Now in its 143rd year, the Royal Photographic Society Awards celebrate individuals working to create outstanding still and moving images. The Awards celebrate significant achievements, showcase new and emerging talent, and highlight notable contributions from RPS members.
The eighteen categories of the awards span different genres and applications of photography, including the recognition of achievements in moving image, new media, science and imaging, education, and curation. The categories continue to evolve to reflect new ways of seeing, making, and sharing photography.
Silvia, has recieved the Vic Odden Award for her self-portraiture photography that explores personal history, heritage and origins. The award recognises a notable achievement in the art of photography by an individual aged 35 or under.
Awardees also include Katie Bouman, Bruce Davidson, Zelda Cheatle, Vanley Burke, Mitra Tabrizian, Phoebe Boswell and Tyler Mitchell.
Silvia is an alumni of the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 3. Founded in 2015, the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards are a collaboration between Jerwood Arts and Photoworks, supported by Arts Council England and Official Print Partner, Spectrum Photographic. They are presented every two years in London and on tour nationally. Each Awardee receives an award of £10,000 to support the time and space to research and develop new work, with access to a production fund of up to £5,000 each and is supported over a year-long period by a mentoring panel with curatorial support from Photoworks and Jerwood Arts. Artists previously supported through the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards are: Matthew Finn, Joanna Piotrowska and Tereza Zelenkova, Alejandra Carles-Tolra, Sam Laughlin and Lua Ribeira.
Following a national open call, Silvia and Theo Simpson were selected from over 450 submissions of UK-based artists using photography within 10 years of establishing their practice. Their new commissions were exhibited for the first time at Jerwood Arts in 2020 before touring to Belfast Exposed in 2021.
Silvia’s series, Encounter, commissioned for the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 3, explores her personal family history, drawing on her Togolaise heritage, and the idea of origins. Her mother, who has been an inspiration for much of her previous work, plays a central role in this project, as well as her father and their experiences of migration from Togo in West Africa to Italy. This theme of family is explored through self-portraits in which Silvia plays her mother and father, and is partially informed by the West African studio portrait. This family history and her position as a European looking back on her family heritage is also explored through a visual deconstruction of head carrying techniques, a practice with its own histories, skills, rituals and aesthetics. Silvia’s family history has a strong connection to this traditional practice, due to her mother’s previous job as a market trader.
Find out more:
Read about Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 3, here.
Read about The Royal Photographic Society Awards 2021, here.