St John's Photography Competition 2020 winners

Date 20 November 2020

Congratulations to the winners of this year's prizes!

We are pleased to announce the winners of this year's St John's Photography Competition

This year the competition was slightly different, with members of College asked to document their lives in lockdown through a portfolio of photos. We received some really interesting and inventive submissions, and it was brilliant to see both staff and students getting so creative and discovering new experiences and places despite this year's restrictions. 

The final round of the competition was judged by professional photographers Chloe Dewe Mathews and Joanna Vestey, and although we were disappointed to no longer be able to provide a venue for this year's Photo Oxford festival due to the pandemic, we were glad to be able to work in partnership with them for the photography competition. 

The results were: 

1st prize - Maren Fichter (Inspire Project Support Officer)

2nd prize - Phoebe Walker (JCR)

Joint 3rd prize - Ariadne Si Suo (JCR) and Professor Zoltán Molnár (Tutorial Fellow in Human Anatomy)

Chloe Dewe Mathews made the following comments on the winning portfolios: 

'Maren's subtle photographs recorded small details in the everyday, infusing them with a poetic quality which was both melancholic and beautiful. The images also managed to convey a sense of heightened awareness and connection to nature that people have talked about experiencing during the pandemic.

'Phoebe's photographs had a playful sense of humour, shooting deer through a lens and teasing ducks with a sandwich. Despite being lighthearted, each image was considered and well composed.

'Ariadne Si Suo clearly enjoyed experimenting with light, following it around her room and out into the streets at nighttime. Her atmospheric photographs painted an unusual portrait of Oxford.

'Zoltán's photographs showed a great connection with people and engagement with his surroundings. The first image of a couple on bikes with beaming smiles was wonderfully uplifting, as was the man covering himself in a cloud of pink confetti.'

Joanna Vestey said: 'I was delighted to be involved and given the opportunity to look through the photos - it's always nice to see Oxford through others' eyes'.

Following the judging, Dr Georgy Kantor commented: ‘It has been a delight to take part in deciding the results of our college competition, and to see the spectacular range and diversity of talent in all parts of the college community. It is also a particular pleasure to thank the Photo Oxford festival for their support, and Chloe Dewe Mathews and Joanna Vestey, great friends of this college, whose work we have been proud to have in our collection, for judging the final round and sharing their wisdom and expertise’.

Professor Hannah Skoda commented: 'Helping to decide the results of the college competition has helped me to look at the college and at Oxford in a new light.  The photographs submitted were so thoughtful and sensitive, and provided new perspectives on familiar scenes. I echo Georgy's thanks to the Photo Oxford festival, and the wonderful judges Chloe Dewe Matthews and Joanna Vestey whose own work has inspired many photographers.'

Thank you to Chloe, Joanna and Photo Oxford for their invaluable input into this year's competition, and to Dr Georgy Kantor and Professor Hannah Skoda for their involvement in judging the monthly prizes.

Thanks also to all of the members of College who entered the competition and provided a snapshot of their lives in lockdown!

1st prize: Maren Fichter

2nd prize: Phoebe Walker

Joint 3rd prize: Ariadne Si Suo

Joint 3rd prize: Professor Zoltán Molnár