Barcelona & the Pollux Awards …

… very welcome news from Barcelona this morning regarding the 21st Pollux Awards … the prestigious International photography prize hosted by famed Spanish based FotoNostrum Magazine. Even better is that the news involves three of my (at the moment) lesser known works.

“The Last Image of Alf … Alf Neal OAM” has, up to now, been somewhat overshadowed by another earlier image I made of Alf on his hundredth birthday with his great great grandson Kailan … “100 Years & 3 Weeks … Alf Neal OAM” … which has been recognised numerous times around the planet and in Australia.

So it was a gratifying experience to see the portrait of my old mate Alf … made on the verandah of his Yarrabah home in the last days of his one hundred and first and final year … selected as the ‘Winner’ of Pollux ‘People’ category. I know that Alf, if he was still around, would be immensely proud … and I’m sure that his Yarrabah family will be too.

The ‘icing on the cake’ is that two of my so far ‘unsung’ images … “Voices & Bubblegum … Aurukun” & “Surviving Cyclone Jasper … Bill & Michelle” … were both awarded ‘Honorable Mentions’ in the same ‘People’ category … a nice ‘triple’ 🙂 . The ‘Bubblegum’ pic was made at ‘Indigenous Voice to Parliament’ referendum pre-polling in Aurukun, when young Kythie Yunkaporta was more enthralled with the bubblegum skills of Shuntay Marpoodin. The image of Bill and Michelle Dunn was made as they told their harrowing story of survival at their Degarra (Bloomfield) home destroyed in the massive flooding that followed Cyclone Jasper.

The Pollux Awards have been good to me over the years … and this is the fourth year in a row that I’ve been fortunate to be selected as ‘Winner’ of the ‘People’ category (earlier ‘wins’ … 20th Edition here 19th Edition here, 18th Edition here ).

One of the nicest things about the Pollux Awards is that the winners works do end up as physical framed photographs on a wall … the very prestigious walls of the FotoNostrum Gallery, Mediterranean House of Photography, in Barcelona, Spain. That will happen from July 2025 … (a nice time to be in Barcelona and Spain 😉 ? ).

Very nice also to be in the good company of my US photojournalist mate and Pulitzer Prize winner, Michael Robinson Chavez, whose work was selected in the Pollux ‘Documentary & Reportage’ category.

You may find all of this years Pollux Awards winners in a special edition FotoNostrum Magazine here … https://www.fotonostrummag.com/21-pollux … my work is on pages 64 & 65, whilst Michael Robinson Chavez’s works are on page 116.

Images © Brian Cassey

International Color Awards … Two Thirds and More …

… great news on Sunday that TWO of my images have each been awarded “3rd Place Honor of Distinction” in the 17th edition of the “International Color Awards” … “Drying Saris on the Banks of the Ganges” in ‘Photojournalism’ … and … “George at the Bus Stop” in ‘Portrait’

Really, REALLY pleased about the ‘Saris’ image which I made in Varanasi on a totally memorable road trip journey through India with a couple of great photographer colleagues far too many years ago. It’s always been one of my personal favourite photographs, but this is the first time it has been recognised as something a little ‘special’. Thanks ICA !

Of course … it’s also very nice to see an image grabbed in just a minute or two whilst passing a Cairns bus stop one lunch time can mix it at the top end and also gain a 3rd Place Honor of Distinction. Thanks Dr George Skeene OAM !

Not to be forgotten, two more of my works also resonated … with “100 Years & 3 Weeks – Alf Neal OAM” handed an Honorable Mention … and “Crocodile Hunter George Craig” a Finalist Nomination … both in the ‘Portrait’ category.

You may find the first, second and third placed winners (and Honorable Mentions) in ‘Photojournalism’ … here … https://photoshow.colorawards.com/winners.php?x=p&cid=590 … and ‘Portrait’ here … https://photoshow.colorawards.com/winners.php?x=p&cid=591 … and also nice to see young photojournalist and my 2023 Head On Photo Festival photojournalism talk co-presenter Mouneb Taim get one too !

Gotta be happy with that …  

Images © Brian Cassey

Triple in Percival Portrait Prize …

… in news this month … so pleased that all three of my entries in the Percival Portrait Prize were selected as ‘Finalists’.

The three works … “Last of the Trochus Divers – Albert ‘Boyo’ Ware” , “George at the Bus Stop – Dr George Skeene OAM” and “100 Years & 3 Weeks – Alf Neal OAM” … all made the cut and will be exhibited on the beautiful walls of the historic Perc Tucker Gallery in Townsville.

Overall winners of the fiscal prizes (in painting, photographic and student) will be announced at the exhibition opening eve event on the Saturday 22nd June . Sounds pretty good to me … the last one two years ago (with subject Aurora in tow as mentioned in a recent post) was highly enjoyable. 

