British Journal of Photography and Galerie Huit Arles present the winners of fourth edition OpenWalls Arles
From British Journal of Photography, OpenWalls Arles is an international photography award created in collaboration with Galerie Huit Arles. OpenWalls offers a unique opportunity for both emerging and established photographers to be exhibited alongside Les Rencontres d’Arles — the photography industry’s most prestigious annual event.
Responding to the theme of Truth, the 50 winning single images and two series reflect on themes of AI, political realities, historic storytelling and self-actualisation. At a time when the idea of truth is unstable, responses to it are more intriguing and varied than ever. By choosing Truth as the theme of OpenWalls Arles Vol. 4, BJP invited a range of interpretations, selecting images which showcase the desire to preserve traditions, challenge authority, cherish others, and imagine new futures in the name of truth.
OpenWalls Arles vol.4 will be exhibited at Galerie Huit Arles – a 17th century mansion and art space in the cultural heart of the city – between 5 July until 23 September. The gallery is a member of the Gallery Climate Coalition, and the exhibition will be produced sustainably including using recycled frames and local printing.
The winning works have been selected by a panel of industry leaders, including Sarah Leen (Founder of Visual Thinking Collective and Former Director of Photography, National Geographic), Paris Chong (Gallery Director, Leica Gallery LA), Michael Famighetti (Editor, Aperture magazine), Azu Nwagbogu (Founder and Director of African Artists’ Foundation (AAF) and Director at Lagos Photo Festival), Mutsuko Ota (Editorial Director, IMA magazine), Julia de Bierre (Gallery Director, Galerie Huit Arles), and Matt Alagiah (Editor-in-Chief, It’s Nice That)
Single image winners
Among the single image winners, you will find works interpreting Truth created across six continents. Heather Agyepong explores the unconscious mind. Marcel Top asks ‘What happens when AI intervenes in the documentation of war?’ And Guillaume Flandre, Laura Roth, Frederike Kijftenbelt and Savas Onur Sen reflect on humanity’s detrimental impact on our planet.
The single image winners include
Alvin Ng | Anna Sellen | Ayesha Jones | Bert Daenen | Hark1karan | Carina Lammers | Chidinma Nnorom | Curtis Hughes | Emilia Brandão Carneiro | Emmaline Zanelli | Flora Vever | Francesco Gioia | Frankie Mills | Frederic Aranda | Frederike Kijftenbelt | Guillaume Flandre | Güzin Mut | Heather Agyepong | Jacopo Papucci | Jeffery Becton | Jesse Glazzard | Jessica Gianelli | Julia Gunther | Julian Simmonds | Katya Ilina | Kelly-Ann Bobb | Kimbra Audrey | Kristina Varaksina | Laura Roth | Lieh Sugai | Liu Kunkun | Lucas Ziegler | Lucia Jost | Marcel Top | Mark Griffiths | Qi | Nasti Davydova | Ralph Whitehead | Rico X | Roxana Savin | Sandra Chen Weinstein | Savas Onur Sen | Selene Magnolia | Şener Yılmaz Aslan | Seunggu Kim | Sherwin Rivera Tibayan | Mansurov Timur | William Mark Sommer
Series Category Winners
I photographed this series as a requiem of my memories. This is the second part of a seven-part series I am currently photographing. I was inspired by a close study of the family album and by my recollection growing up in a Christian and Ghanaian family. I tried to highlight the ethos of Sundays from a much more vernacular perspective. I played with visual nostalgia, juxtapositions, colour and gesture to fully extract the roundedness of the traditions of what Sundays typically felt like in Ghana. Also being conscious of blurring the lines between sanctity and our humanity, and underscoring the idea of how community and divinity could exist in one place. My joy is to have everyone who sees this go back in time one way or the other; to incite that delight that can only be found when we look back; to provoke the sweet joys of what our memories could best serve us.
My work is concerned with ideas of home and dislocation, as well as with the impact of architecture on human psychology. As an ethnically Latvian/Lithuanian artist my cultural background has informed this interest in architecture. During the Soviet era, the capitals of both Latvia and Lithuania saw cultural buildings repurposed into warehouses and churches demolished. New construction was cheaply made, with no insulation and inadequate plumbing and heating. My connection to this history has made me acutely aware of the impact of politics on architecture and, in turn, on a people’s daily lived experience. I started to consider the effect of architecture on the tens of thousands of refugees, my parents included, who escaped a life under communism but went years without a permanent home. Many of the structures built during the Soviet occupation of the Baltic region still stand today. During this period the Baltic people continued to practice art forms such as weaving to ensure that their traditions would survive, despite the Soviet regime’s program of cultural suppression.
My recent work combines my photographs of Soviet architecture in the Baltic region with traditional Baltic textile designs. I use a laser cutter to cut the textile patterns directly onto my black and white photographs of the cold and imposing buildings. This series explores the power of folk art and crafts as a form of defiance against the Soviet occupiers. It does this by focusing on how traditional textile designs provide a counterpoint to Soviet-era architecture and the memory of its totalitarian agenda. The juxtaposition of concrete structures with folk art designs also references the strength and determination of the women who created the weavings. Overall, this work examines the ways in which people are shaped by their environment, and how they can rebel against it to preserve their identity and culture.
Note to Editors
About British Journal of Photography:
British Journal of Photography, the world’s longest-running photography title, has been showcasing pioneers of the art form since 1854. Through the lenses of world-class photographers, British Journal of Photography explores rich and timely stories of art, culture, politics and society. British Journal of Photography has also created a programme of internationally-renowned photography awards – including Female in Focus, OpenWalls, Portrait of Britain, BJP International Photography Award and Portrait of Humanity – all of which aim to celebrate emerging and established talent.
Explore BJP's award-winning photographic journalism online via 1854.photography – and through its quarterly print magazine.
OpenWalls is an international photography award by British Journal of Photography in collaboration with Galerie Huit Arles which platforms emerging and established artists in prestigious institutions worldwide.
About Galerie Huit Arles:
Galerie Huit Arles is situated in a 17th-century mansion in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Arles, France. The Provencal town is renowned for its Roman monuments, world-class museums, the painter Vincent Van Gogh, the Luma Foundation, and prestigious Arts Festivals. Founded in 2007, Galerie Huit Arles has acquired a solid reputation for the careful selection of its artists – both established and emerging – and the quality of its hangings and installations.
Exhibitions are curated either independently or in collaboration. Partners have included: The Victoria & Albert Museum, London, Factum Arte Madrid, British Journal of Photography, City Hall Kuala Lumpur, and Galerie SIT DOWN, Paris. As well as regular exhibitions and distinguished private views, the gallery hosts Art Stays for the discerning traveller, Artists’ Residencies and thematic workshops. Much more than just an art space, Galerie Huit Arles is a creative, inspirational and convivial venue in a magnificent location.
Zoe Harrison - firstname.lastname@example.org
Awards Production Manager, OpenWalls Arles 2023
Julia de Bierre – email@example.com
Gallerist in Arles, co-curator OpenWalls Arles 2023