Opening reception and prize announcement: Friday, May 30, 5:30pm.
The Chester Fields contest was created by Presentation House Gallery to foster an interest in photography among North Shore and Lower Mainland students. Recognizing that the medium is a highly accessible communication tool, the project aims to give young artists a platform to expand their visual literacy by exploring the many ways photography can be used, not only as a means of expression, but also as an investigative tool and method of identity formation.
This year's contest focused on the relations between photography and the notion of “image” taken in its more abstract sense: as a general impression or idea. Students contributed work that addressed a cultural image, a first impression or stereotype they felt strongly about. These impressions can come from photographic images: whether they be traditional black and white photographs, or phone pictures made only for social media. When we see these images out of context, how do we know where they’re coming from? To what extent do the images we see reveal their context, and give sign to a given culture? Participants addressed these questions through a diverse range of photographic works that were selected on merit for this year's exhibition.