It’s also the third time in a row that I have had all three entries selected as finalists in the prestigipus biennial awards. You may find the works here … 2024, 2022, 2020. In the 2018 edition … my first attempt … I made two entries and both were selected.

Townsville council really turns it on for the Percival opening eve at Perc Tucker on their mall … and I’ll definitely be making the trek to our southern neighbour for the night.

The exhibition will run until the 1st of September at the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Corner of Flinders and Denham Streets, Townsville.

Thanks, of course, to my subjects … Albert, George and the sadly late Alf (Thanks Neal family !) Exceptional gentlemen All … 

Images © Brian Cassey

Dodho Photo Books … & Bonn …

… always a pleasure when a Dodho Magazine photo book drops into the old post office box (not literally … they are too big !)

Recently Dodho’s latest volume “Fine Art – Best Photographers of 2023” arrived … and therein gracing a prominent whole page was arguably one of my favourite images … “Bonn Marie – Asking the Question”. The portrait of Cairns girl Bonn Marie has been selected in the ‘Top 25’ of images in the latest Dodho Fine Art Awards … very pleased with that …

The large (12″ X 12″ – 30cm X 30cm) hardcover books are beautifully designed and produced and each contains wonderful work from photographers from around the planet. ‘Fine Art’ is now sitting on my bookshelves next to my other Dodho books ‘Portrait’ (with my image “100 Years & 3 Weeks – Alf Neal OAM” inside … also selected in Best 25) … and ‘Colors’ (with my portrait “George Craig – Crocodile Hunter” therein).

Bonn has been an absolute pleasure the other side of the camera. ‘Asking the Question’ has been recognised now in several awards … likely the most prestigious being the winner of 3rd Place in the “International Portrait Photographer of the Year” awards. 

Back in December another of my Bonn portraits … “Marilyn Monroe – 60 Years On – by Bonn” … received attention with an ‘Honourable Mention’ in the Fine Art category of the “Budapest International Foto Awards” (BIFA). You can see this work and find more details of how and why that image came about here

BIG Thanks Bonn, for your patience and professionalism !

If you are inclined … you can grab Dodho’s ‘Fine Art’ book here , ‘Colors’ here … and the ‘Portrait’ book here

Image of Bonn © Brian Cassey

‘Tokyo’ First in ’24 …

… nice way to start 2024 ! …

Very gratifying news this week that two of my pics have done ‘it’ again … both winning ‘Honorable Mentions’ in the ‘People’ category of the Tokyo International Foto Awards (TIFA). The first of the New Year 2024 … 

Both selected TIFA images … “Do Not Resuscitate – Peter ‘Potter’ Thompson” (top) … & … “100 Years & 3 Weeks – Alf Neal OAM” (below) … have been recognised previously. Just before Christmas my portrait of Peter ‘Potter’ in his Kuranda ceramic studio was selected in the Top Twenty in the Capture Magazine portrait awards … whilst my portrait of Alf ‘Popeye’ Neal went a little better and was selected in the Top Ten in the same Awards (and published in the December issue of Capture Magazine) … along with an Honorable mention in the Budapest International Foto Awards (BIFA). ‘Alf’ has also racked up several other previous accolades … and for ‘Potter’ it’s the third.

Earlier last year these two images teamed up to win the ‘People’ category of the “19th Pollux International Awards” … which at the time was their first ‘recognitions’ .

Check out these (and others) on my ‘Awards’ page at … https://www.briancasseyphotographer.com/awards/

Images © Brian Cassey

Images © Brian Cassey 

Budapest, Dodho & Capture Awards … early Xmas Pressies …

… 3 nice early Chrissie presents … from ‘Budapest International Foto Awards’ (BIFA), Dodho Color Awards’ and Capture Magazines inaugural ‘Capture Awards’ … with four different images featuring.

Most pleasing for me was a first recognition for an image I’m rather fond of … and frankly rather different from my usual ‘stuff’ … entitled “Marilyn Monroe – 60 Years on – By Bonn” (top).

‘Marilyn’ was selected as an Honorable Mention in the Fine Art category of the Budapest International … and I’m very happy with that. I’m pretty sure that my subject Bonn Marie will be happy with that too … she did an admirable job of channeling the 50’s and early 60’s sex goddess … fabulous Bonn ! Thanks … and to Sue Kim too for her great nostalgic make up and hair magic.

I’ll try and keep it concise … but the catalyst for creating the image was the 60th anniversary of Marilyn’s (arguably the planet’s greatest ever sex symbol) untimely death in 1962 at the age of just 36. The idea was to  mirror one of the works of US photographer Tom Kelley who had the enviable task of shooting Marilyn’s infamous ‘red velvet’ set in 1949 before her acting career took off (when she had red hair pre the ‘blond bombshell’ era). Strangely Tom’s image didn’t receive lavish attention until Hugh Hefner selected it for the first centrefold in the first ever edition of Playboy Magazine in 1953!

