At Chester Fields 2022 Opening Celebration on Sunday, August 14 the winners from The Polygon Gallery’s annual teen photography showcase were announced. Congratulations to the winner Jeffer Ward, and the runners up Sabrina Wu and Jonathan Sterling. You can view their winning photos and artist statements below. Chester Fields 2022: Look Again is on now until September 11.
For Look Again, I chose the dinner table as my topic. A dinner table can provide many opportunities to connect and make memories with those you value. Whether it be sharing a homemade meal or playing cards, it provides meaningful times with loved ones. There’s more to a dinner table than just sitting at a table. Companionship and food are necessities, and a dinner table provides both. The value of gathering around one area can be overlooked and missed. So next time you’re at a table, look again and realise the memories and connections you are making.
Banner photo: Anita Bonnarens
This piece visualises the horrors of animal exploitation – a chaos disguised as the normalised order of humanity. Inspired by my childhood experiences of seeing farm animals being abused, I revisited this dilemma, in the hope of emphasising humanity’s cowardly relationship with animals. By merging a human’s eye within a goat’s eye, I contrast the horizontal pupil with the familiar circular pupils, creating a sinister and alienating effect. Through investigating the uncanny valley, I hope to express humanity’s foreign relationship to farm animals (contrary to household pets): where we have distanced ourselves to them, growing an egocentric desire to use them solely for short-term gratification, as suggested by the overlaid picture of an animal produce market. I hope to highlight this horrendous environment within the animal industry, a predicament masked by our self-proclaimed moral superiority.
This piece is something very personal to me because being a dark-skinned individual is something that I have struggled with for as long as I can remember. There were times when I thought I was comfortable in my skin, which is why I look so confident in the youngest picture. As time progressed, I realised that I was struggling; in the picture on the left, I had started learning to be comfortable. The picture in the background is me currently, acknowledging my flaws and knowing that growth never stops. I’m looking away and smiling because the picture behind represents my past, and the promise to forgive myself for not loving me. The fading black-and-white gives a fleeting feeling, with me hanging in the balance but also taking charge of the person I want to become.
Jeffer Ward (L) and Jonathan Sterling (R) at the Chester Fields Opening Celebration. Photo: Anita Bonnarens
View the Chester Fields 2022 shortlist here: https://chesterfields.thepolygon.ca