Award win­ning shots cap­ture so­ci­ety

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

Amer­sham School pupils Scar­lett Arm­strong, 16, and Natasha Wig­man, 15, both won a prize in the na­tional Fo­cus on So­ci­ety pho­to­graphic com­pe­ti­tion.

They col­lected their prizes at a spe­cial awards cer­e­mony held at the Es­pa­cio Gallery, Shored­itch, Lon­don, on Tues­day, March 8.

The an­nual com­pe­ti­tion is run by the Eco­nomic and So­cial Re­search Coun­cil, which this year asked young peo­ple aged 14 to 18 to take a photo which cap­tured how they see so­ci­ety in 2016.

More than 850 chil­dren from across the UK took part, sub­mit­ting a vast range of in­spir­ing and thought­pro­vok­ing im­ages taken not only with cam­eras, but also with mo­bile phones and tablets.

A wide range of sub­jects were cap­tured, such as fam­ily, the econ­omy, pol­i­tics, cul­ture, health and sus­tain­abil­ity.

Scar­lett Arm­strong won the Judges Favourite cat­e­gory for her photo Ev­ery Be­gin­ning has an End.’

She said: “I be­lieve that my im­age shows that ev­ery be­gin­ning has an end. I have taken the panorama to high­light the en­trance of the build­ing and the end of the build­ing. This sug­gests that a per­son can en­ter as a child, for their mar­riage and fu­neral, which shows the dif­fer­ent stages of life.”

Scar­lett’s im­age was cho­sen as a win­ner by Judge Karin Wood­ley, ESRC coun­cil mem­ber and chief ex­ec­u­tive of Cam­bridge House.

She said: “I loved this im­age be­cause it is pow­er­ful and beau­ti­ful. The play on ar­chi­tec­ture and spirituality cre­ated a vis­ual ref­er­ence to the cre­ation of life – the en­trance to the womb – the womb, and the heart. In­tended or un­in­tended – this made the ‘Cra­dle to the Grave’ metaphor es­pe­cially com­pelling and suc­cess­ful.”

Fel­low stu­dent Natasha Wig­man won the Green and Pleas­ant Land cat­e­gory for her im­age We Are The Cre­ators, which high­lights the prob­lems caused by pol­lu­tion.

She said: “Lichen is a pol­lu­tion in­di­ca­tor, so why is there so much?”

Head­teacher of Amer­sham School Sharon Kar­rett, who at­tended the awards cer­e­mony with the learn­ing leader for art Sian Janacek, said: “I’m proud of the work and com­mit­ment of the teach­ing staff in our Art Depart­ment which en­ables our stu­dents to de­velop and ex­press them­selves in a va­ri­ety of ways. Natasha and Scar­lett are two tal­ented young ladies who are a trib­ute to our school com­mu­nity.”

In to­tal the ESRC awarded £1,800 to the win­ners of the com­pe­ti­tion and their school, with prizes di­vided into five di­verse cat­e­gories: Cra­dle to grave; Green and pleas­ant land; From rags to riches; Va­ri­ety is the spice of life; and No place like home. In ad­di­tion the judges were asked to pick their per­sonal favourite, with each win­ner re­ceiv­ing £50 in vouch­ers.

The qual­ity of this year’s en­tries was the “best ever” ac­cord­ing to the judges.

ESRC head of com­mu­ni­ca­tions Jacky Clake said: “Af­ter three years of run­ning this com­pe­ti­tion, many thou­sands of pho­tos have been sub­mit­ted. How­ever I must say that the stan­dard keeps on get­ting higher and higher, it’s truly ex­cep­tional.

“We are de­lighted to see so many young peo­ple take part and re­ally get to grips with what so­ci­ety in Bri­tain is all about.”

Scar­lett Arm­strong and Natasha Wig­man, left, at the awards cer­e­mony

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