The original is a truly iconic (in the real sense of the word) photograph and played a key role in shaping 20th century history, spawning a redefinition of female sexuality and a sexual revolution.

I like to think that Bonn and I did the original work justice. (Fine Art or not … it’s a real shame that this work is unacceptable on social media and its use would lead to a ban … go figure!)

“100 Years & 3 Weeks – Alf Neal OAM” also scored an Honourable Mention in the BIFA Portrait category … to add to a growing list of recognitions. Still miss you Alf.

By the way … it would be remiss of me not to mention that Cairns colleague and Hungarian born friend Emese Gyalog also featured in the Budapest awards, winning a Bronze Award and a Honorable Mention for her work. Excellent …

My pic of Green Island croc legend “George Craig – Crocodile Hunter” featured in the second edition Dodho Magazine Color Awards … and was awarded with a whole page (third from top) in a quite beautifully produced collection of photography … the Dodho large format hard cover book of the awards best images entitled ‘Color –  Best Photographers of 2023’ (third and fourth pics). Dodho really know how to produce wonderful polished photography books!

Last but certainly not least … “100 Years & 3 Weeks – Alf Neal OAM” was also selected in the ‘Top Ten Portraits’ of the inaugural Capture Magazine “Capture Awards” … and features amongst the winners in the current Summer 24 print edition of Australia’s premier pro photography magazine. A bit of cream on top was also the selection in the top twenty ‘Portraits’ list of my portrait “Do Not Resuscitate – Peter ‘Potter’ Thompson” of the Kuranda master potter (bottom image).

All have been updated to my ‘Awards’ listings page at … https://www.briancasseyphotographer.com/awards/

A very nice way to finish 2023 … Many Thanks to all involved … and have a great ’24 !

All images © Brian Cassey

Head On Photo Festival … Brilliant …

Crackin’ long weekend at the 2023 Head On Photo Festival in Sydney. 

Great to catch up with so many friends and photography colleagues. Amongst those photographers (and SO sorry for those fleetingly met and missed here) … and roughly in order they appeared …  Mark ‘Crusty’ Baker, David Gray, Rick Stevens, Mike Bowers, Peter Solness, Gary Ramage, Janie Barrett, John Donegan, Dean Sewell, Nicky Cately,  Judith Nangala Crispin, Jessica Hromas, Andrew Quilty, Michael Coyne, Glenn Porter, (pocket UK rocket) Jennifer Forward-Hayter,  John Swainston , Fiona Bowring and Dianne Brooks (who did an amazing job as my personal ‘chauffeur’ 😉 )

Then … you’ve got the fabulous dedicated Head On crew … Moshe Rosenzveig OAM, Anita, Steven, Emma, Charles, Lana et al. Amazin’ job !

Great to see the almost endless brilliant photography works at Bondi Beach, Reservoir Gardens, TAFE Ultimo etc … being part of a photo judges panel talk with colleagues Judith Nangala Crispin and Jessica Hromas … and to see my Head On Portrait Prize Finalist ‘Alf Neal’ work on the wall amongst a brilliant Bondi Pavilion exhibition in company with the work of media colleagues Gary Ramage, Kate Geraghty, Glenn Porter and forty odd others.

But wait … there’s more … the third showing for the “Paper Tigers” exhibition of Australian photojournalism, this time in the spacious realms of TAFE Ultimo … collection curated by myself and Moshe.

Wouldn’t have missed all this for quids … go see  … (and that’s the ‘name dropping’ other with 😉 )

Below are two of my works at the current Head On Festival … “Voices – 100 Years & 3 Weeks – Alf Neal OAM” amongst the Portrait Prize Finalists … and “Abdullatif – Beaten Asylum Seeker” amongst the sixty brilliant works of photojournalism that is “Paper Tigers”.

Images © Brian Cassey @headonphotofest #headonphoto 

Clarion Awards … Thank You Neal Family of Yarrabah …

… a great night at the Queensland Clarion Awards in Brisbane on the weekend.

The ‘Clarions’ are the annual awards for Queenslands media fraternity hosted my the MEAA (Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance) and, in their own words, “recognise excellence, independence, innovation and originality in storytelling and distinctive reporting. This can be through research and investigations, well-crafted and innovative presentations, news-breaking single stories or features, and engaging, entertaining and/or informative reporting.” (They also recognise the work of us ‘photographers’ too 😉 !)

Was very happy to be the recipient of both the major photography awards … ‘Best News Photograph’ for “Voices –  100 Years & 3 Weeks – Alf Neal OAM” … and … ‘Best Photographic Essay’ for “The Voice – Alf Neal OAM at 100”. Gratifyingly, it’s the third year in a row that I’ve been selected as winner of the Best Essay … puts the pressure on somewhat for next year.

