First Book Award winner announced

20 April 2015

Industry news, Exhibitions

Irish photographer Ciarán Óg Arnold has been announced as the winner of the First Book Award 2015. His winning project I went to the worst of bars hoping to get killed. but all I could do was to get drunk again is a diary of sorts, charts the haunted figures encountered over two years following a return to his childhood town of Ballinasloe.

The announcement marks the launch of a display in Media Space dedicated to the Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards and the First Book Award 2015. Visitors to the display will have a unique opportunity to look through copies of the newly and soon-to-be-published books by each of the shortlisted entrants and award winners, alongside a selection of striking images from the previous First Book Award winners.

The First Book Award is the world’s leading book prize for emerging photographers. The Award was established in 2012 by MACK and the National Media Museum and is open to photographers who have not previously had a book published by a third party publishing house. Media Space is presenting the winning project, together with an overview of the winners from the first three years of the Award. The other nine shortlisted photographers’ projects will be included in the display. They are: Fine Bieler (Traumhafte Bilder mit Anspruch auf Wahrheit), Marguerite Bornhauser (Plastic Colors), Ivars Gravlejs (Early Works), Tine Guns (The Diver), Kevin Lear (A Glass Darkly), Vittorio Mortarotti (The First Day of Good Weather), Musa Nxumalo (In search of …), Charlotte Tanguy (In a Sense), Ofer Wolberger (billie).

Michael Mack said: ‘Ciarán Óg Arnold’s project is a heartfelt story of home. The book is a sincere self-portrait where the boundaries between his own state of consciousness and his photography blur into a compelling document of lives tinged with humour and often brutal sadness.’

In addition to the announcement of the First Book Award winner for 2015, the nominees for The Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards were revealed by Kate Bush, Head of Photography, Science Museum Group, in the categories of Best Photography Book Award and Best Moving Image Book Award. The winners will be announced on 18 May. 

The Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards are the UK’s leading prizes for photography and moving image books. Judged by a panel of prominent experts, they celebrate the books which have made original and lasting educational, professional, historical and cultural contributions to the field. The winners in the two main categories will be announced at a ceremony on 18 May 2015, with a £10,000 prize split between the two awards.

The Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards and the First Book Award 2015 runs from 20 April to 28 June 2015 in the Virgin Media Studio, Media Space, Science Museum, London.

I went to the worst of bars hoping to get killed. but all I could do was to get drunk again by Ciarán Óg Arnold is published by MACK and is available to buy online and from the Science Museum shop. RRP £20.

Image: (left to right): Ciarán Óg Arnold © Jennie Hills / Science Museum, and the cover of I went to the worst of bars hoping to get killed. but all I could do was to get drunk again © MACK