Luminaries of the Photography World Honoured at 142nd Royal Photographic Society Awards

21st October 2020

Categories: Latest News

The Royal Photographic Society is delighted to announce the 2020 recipients of its internationally renowned Awards.

Photo: Steve McQueen, Lovers Rock by Parisa Taghizadeh/BBC/McQueen Limited
Photo: Steve McQueen, Lovers Rock by Parisa Taghizadeh/BBC/McQueen Limited

Sally Mann, Steve McQueen, Edward Burtynsky, Chuck Hull, Poulomi Basu, Linus Sandgren,
Ellen von Unwerth and Professor Deborah Willis, as well as eminent scientists, curators,
publishers and writers, are amongst the luminaries of the photographic world who are being honoured this year.

The Royal Photographic Society Awards were first given in 1878 to celebrate excellence and
innovation in photography. Now in its 142nd year, the eighteen categories for 2020 recognise those individuals who have made outstanding contributions in their fields which cover art, science, education, curation, film and publishing.

For 2020, the RPS Awards will be celebrated online, with a series of events with notable past and current recipients beginning January 2021.

Sally Mann HonFRPS, the acclaimed American photographer, is awarded the prestigious Centenary Medal for her sustained contribution to photography spanning four decades. Mann is known for her black and white portraits of her children that explore the intimacies of the human condition. She is also lauded for her documentation of the American South landscape.

The Cinematic Production Award is presented to British artist and filmmaker, Sir Steve McQueen CBE for his achievements directing and producing critically acclaimed films including ‘Hunger’ (2008), ’Shame’ (2011) and BAFTA and Academy Award-winning ‘12 Years a Slave’ (2013).

The Progress Medal is given to Charles (Chuck) Hull, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of 3D Systems in recognition of his invention of stereolithography, the first commercial 3D printing technology. Hull’s engineering expertise has radically transformed the manufacturing industry enabling the production of precision healthcare, medical 3D solutions, on-demand services and digital design tools.

Nine Honorary Fellowships are awarded to James Barnor, Edward Burtynsky, Sunil Gupta, Rut
Blees Luxemburg, Melanie Manchot, Gideon Mendel, Tracey Moffatt, Richard Mosse and Shirin Neshat. These leading photographic artists are recognised for their innovative work of the highest calibre.

Daniel Castro Garcia, a Sicily and UK-based artist, receives the Vic Odden Award for significant achievement in the art of photography by a photographer aged 35 or under. Garcia’s work is centred upon the unfolding European humanitarian crisis, documenting the lives and impact of trauma on individuals and families migrating to Europe.

The Award for Outstanding Service is given to Professor Deborah Willis, for her sustained
research into photography’s multifaceted histories, specifically iconicity and cultural histories
visualising the black body, women and gender, which she teaches as university Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

Linus Sandgren picks up the Lumière Award for his accomplishments in cinematography, including his highly rated work with directors David O Russell on ‘American Hustle’ (2013) and ‘Joy’ (2018), and with Damien Chazelle on ‘First Man’ (2018) and ‘La La Land’ (2016), for which he was honoured with a BAFTA and Academy Award. His most recent work will be seen in ‘No Time to Die’ (April 2021).

The Hood Medal, which recognises a specific photographic project that promotes awareness of current public and social affairs, is awarded to Poulomi Basu who advocates for the rights of marginalised women around the world through photographic and transmedia storytelling. She has become highly regarded for ‘Blood Speaks’, a powerful body of work that has activated policy change.

Igor Siwanowicz, biochemist and neurobiologist, is awarded the Scientific Imaging Award for his macrophotography images that accentuate the beauty and intricacies of natural forms.

The Editorial, Advertising and Fashion Photography Award is presented to Ellen von Unwerth.
Unwerth’s work is renowned for its vibrant aesthetic, fusing a playful eroticism with feminine
sensibilities, making her one of the most in-demand fashion photographers.

Aïda Muluneh, contemporary artist and photographer, receives the award for Curatorship and
Lesley A Martin, creative director of the Aperture Foundation, is presented with the award for
Photographic Publishing.

Awards have also been bestowed upon Professor Andrea Liggins, Professor Emerita of
Photography at University of Wales Trinity Saint David; Professor Elizabeth Edwards, visual and historical anthropologist and Professor Emerita of Photographic History at De Montfort University, Leicester; Dr Maria Castaneyra-Ruiz, anthropologist and postdoctoral researcher, and transplant surgeon, Pankaj Chandak.

The Members’ Award is given to Judy Buckley-Sharp LRPS and this year’s Fenton Medals are
awarded to Dr Tony Kaye ASIS FRPS, Armando Jongejan FRPS and David Osborn FRPS in
recognition of their extraordinary support and contributions to the Society. These awards carry with them Honorary Life Memberships.

In addition to the awards, we are delighted to confirm Ngadi Smart as the 2020/21 recipient of The Photographic Angle / RPS Environmental Bursary and Brook Andrew as the 2020/21 recipient of the RPS Postgraduate Bursary, supported by MPB. The Joan Wakelin Bursary will be announced in late 2020.

Dr Michael Pritchard FRPS, Director of Education and Public Affairs said “The RPS Awards are
unique in recognising individuals across the breadth of the photographic medium. They acknowledge significant contributions from established women and men as well as showcasing a new generation of image-makers using photography as a vehicle for activism, engagement and change.”

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