I must greatly sincerely thank the Neal family of Yarrabah for allowing me to document the last days of the wonderful and distinguished legend and gentleman that was Alf ‘Popeye’ Neal OAM (in particular the help from Alf’s son Percy … Thank You Percy). I’ve written much on Alf’s life here previously

I hope I have given a wonderful man the respect (and memories for his family) that he deserves. Miss you Alf.

It was also very nice to read the comments on my works by the judges …

Voices – 100 Years & 3 Weeks – Alf Neal OAM’ by Brian Cassey is in a class of its own and a standout news picture. From the story to the access to the execution, Brian nailed the image and while doing so told an important story. Alf’s life was dedicated to activism and this poignant portrait raises hopes that the changes he didn’t live to witness in his lifetime will come to fruition to better the future of his great great grandson, Kailan. Well done Brian, we hope to one day see this image hanging at the National Portrait Gallery!

‘The Voice – Alf Neal OAM at 100′ by Brian Cassey ticked everyone of the criteria for this category for me. The story, ‘The Voice’, is in the news most days. Brian Cassey developed and nurtured a relationship with the subject. He focused on one man to tell a more complicated story. He was trusted, which gave him access at a very sensitive time for this community. His research allowed a depth to his storytelling. The images and words reflect one another adding great depth to the coverage. His essay tells the story very well. It is beautifully photographed.

Of course … the Clarion Awards are also a great opportunity to visit the big city and catch up with the many photographer and journalist friends and colleagues that aren’t fortunate enough to live and work in the Tropics ;-). Thanks MEAA.

Below I’ve added just a few pics from the winning essay … if you fancy, the complete essay set of twelve images may be found on my web site at … https://www.briancasseyphotographer.com/awards/

Images © Brian Cassey of Alf, his funeral at Yarrabah and interment at Ngarrabullgan (Mt Mulligan) … Tweets (orX’s) by MEAA

Two George’s … Albert … & Kowanyama … 20th Pollux Awards …

Excellent news that my image “George at the Bus Stop” was just selected as WINNER of the ‘20th Pollux International Photo Awards’ – People … whilst three other of my works received Honourable Mentions !

Very nice Result ! Thank You so much to all my wonderful subjects … 

Whilst the portrait of George Skeene OAM got the biggest nod … “The Last of the Trochus Divers” (Albert ‘Boyo’ Ware), “George Craig – Crocodile Hunter” and the series “The People from the Place of Many Waters” (Kowanyama) all received Hon Mentions in the same ‘People’ category.

Winning images will be presented at an exhibition at the Fotonostrum Gallery, Barcelona, Spain in December 2024.

Gratifyingly, it’s the first award ‘recognitions’ for both “George at the Bus Stop” and “The Last of the Trochus Divers” … whilst it’s the second such for “George Craig – Crocodile Hunter” and “The People from the Place of Many Waters”. 

Wonder if I can get to Spain ? 🙂

20th Pollux Awards ‘WINNER’ & ‘Honourable Mentions’ X 3  – ‘People ‘ … Images all © Brian Cassey @brian_cassey

Images © Brian Cassey

Mono Awards & “Alf at 100” …

Just quickly and not a biggie … but a little something to help keep the special memory of Alf Neal OAM alive …

This image below of Alf was from the last I made of the most significant aboriginal elder … one hundred year old Alf ‘Popeye’ Neal OAM … before he quietly passed away in May. You may read the story of that last time I photographed Alf on his balcony of his home in Yarrabah … and the massive impact he made to indigenous Australia over his ten decades … here at … https://www.briancasseyphotographer.com/blog/images/2023/05/will-miss-you-alf-100/  … and here at … https://www.briancasseyphotographer.com/blog/publications/2023/04/alf-at-a-hundred-and-the-sunday-mail/ .

So … you may be able to see why I am so pleased to receive a “Highly Commended” recognition for Alf’s pic in the 2023 “Mono Awards” for black and white imagery. The image means a lot to me … and it’s nice to see that others have appreciated Alf and his story.

Meanwhile, another image I made of Alf the week of Alf’s one hundredth birthday last October … “100 Years & 3 Weeks” … has been quietly and consistently racking up awards … with another few announcements imminent. 

Image © Brian Cassey

8th Year … Trinity Bay High Student Portrait Prize …

This past week I once again had the delightful task of judging the works of Trinity Bay High School students in their annual Photographic Portrait Prize … and presenting the awards for the eighth year in a row.

Yearly, I’ve been amazed by the quality of photographic portraiture produced by the students … some barely in their teens. Looking back on my pictorial skills when their age, I would have been way down the bottom of class.

