Reportager in partnership with Moleskine announced the first call for submissions for the first Reportager award early in 2015. The award encourages new, existing, and emerging talent and projects in the area of reportage and documentary drawing.
Many very strong entries were received from all over the world. Including Will Ternay’s ‘Our Father’s final decline.’ A series of drawings of Will's Fathers final days at 101 years of age. Julia Midgley’s amazing ‘War art and Surgery,’ images of military personnel at a Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, for a collaborative project with the M.O.D. and the Royal College of Surgeons. Charlotte Pey’s images for her project Zondereigen, an illustrated anthropological monograph about a rural village in Belgium. Sashalyn Medina’s ‘The Justice chokehold,’ on the spot drawings of the millions march in New York. Carly Larson’s ‘No Justice, No peace’ and Audrey Hawkins spontaneous protest drawings. Leah Fusco’s large scale drawings exploring the site of a national Grid substation in East Sussex documenting sites that are largely unseen by the general public. Harry Morgan’s journalistic drawings from Myanmar, Tim King’s drawings in London and many other amazing projects.
An international panel of artists and academics including Lucinda Rogers, Olivier Kugler, Mel Reim, Prof. Mario Minichiello, Moleskine, and the editor of Reportager juried the work.
The work in this inaugural reportage award exhibition is the result, and comprises a selection of entries from students and professionals. The exhibition is an overview of reportage drawing currently in taking place internationally. Three prizes were awarded to artists for exceptional work in the following categories. Professional, Student, and a Moleskine Special Mention Award.
Drawing is currently undergoing a renaissance in the disciplines of fine art, applied art, graphic design and illustration. There appears to be a drawing zeitgeist taking place in art schools and evidence of a particular interest in documentary drawing and reportage.
The drawing of everyday scenes and situations in an objective way is a very different discipline to the much more dynamic and proactive activity of drawn visual journalism, which aligns itself more closely to photojournalism and the visual essay. Illustrators in effect work as journalists, interviewing, sketching and photographing their subjects, often compositing and interpreting the visual, aural and textual material in a layered interpretive way. Much of the narrative and commentary finds its way to the published artwork through annotated notes and transcribed conversations.
Drawn reportage and documentary illustration is increasingly relevant today especially when one considers the rise and ubiquity of citizen journalism. Practitioners are making self-initiated work, authorially, self publishing or proactively finding a commercial context for their work.
There has in recent years been a notable rise in publicity on and offline concerning drawing and reportorial projects. However, Reportage artists need to take advantage of the opportunities digital media can offer by considering new directions in the way work is produced, recorded and distributed. Inspiration can be taken from the way in which photojournalists and documentary filmmakers are using the ‘Meta Image’ creating multiplatform projects to tell their stories and reach new audiences.
Is this the beginning of a new era of drawn visual journalism, or, considering the ubiquity of mobile phones and cameras, just an offshoot or parallel strand of citizen journalism, and if so, what are our responsibilities as producers and consumers of this material?
Gary Embury editor of reportager.org
Thanks to Moleskine for their support in funding the category awards.
Category Award Winners 2015
Congratulations to all the winners and all those who were shortlisted. The quality and diversity of the work from an international field of students and professionals was inspiring. Thanks Fabio Di Liberto of Moleskine for his enthusiasm and support in funding the awards. Thanks also to the Jury who gave their time and professional judgment for the selection.
Thanks also goes to all those who took time to enter the awards and the care and attention in selecting and sending original artwork. The exhibition took place at the University of the West of England F Block Gallery 8th – 15th may 2015
Rachel Gannon Professional category award winner
Rachel receives £600 and a £1700 travel bursary
‘Crossing a frontier is quite an emotive thing to do an imaginary limit, made material by a wooden barrier which as it happens is never really on the line that it purports to represent’
This project looks at those areas of the UK that we could classify as contemporary frontiers; particularly the docks of the South East coast. The borders of this country are much discussed and are a greatly contested political ground. Their porosity is of great concern to both UK citizens and those wanting to make the UK their home.
These frontiers are not a clearly drawn line but should of course be envisaged as a border zone. But what exists in these Marchlands (as Marc Auge refers to them)?
Frontiers pays specific attention to the docks at Tilbury and Dover both of which have been documented heavily in the news. This project aims to cast a poetic eye over the structures that exist in these spaces - How are these boarders constructed, signposted, policed, managed and maintained?
Marchlands never open out on to totally foreign worlds - what kind of view do we, as residents of the UK, have looking out? And what do these borders tell us about the way we are seen from the outside.
Joe Munro, University of the West of England
Student category award winner
‘From farm to fork’
This project recognises the importance of challenging our conceptions and knowledge of existing systems of food production, distribution and waste. The catalyst for this work stems from the recent substantial rise in both food waste and hunger within the UK. By recognising this subject matter also as a global issue, will reinforce the importance of documenting the innovative steps projects are making locally within Bristol. The work presented uses primary, visual journalistic principles of illustration; documenting, interviewing and investigating different projects that are all combating food waste at different stages of the food cycle. This project extensively highlights the ramifications of the way in which we, as a nation, are dealing with food waste. However, through making these works has created a platform of drawings that collectively show resilience, protest and solutions to this issue. The projects often involve volunteering programmes that tackle social isolation and ideologies that push for positive social change within communities. By collating these projects into visceral and engaging forms of visual data: the correlation of beliefs towards change can be realised as a platform, to challenge and interrogate stubborn attitudes of social responsibility.
Moleskine Special Mention Professional Category Award
These set of drawings explore the illusion of repetition that many people feel and how daily commuter’s deal with boredom, waiting and travelling.
Conversation in real life is full of half-finished sentences and overlapping talk. Why shouldn't painting be too? (Edgar Degas)
Welcome to the gallery of life......
Tom Good, Arts University Bournemouth
Moleskine Special Mention Student Category Award
This work is based around a sense of place and the people within them; particularly I am interested in space and scale, which help to evoke mood. My drawings are all made on location, as I prefer the quick loose gestural line that you can only achieve by drawing in situ. Some of the images are drawn in cycle cafés as my current project at university is based around contemporary cycle culture. I am particularly interested in the social aspects within cycling, focusing on documenting the people and capturing the environment and atmosphere they inhabit. I found that cycle cafes with their cycling related ephemera and lively atmosphere provided an ideal environment to capture this.