Artist Sally Mann wins top images award for her wildfire collection

Yoshiko Yap

American artist Sally Mann has been introduced as the winner of a top rated pictures prize for her series which captures the devastating wildfires in the Fantastic Dismal Swamp in Virginia.

The award ceremony for the ninth cycle of the Prix Pictet, the international award in images and sustainability, was held at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London wherever Mann obtained a income prize of 100,000 Swiss Francs (£82,000).

The event marked the opening of an exhibition at the museum which showcases the 12 photographic series shortlisted for the prize, all of which examine the award’s concept of hearth.

Mann’s winning series, titled Blackwater (2008-2012), focuses on the harmful wildfires that engulfed the Terrific Dismal Swamp in southeastern Virginia, in which the initially slave ships docked in The united states.

She explained that the photos draw a parallel among the wildfires with the racial conflict in The usa, expressing: “The fires in the Excellent Dismal Swamp seemed to epitomize the wonderful hearth of racial strife in The usa – the Civil War, emancipation, the Civil Legal rights Motion, in which my loved ones was concerned, the racial unrest of the late 1960s and most recently the summer season of 2020.

“Something about the deeply flawed American character seems to embrace the apocalyptic as solution.”

The Virginian-born artist, whose perform typically explores tensions among nature, record, and memory, is a a few-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and was named America’s Ideal Photographer by Time journal in 2001.

Speaking on behalf of the Prix Pictet Jury, Sir David King chairman of the jury, mentioned: “If at any time there was a time for the Prix Pictet to choose up the topic of Fireplace, that time is now.

“This past summer season we had been inundated with images of fire at its most frighteningly destructive… Of course, fireplace is a most capricious factor, and its various faces ended up existing in the group of shortlisted collection.

“The jury regarded an remarkable team of artists, every of whom demonstrated a remarkably distinct strategy to the concept, at times hard our comprehension of what photography can be.

“Sally Mann’s series, in certain, is a good repurposing of historic photographic method to inform a chilling contemporary story.

“At the close of a rich debate the jury were being unanimous in their conclusion that she was a deserving winner of the 9th Prix Pictet.”

The Prix Pictet, which was established in 2008, aims to “promote discussion and debate on important troubles of sustainability”.

Just about every cycle of the awards excursions globally, with exhibitions in about a dozen spots, bringing the perform of the shortlisted photographers to a huge global audience.

The exhibition, titled Prix Pictet: Hearth, is on display till January 9 2022 at the V&A.

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