Having said that, this year when faced with over sixty quality portraits lining the Visual Arts walls, I was even more stunned. The collective students had really excelled and produced a ‘best ever’ portraiture exhibition.

Selecting the three winners was a daunting and lengthy task. In the end the overall winner boiled down to an almost impossible choice between two great portraits … neither of which would look out of place published in National Geographic magazine. Ultimately the self portrait ‘Window of Soul’ (top) by David-Paul Onakoy got the winning nod over ‘It Takes a Village to Raise a Child’ (second from top) made by his mate David Mashengo … but only just !! The Congolese student pair both produced wonderfully constructed portraits that told a story. David-Paul took home the winners prize of a DSLR camera courtesy of sponsors Garricks Camera House.

Interestingly and in contrast to the previous couple of years … this years three winners all showed strong eye contact in their portraits, with the beautifully executed and literally eye-catching work by Sienna Stuart-Bennet of her friend Shakira, ‘Vision’, making up the top prized trio.

I could have easily awarded a dozen or so ‘Honourable Mentions’ but had to limit the decision to just three, coincidently all black and white portraits. The works of … Jade Gubb (titled ‘Dystopian Gremlin’ – great attitude and angle of view) … Noecocha Cowley (‘Mary’ – striking use of shadow) … and Mattie-Leigh Hanson (‘Seashore’ – beautifully constructed and composed), prevailed. Virgil Gill won the top prize amongst the school staff section for the work ‘Sunshine’ … whilst ‘Sweet 16’ by student Shirley Vue (bottom image) was chosen by popular vote as ‘Peoples Choice’.

Much praise must go to the dedicated Visual Arts teaching staff at the school who are fostering and moulding this amazing young photographic talent.

You can view all the TBHS students winning works from the past seven years by clicking here… 2022202120202019201820172016

See you all next year for number nine …

Images © The Student Artists … from top … David-Paul Onakoy, David Mashengo, Sienna Stuart-Bennet, Jade Gubb, Noecocha Cowley & Mattie-Leigh Hanson, Shirley Vue

IRIS Award … It’s Alf …

… I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone which of my images was selected as a Finalist in the Perth Centre for Photography’s IRIS Awards a few weeks ago … the list of selected works was a well kept secret … but I can now !

Last Friday saw the opening eve of the awards in Perth … and the forty works selected as Finalists filled the PCP gallery. There was my image “100 Years & 3 Weeks – Alf Neal OAM” hanging nicely on the wall (thanks to the printing and framing skills of Paul Maietta and the crew at Fitzgerald Photo Imaging).

A little forward planning and a lot of positive finger crossing meant that I managed to arrive in Perth from London two days before Fridays’ opening event (shattered following the seventeen hour direct flight that I booked many months ago !).

It’s the third time in a row that my work has been selected as a finalist in this biennial award … links to my previous Finalist works may be found here (2021) … and here (2019) .

Sadly Alf didn’t get to hear of this latest ‘recognition’ of his work in indigenous community and on the 1967 referendum, as he passed away quietly in May this year.

However, “100 Years & 3 Weeks – Alf Neal OAM” is continuing to wrack up accolades and preserve the memory of a wonderful inspirational Yarrabah gentleman.

Image of Alf © Brian Cassey

IRIS Awards - Perth Centre for Photography 2023 Finalists

“People From the Place of Many Waters” Lands in Paris …

Nice to receive the news recently that this set of portraits made in a little pop up studio during a workshop I hosted in the indigenous community of Kowanyama Cape York Peninsula late last year … “People From The Place of Many Waters” … was awarded an ‘Honorable Mention’ in ‘Portraiture – Series’ at this years prestigious “Le Prix De La Photographie De Paris” (Paris Photo Prize … PX3).

Many Thanks to the wonderful people of Kowanyama, Cape York Peninsula … the “People From The Place of Many Waters” . In particular my selection of subjects below from the hundreds of portraits made … David “Crow” Kitchener (top) – James “Doon Doon” Josiah Junior, Jyson Yam & Sneeklaw Possum (second from top) – Evelyn Birchley & Her Red Dress – Nazarie Birchley with Herbert Major-Birchley – Neville Henry – Zacchias Daniel – Arnold Possum – Charmaine Lawrence and Ruban Gibo … and all the many others who I portrayed during the program and workshop … and Tania Major who facilitated the visit for the RISE arts program.

In addition, another of my images … “100 Years & 3 Weeks – Alf Neal OAM” (yeah that one again – see other posts) … was also selected for an ‘Honorable Mention’ in the same PX3 awards, portraiture singles category … a nice welcome double 😉 !

