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Kitchen Court Hearing
CREDIT: Liz Hingley

IPE 163: four photographers with four visions

We celebrate some of the shortlisted work in this year's International Photography Exhibition

More than 4,000 photographers from across the globe submitted work to the RPS International Photography Exhibition (IPE) this year. Images by 279 photographers from 50 countries have now been shortlisted by this year's selectors – photographer Monica Alcazar-Duarte, curator Sebah Chaudhry, photographic artist Joy Gregory HonFRPS, and Dr Michael Pritchard, Director of Education, RPS. 

We're looking forward to sharing their final selection of work later on in 2021, prior to IPE 163 going on show at RPS Gallery, Bristol in April 2022. All photographers will be contacted by 24 September 2021. 

Held continuously since 1854, the IPE is the world’s longest-running exhibition. It enables image-makers to express themselves regardless of age, location, subject or cultural context.

To celebrate the 163rd edition of the IPE, here we showcase images from four shortlisted photographers from three nations.

The November/December 2021 edition of the RPS Journal will also be a special RPS Awards issue.


Above: ‘Kitchen court hearing’ 

By Liz Hingley (UK)

“A barrister working from home during lockdown in London, 2020. Some UK judges requested that barristers dressed in the full legal regalia for court hearings on Zoom. I photographed my partner at his favourite place to work – the kitchen table.

“We decided to ‘bubble up’ when moving between households became restricted due to Covid-19 control measures. The portrait is part of a series documenting new ways of working and loving, and our intimately entangled relationship with mobile devices.”


Below: from an untitled series

By Nicoletta Cerasomma (Italy)

Cerasomma Nicoletta Lucida Mansi The Silk Road
CREDIT: Nicoletta Cerasomma

“The main characters and subjects of this project are women from Lucca in Italy – feminine figures that deprived themselves of their own identity to become symbolic icons, the reflection of the society they lived in.

“My pictures represent their stories and their legacy that still affects our cultural heritage. I recall the cultural context they lived in, and emphasise their contribution to the creation of Lucca’s social and cultural context and local community identity. Although some of these characters are based on real people, the mystery which surrounds them lets the public link them to an imaginary world made up of ancestral fears and archetypes.”



Below: from the series Four Hugs Wide

By Harry Borden HonFRPS (UK)

Borden Harry Four Hugs Wide 02
CREDIT: Harry Borden

“This project, an ongoing collaboration with Mireille Thornton, explores our relationship with the arboreal through encounters with people who love, live and work with trees and woodlands throughout Britain.

“Here you will find artists, farmers, activists and campaigners, forest food gardeners, designers, witches, musicians, writers, iron-age tool makers, healers, health workers and more.

“All our subjects share an innate respect for nature and live according to the maxim that we are part of a greater whole. Each portrait is accompanied by a poem written by Mireille. The work was supported by the TPA/RPS Environmental Bursary and was exhibited at The Plough Arts Centre in Great Torrington accompanied by a series of events, workshops and films."


Below: ‘We watch and we are watched by somebody, 2020’

By Ihor Bondarenko (Ukraine)

Bondarenko Ihor We Watch And We Are Watched By Somebody, 2020
CREDIT: Ihor Bondarenko

“In the early 18th century the English philosopher George Berkeley argued that our world was an illusion. The concept of ‘the world as a simulation’ interprets this old philosophical thought using the high-tech achievements of humanity. How will we know that we live in a virtual world, how important is it for us?”


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