the V&A's new Parasol Foundation Women in Photography curatorial programme, which seeks to foreground and sustain women's practice in contemporary photography and highlight the role women have played throughout the history of the medium. Produced in partnership with Peckham 24, south London's innovative three-day photography festival, the prize represents a remit shared by all parties to amplify the voices of women, champion diversity and promote equality in the arts. It has been made possible by the support of Ms. Ruth Monicka Parasol and The Parasol Foundation Trust.

Submissions are now closed and winners will be announced in the spring. We hope you can join us for the exhibition opening at Peckham 24 festival, on 12 May 2023.

A dusty pair of hands on a woven background
Image courtesy of Ingrid Pollard

Theme

Our inaugural theme is Agents of Change.

Change agents are vital to the transformation and evolution of society, technology, politics, economics and our planet. Artists have been at the forefront of representing change since the introduction of photographic processes in the 1800s, reveling in both its scientific and humanitarian capabilities. Photography has often been the tool of choice in documenting protest or acts of resistance; a tool for promoting activism and lobbying for change. As our world continues to be in flux, this theme invites a broad interpretation for submissions that provide a visualisation or conceptualisation of some of our most pressing issues; from technological innovations and sustainability efforts, to social revolutions and political reform.

Selection committee

The Parasol Foundation Prize for Women in Photography is co-chaired by Fiona Rogers, the inaugural Parasol Foundation Curator of Women in Photography at the V&A, and Vivienne Gamble, co-founder of Peckham 24 and Director of Seen Fifteen gallery, London. They are joined by this year's selection committee:

Lesley Martin – Creative Director, Aperture (USA)

Lesley A. Martin is creative director of Aperture and founding publisher of The PhotoBook Review. Her writing on photography has been published in Aperture, IMA magazine, and FOAM, among other publications, and she has edited more than one-hundred books of photography, including On the Beach by Richard Misrach; Illuminance by Rinko Kawauchi; LaToya Ruby Frazier: The Notion of Family; Zanele Muholi: Hail the Dark Lioness; The New Black Vanguard by Antwaun Sargent; Sara Cwynar: Glass Life, and Zora J Murff: True Colors. Martin co-founded the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards in 2012, and received the Royal Photographic Society award for outstanding achievement in Photographic Publishing in 2020. She is currently a visiting critic at the Yale University Graduate School of Art.

Ronan Mckenzie – artist and co founder of HOME (UK)

Ronan Mckenzie is a multi-disciplinary artist from Walthamstow, North East London. Ronan has exhibited her work at spaces including Aperture Foundation, Red Hook Labs, Somerset House and The National Theatre, and is now the Director of HOME by Ronan Mckenzie, a multifunctional creative space. Her work has been presented on the covers of The British Journal of Photography, Garage Magazine, Teen Vogue and Creative Review, and within titles including Luncheon, Vogue, POP, i-D and Wall Street Journal. Notable within Ronan's practice is a sensitivity to honest, relatable emotion and the celebration of individuality. Alongside working commercially with brands including Nike, Glossier, Sephora, Universal Standard and Olay, Ronan lectures at universities and institutions. Her work is often tied together with her passion for creating more imagery of connections, relationships and black joy, presenting the world as she would like to see it.

Ingrid Pollard – artist (UK)

Ingrid Pollard is a multi-media artist, photographer, researcher and lecturer. Pollard has developed a social practice concerned with representation, history and landscape with reference to race, difference and the materiality of lens-based media. Her work is included in numerous collections nationally and internationally including Arts Council, the V&A and Tate Britain. Recent works include a major survey exhibit Carbon Slowly Turning, which was nominated for the Turner Prize 2022. In 2020 Ingrid Pollard and MK Gallery were awarded the Freelands Foundation Award to host a major exhibit of Ingrid's work in 2022. In 2019 she was a recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists in 2018.

Prizes

  • Five artists included in a group exhibition at Peckham 24, alongside accompanying events and public programming
  • International travel and 2 nights' accommodation expenses for exhibiting artists to attend the festival in May 2023
  • Networking dinner with selection committee and industry experts
  • Bursaries of £2,000 for each exhibiting artist
  • Shortlisted/exhibiting artists featured on the V&A and Peckham 24 social media channels and communications about the exhibition at Peckham 24

Supported by Ms. Ruth Monicka Parasol and The Parasol Foundation Trust

Background image: Untitled, from the series 'Be Good Now' by Ronan Mckenzie. Created in collaboration with Acne Studios © Ronan Mckenzie