Images © Brian Cassey

A Few New ‘Award Updates’ …

A few nice recognitions over the past few weeks … 🙂

Firstly … so nice to once again be selected as a Finalist in the Perth Centre for Photography’s ‘IRIS’ portrait awards …  a biennial award that my work has now been selected for the third time in a row. The actual finalist works chosen this time are still a necessary secret … but all will be revealed when the exhibition of finalist and winners works opens at PCP’s Perth gallery on September 1st. Fortunately I will be in Perth at that time en route back from the UK.

PCP describes the ‘IRIS’ awards so … “The IRIS Award celebrates excellence in portraiture photography, revealing portraits that are unique, original and conceptually stimulating. IRIS has been running for 18 years, with the inaugural exhibition held back in 2003”.

I missed seeing my last finalist work on the ‘IRIS” exhibition wall in 2021“Tears for George Floyd … 8 Minutes and 46 Seconds” …  due to the Covid-19 pandemic … so I’m looking forward to being there for this one.

Arguably the one of the nicest surprises was the news that my portrait of the now sadly departed 100 year old Alf ‘Popeye’ Neal OAM entitled “100 Years & 3 Weeks” was selected in the ‘Best 25’ of the Dohdo International photography magazines “Portrait – Best Photographers of 2023” collection. The pic of Alf is now nicely included in the large format hard cover year book “Portrait” (see top image below) and will also be exhibited in an online ‘Best 25’ collection for the next year. 

(The same image of Alf was earlier this year also selected as the Winner of the ‘People’ category of the 19th International Pollux Awards.)

In the 16th International Color Awards announced recently my works were selected as ‘Honourable Mentions’ in both the ‘Portrait’ category (with image “Covid Vax & Ice Cream”) and the ‘Children of the World’ category (with image “Veronica – Where Home Brew Kills”) … whilst my image “Scooter” also made the finalist cut in ‘Portrait’. See the trio of images below. All three have been acknowledged in previous awards.

Lastly in ‘new’ award dispatches … “Covid Vax & Ice Cream” again resonated when it was selected as a finalist in the ‘People’ category of the 2023 ‘ReFocus Colour Awards‘.

A pleasant few weeks … 🙂

Images © Brian Cassey

My ‘Stills’ in Brilliant Stan Doco “The Cape” …

So gratified to be a part of the documentary film “The Cape” recently released on Stan.

The doco tells in stark graphic detail the events surrounding the disappearance of Queensland fisherman Bevin Simmonds and his ten year old son Brad whilst checking shark nets off the west coast of Cape York Peninsula in 2003 … and the subsequent investigations, eventual murder charges and 2005 trial of rival fisher Michael Gater (who was having an affair with Bevin’s wife Cathy) and Gater’s mother Joan.

‘The Cape’ story was an original concept of friend and former journalist colleague Peter Michael … and  also features a disturbing but fascinating number of gritty Cape character interviewees who knew the Gator, Simmonds and Ward families … alongside some wonderfully shot scenes of Cape York, the Gulf and the Great Barrier Reef.

Produced by veteran war correspondent Michael Ware and former news magazine exec Justine A Rosenthal, ‘The Cape’ is evocatively filmed and beautifully put together … and also contains over thirty of my images of the stories main protagonists, used to great effect full screen. All of my images were made during the two week Supreme Court trial in Cairns and portray murder accused pair Michael Gater and his mother Joan Gater, Bevin and Brad’s wife and mother Cathy …  and many other members of the Gater and Ward clan’s who attended the proceedings.

Just the ‘looks’ in the photographs I made there still send chills …

The show … available to Stan subscribers here … has received rave reviews. (For those not Stan subscribed the ‘trailer’ is here.)

Entertainment website MamaMia writes, “The new Stan Original Documentary Revealed: The Cape is one of the most gripping and emotionally charged documentaries of the year“. TV Blackbox put it this way … “The Cape” is the story of rival fishing families who built empires amongst the twisted mangroves in Far North Queensland. The isolation, an all-consuming sexual obsession and a series of small choices leads to a suspected double murder of Brad and Bevin Simmonds. Emmy® Award-nominated filmmakers, Michael Ware and Justine A. Rosenthal take us on a journey into Australia’s Deep North and the human psyche to uncover what we’re capable of when our humanity is stripped bare in this fascinating portrayal of an insular and isolated community.”

The Daily Mail also published this nice piece on the producers and the tribulations of making the film in the run up to it’s release.

Below is (top) the Stan doco promo … followed by just four of my thirty odd ‘stills’ © that were used in the film … from top … accused murderer Michael Gater pensive during the 2005 two week trial, his mother and fellow accused Joan Gater, Bevin Simmonds wife and Michael Gater’s lover Cathy Simmonds … and Michael Gater outside court with a grin following his acquittal.

It was a distinct pleasure to work with ‘The Cape’ team … they were a pleasure … Thanks All!

