Hellen Van Meene HonFRPS / Veda En Juno
CREDIT: Hellen Van Meene / Veda En Juno

RPS Awards Talks...Hellen van Meene with Martin Barnes

Event info

Click the link here to book a free place. 

If you have trouble booking, please email Jo Macdonald at jo@rps.org and she will send you the zoom details.

Our Awards Talks Series welcomes leading individuals to talk about how they use photography as artists, scientists, educators, publishers and curators. All our speakers are recent RPS Award recipients who have been recognised for their contribution to photography. 

Recordings from the series can be seen here: https://rps.org/awardstalks

Hellen van Meene studied photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam. Over the last twenty years, she has produced a complex body of work, offering a contemporary take on photographic portraiture. Characterized by her exquisite use of light, formal elegance, and palpable psychological tension, her depictions of girls and boys on the cusp of adulthood demonstrate a clear aesthetic lineage to seventeenth-century Dutch painting. Van Meene captures the intimacy in the photographer/subject relationship, bringing out a sense of honesty and vulnerability from within her models and highlighting the beauty of imperfection.  

Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the collections of major museums around the world, including the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Art Institute of Chicago; Brooklyn Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She has five monographs on her name, the others include Portraits (Aperture, 2004), Japan Series, New Work, Tout va disparaître, and 2015; The Years Shall Run like Rabbits. 

Martin Barnes is Senior Curator of Photography at the V&A. Since 1997 he has worked with the V&A’s National Collection of the Art of Photography, building and researching the collection and devising exhibitions. He was the Lead Curator for Phase 1 of the V&A’s new Photography Centre which opened in autumn 2018.

He has published extensively on historical and contemporary photographic subjects and curated numerous UK and international touring exhibitions including: Twilight: Photography in the Magic Hour (2006); Something That I’ll Never Really See: Contemporary Photography from the V&A (2008-10); Shadow Catchers: Camera-less Photography (2010); Island Stories: Fifty Years of Photography in Britain (2012-13); Beneath the Surface, the inaugural exhibition for Photo London, Somerset House (2015); Richard Learoyd: Dark Mirror (2015-16); Paul Strand: Photography and Film for the 20th Century (2016); and the British Pavilion at Dubai Photo (2016). He is currently working on the book and exhibition Maurice Broomfield: Industrial Sublime.

Martin has acted as academic advisor and lecturer for the Royal College of Art, the University of Westminster, the University of the Arts London, the University of Newcastle, and Sotheby’s Institute, and as judge for the Prix Pictet, the Deutsche Börse Prize and the Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards. Martin was given the Society’s J Dudley Johnston Award in 2013

The 'in conversation' will be followed by a public Q+A. Questions will be taken by Zoom chat or can be emailed in advance. Your Zoom link will be sent in PDF with your booking confirmation. 

Image © Hellen van Meene, Veda en Juno 


Event Organiser

Jo Macdonald


Cancellation policy

This is an online event. The RPS will do its best to ensure that it keeps to the published timings and runs as planned. In the unlikely event that the event has to be cancelled all participants will be advised by email at the earliest opportunity.  No responsibility will be accepted for any consequential losses.



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