Ruth Campbell became the tenth winner of the annual Sproxton Award for Photography, announced at the London College of Communication’s MA Photography Final Show on 14 November. The prize was set up in memory of Andrew Sproxton who, in 1972, together with Val Williams, created the Impressions Gallery of Photography in York, one of the first specialist photography galleries in the UK and Europe.
At the Final Show a special mention went to Mike Pevsner for his series Working From Home which examined the creation of office spaces with the home. Winners were also selected for the Photofusion Prize, Photoworks Award, Troika Editions Award, and MACK Award, which all congratulate different aspects of photographic practice.
In her series Once a Year & Now Ruth Campbell focuses on the annual event of a birthday, paying special homage to the homemade birthday cake. A combination of family photographs that were never inserted into the ‘family album’, juxtaposed with new images, the project celebrates the care and attention shown by a mother in this yearly celebration.
Ruth, who will receive £1000 to help kick-start her photography career said; “I’m completely shocked. It was such a surprise. The project is a celebration of my Mother’s creativity really, by making the missing cakes that were never photographed and re-living the act of blowing out the candles, I wanted to acknowledge and celebrate the care and attention shown by a mother every year.”
Professor Val Williams, Director of the Photography and the Archive Research Centre (PARC) at the University of the Arts London, who judged the award with 2011 alumna Gemma Marmalade said; “The work expresses a particular anxiety about family which is perfectly expressed in this seemingly innocuous subject matter.”
1. Mike Pevsner, Working From Home.