Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 2020 - Silvia Rosi

Silvia Rosi shares her experiences of being part of the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 2020.

The Jerwood/Photoworks Awards support photographers, or artists using photography, to make new work and significantly develop their practice. The Awards particularly seek to encourage artists and photographers exploring new approaches to photography, and/or whose practice is experimental.

Silvia Rosi’s work explores her personal family history drawing on her Togolaise heritage, and the idea of origins. Her mother, who has been the source of 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. She has been informed by this history and her position as a European looking in on her family heritage. Her project is partially inspired by the West African studio portrait and also includes a visual deconstruction of head carrying techniques, a practice with its own histories, skills, rituals and aesthetics, and a strong connection to Silvia’s own family history. For this exhibition, her work will include new examples of colour and black and white photography, as well as works where she explores working with video for the first time.

The two artists Silvia Rosi and Theo Simpson were selected from over 450 submissions in response to an open call to UK-based photography practitioners within 10 years of establishing their practice. They each receive an award of £10,000 to support the making of new work for an exhibition at Jerwood Space and subsequent UK tour,  alongside an additional production fund of £5000 and high-profile mentoring support from an international panel of experts for at least 12 months.

Selectors: Aaron Schuman, artist; Marta Weiss, Curator of Photographs at V&A Museums; Shama Khanna, freelance curator and writer; Shoair Mavlian, Director of Photoworks; and Lilli Geissendorfer, Director of Jerwood Arts.