The RPS Annual Awards 2019

04 September 2019

Society news, Industry news

The Royal Photographic Society is delighted to announce the 2019 recipients of its internationally renowned Awards, now in the 141th edition. Sophie Calle, Carrie Mae Weems, Yorgos Lanthimos, Laia Abril, Collier Schorr, Simon Bainbridge and Professor Al Bovik, as well as prominent scientists, producers, publishers, writers, educators, and directors, are amongst the luminaries of the photographic world who are honoured this year.

The prestigious awards were established in 1878 to celebrate outstanding contributions to photography, these contributions now span the fields of art, science, education, film and publishing. The 16 awards will be presented on 13 November at the Royal Society in London.

Acclaimed French photographer and prolific conceptual artist, Sophie Calle, has been awarded the prestigious Centenary Medal for her ongoing contribution to photography. Calle’s work is distinguished by its use of arbitrary sets of constraints and evokes the French literary movement of the 1960’s known as Oulipo. Her work frequently depicts human vulnerability and examines identity and intimacy.

RPS Vice President Del Barrett said: “As an artist and educator, Calle epitomises what the Society stands for.  I am particularly thrilled to see the Centenary medal awarded to a female artist for the second year running.”

Yorgos Lanthimos, Greek director, producer and screenwriter is awarded The Cinematic Production Award for his work on critically acclaimed films Dogtooth, The Favourite and The Lobster. His most recent film, The Favourite received a leading ten Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and won Best Actress for Olivia Colman.

The Progress Medal is awarded to Professor Al Bovik in recognition of any invention, research, publication or other contribution that has resulted in an important advance in the scientific or technological development of photography or imaging in the widest sense. Bovik’s work addresses some of the most important and difficult problems of the information age. Each day, his picture quality measurement tools allow hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide to enjoy perceptually optimized picture viewing experiences, whether by social sharing or video on demand, while significantly contributing to more efficient global bandwidth consumption.

Alix Marie, the London based artist receives the Vic Odden Award, for a notable achievement in the art of photography by a photographer aged 35 or under, studying photography in the UK. Marie’s work spans the mediums of photography and sculpture. Her visceral exploration of gender, identity and the human body has received much acclaim.

Spanish multi-disciplined artist Laia Abril is awarded The Hood Medal, which recognises a photographic project dealing with public social concerns, for her long-term project A History of Misogyny, which explores issues of feminity and misogyny through visual research, undertaken through historical and contemporary comparisons. Chapter One: On Abortion represented the repercussions of abortion controls in many different cultures. The artist is presently working on Chapter Two: On Rape Culture.

The Award for Outstanding Service to Photography has been presented to Dr Mark Sealy MBE, British curator, cultural historian and director of Autograph ABP (the Association of Black Photographers) which is a charity that works internationally to educate the public in photography by addressing issues of cultural identity and human rights.

American physician, amateur astronomer and astrophotographer Dr Robert Gendler receives the Award for Scientific Imaging for his award-winning images of deep sky objects with long exposures captured by CCD camera’s. Gendler has earned an international reputation for creating unique astronomical images by integrating data from different telescopic imaging systems and published five books.

Five leading photographic artists have been awarded Honorary Fellowships of the RPS – Professor Anna Fox, Joy Gregory, Clare Strand, Hannah Starkey and Carrie Mae Weems. Each photographer is recognised by the Society for their intimate connection with the science or fine art of photography.

Other recipients of the 2019 Royal Photographic Society’s Awards include Professor Reza Razavi; Vice President & Vice-Principal of Research at King’s College, London, and Director of Research at King’s Health Partners; Anne Wilkes Tucker curator emerita of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Beverley Carruthers photographer and Course Director for BA (hons) Photography at London College of Communication, University of The Arts, London; Zhuang Wubin writer, curator and artist and Dr Tobias M R Houlton British anthropologist and post-doctoral research fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Member’s award and Honorary Life Membership will be awarded to John Margetts ARPSFenton Medal’s and Honorary Life Membership’s will be awarded to Lesley GoodeClive Haynes FRPS, Alastair McGhee ARPS and Roy Robertson HonFRPS at the AGM at The Royal Photographic Society Bristol in September. These integral members work has been key to the long running success of this distinguished and internationally recognised Society.

In addition to these awards, the RPS will announce the 2019 bursary recipients in October which fund individuals at each stage of their career, as well as global photographic and film projects that address environmental awareness and social documentary. These bursaries reflect the Society’s ongoing commitment to supporting and nurturing photography in all its many forms.

The Society’s President Robert Albright HonFRPS said: “The Royal Photographic Society is uniquely placed to recognise individuals working to the highest levels across photography as artists, scientists, educators, curators and publishers and in so doing help to achieve the RPS’s own objective of promoting the public appreciation of the medium”.

Download a full version of the media release here. #RPSAwards2019 #royalphotographicsociety

For further information, press images, and interview requests please contact Aisling Bradley e: t: 07936 362364.

Image: © 2018 - Fox Searchlight. The Favourite directed by Yorgos Lanthimos.