(NB … I also appear in TV footage at the Supreme Court trial in Cairns making images of the Gaters … and looking rather ‘scruffy’ doing it … if you are game … watch around the 69th, 70th minute mark!)

Images © Brian Cassey … Documentary ‘The Cape’ © Stan & various entities

@stanaustralia @woodenhorse.tv #TheCapeOnStan #StanOriginals #RevealedOnStan @fremantle @screenaustralia @screennsw @thepostlounge

“Alf” & “Potter” Win Pollux International Award …

… very welcome news  … TWO of my recent images combined to win the ‘People’ category of the “19th Pollux International Awards” … first time ‘recognitions’ for them both.

Always satisfying when ‘new’ pics get a bit of attention.

The images “100 Years & 3 Weeks – Alf” and “Do Not Resuscitate – Peter Potter” … below … are the two works that were jointly selected as the Winner of the ‘People’ category.

“100 Years & 3 Weeks” (bottom) features prominent Kuku Djungan elder and aboriginal and islander leader and activist Alf Neal and his three week old great great grandson Kailan Murgha at their Yarrabah home two days before the community celebration of Alf’s centenary.

Alf was a driving force in a decade long fight for the 1967 referendum which resulted in Indigenous peoples recognition in Australia’s Constitution. He was awarded ‘Medal of the Order of Australia’ (OAM) for ‘Service to the Aboriginal community’ in 2019.

“Do Not Resuscitate – Peter Potter” (top) features prominent Master Potter … Peter “Potter” Thompson … in his Kuranda rainforest studio ‘Five Treasures’ where he produces his imaginative Asian/Taoist inspired clay works fired in wood-fired kilns. 

“Potter” is something of a miracle having survived three heart attacks over his decades long career producing works that have graced galleries far and wide. The tattoo over his pace maker enhanced heart and chest states ’N F Resuscitare’ (‘Do Not Resuscitate’) and his blood group … a testament to his longevity and Impeccably wry and dry sense of humour.

Was also excellent to see US mate, Washington Post shooter and Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Robinson Chavez get a mention in the ‘Documentary & Reportage’ category for his fantastic work in Ukraine.

The Pollux Awards have been awarding the best of the planets photographic works for near a couple of decades. 

Winners work will be exhibited, large scale, on the walls of the FotoNostrum Gallery in Barcelona, Spain in December later this year. (NB … I’ve had work exhibited in the Fotonostrum Gallery in Barcelona previously … back in 2021 with my portrait of Carol Mayer … “The Skin I’m In”. )

Pretty happy with that 🙂

Images © Brian Cassey

 

19th Pollux Awards - International - Winners - People - “100 Years & 3 Weeks - Alf” & “Do Not Resuscitate - Peter Potter” - images by Brian Cassey ©

19th Pollux Awards - International - Winners - People - “100 Years & 3 Weeks - Alf” & “Do Not Resuscitate - Peter Potter” - images by Brian Cassey ©

415,000 Entries … 200+ countries … Sony World Photography …

Yes … you’ve likely seen this work before 🙂 (as recently as my last post here … sorry) … BUT … what IS new is that “Mother Africa – Aurora” has been selected (announced yesterday) in the ‘Shortlist’ of just fourteen images in the 2023 Sony World Photography Awards for ‘Portraiture’. When you consider that this years Sony World wide awards attracted approximately four hundred and fifteen thousand entries from over two hundred countries, you’ll maybe understand why I’m pretty ‘chuffed’ and grateful that I can now show it again here in this context !

The fourteen short listed Open works in ‘Portraiture’ emanated from photographers around the planet  …  Denmark, the Philippines, Slovakia, USA, Angola, New Zealand, Australia, Nigeria (2), Poland (2) and the UK (3) … (see complete list below). (You may notice that, unusually, Sony decided to put myself and my work in the UK column (place of birth) rather than the more common place of residence column (Aus) … very nice to be British again 😉 )

The Winners and short listed works from this years awards … arguably the Worlds largest and most prestigious … will be published as a collection in a hard cover book ‘Sony World Photography Awards 2023’, … whilst Winning and shortlisted images will be exhibited as part of the Sony World Photography Awards exhibition at beautiful Somerset House in my old home town London from April 14 – May 1, 2023. (Hope my UK family can make it 😉 ).

“Mother Africa” was also short listed this month in “Portrait of Humanity” … a planet wide award and collection of photographic portraiture by the “British Journal of Photography” … and has also received major attention in several other International and Australian awards.

(NB … SO grateful to my subject, delightful African American Australian based Aurora Coulter … Thanks again ‘Rora’ !)

Image © Brian Cassey

Sony World Photography Awards 2023 - "Mother Africa - Aurora" by Brian Cassey Shortlisted in Open Portraiture ©.
Sony World Photography Awards 2023 - "Mother Africa - Aurora" by Brian Cassey Shortlisted in Open Portraiture ©.

Vol.5 … Portrait of Humanity

Very pleased with the announcement last eve … “Mother Africa” selected in the prestigious International “Portrait of Humanity 2023” awards ‘Shortlist’.   (Have known for a little while that the work “Mother Africa” featuring Aurora Coulter (below) was ‘Shortlisted’ but was sworn to secrecy till yesterdays official ‘announcement.)

Now in it’s 5th ‘edition’ and organised by the venerable highly respected British Journal of Photography 1854 … Portrait of Humanity has fast become one of the most select, yet largest, collections of contemporary portrait photography on the planet. 

“Mother Africa” will be amongst the other short listed works published in the “Portrait of Humanity 2023” hard cover book published by Hoxton Mini Press.

I was also stoked to be ’shortlisted’ in the first, second and fourth editions of POH over past years. First and second edition winning portraits … “Aurukun – Generations”, “Ramnami” and “The Skin I’m In” were exhibited ‘in space’ above the planet by Portrait of Humanity in a very creative exercise. Last year’s selected work in edition four was “Covid Vax & Ice Cream “ … a portrait of Leanna Bulmer after her Covid vaccination at Yarrabah. 

Many Thanks once again must go to my talented and delightful subject Aurora … making the picture was an emotional moment in our friend Marc’s ‘studio shed’ and Aurora really made it ‘work’.

The image is certainly racking up a nice little ‘collection’ 🙂 … check out previous recognitions for “Mother Africa” on my ‘Awards’ page at … www.briancasseyphotographer.com/awards .

 Image © Brian Cassey @brian_cassey @bjp1854 @portrait_of_humanity @1854_PoH @The British Journal of Photography

"Portrait of Humanity 2023" - Shortlisted and published in Portrait of Humanity 2023 by Hoxton Mini Press - "Mother Africa - Aurora" - Image by Brian Cassey

Tokyo … and “Mother Africa” …

…  nice timing and Merry Xmas …

Early in the hours of Christmas Eve an email dropped in with the nice news that my image “Mother Africa” had been selected again … this time for a “Bronze” award in the ’22 Tokyo International Foto Awards (TIFA) Fine Art category.

So pleased that this work has gained attention. To be accurate the making of this image (in a friends little basic shed studio) engendered a lot of emotion … and tears.  My subject, the delightful currently Australia based  African American Aurora Coulter,  knew the ‘look’ that would make the photograph ‘work’ at depicting the historical … (and still current when you take into consideration the death of black man George Floyd and others at the hands of police officers etc) … treatment of her forebears in the US. Aurora dug into the depths of past memories and experiences for this image … and for that I’m so grateful. Her emotion made it ‘work’.

“Mother Africa” has been selected previously in other awards since it was made in January earlier this (nearly over) year … the International Portrait Photographer of the Year, The Pollux Awards, the International Photography Awards (IPA), Budapest International Foto Awards (BIFA), Moscow International Foto Awards (MIFA), the Percival Portrait Prize … and … another arguably more prestigious prize that I am not at liberty yet to tell anyone about 🙂

Once again Aurora … the very biggest Thanks … !

Image © Brian Cassey

Tokyo International Foto Awards (TIFA) 2022 - WINNER - Bronze Award - Fine Art - image by Brian Cassey

Mentioned in Dispatches from Budapest …

… Nice … 4 X Honourable Mentions in the 2022 Budapest International Foto Awards (BIFA) announced yesterday.

You’ve likely seen the work before on this blog, social media or elsewhere … but always nice to receive a little more kudos. So … here they are …

1. “Veronica – Where Home Brew Kills” – People/Children – Five year old Veronica Barnes on Mornington Island in far northern Australia. Her remote indigenous community is suffering the ravages of a dangerous ‘Home Brew’ alcohol epidemic. Veronica is growing up in a community where community members – including children – are dying from alcohol related issues and severe diabetes.
2. “Scooter- Paralympian” – Editorial/Sport – Swim Paralympian Grant “Scooter” Patterson has diastrophic dysplasia, a joint fusion disability connected to dwarfism. He was catapulted to cult hero status around the planet when he won silver and bronze swim medals at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. His nickname comes from his constant form of transport – a three wheel scooter.
3. “Mother Africa” – People/Culture – As a black Colorado born African American, Aurora Coulter is acutely aware of her heritage, the treatment of her coloured predecessors and forebears in the United States – and also the history of Australia’s indigenous population since supposed ‘settlement’.
4. “Covid Vax & Ice Cream” – People/Portrait – After receiving her first Pfizer Covid-19 vaccination in her remote Yarrabah far north Australia home, 67 year old aboriginal Leanne Bulmer sits with her ‘reward’ – a free ice cream from the ice cream van that was arranged to follow the on foot ‘door to door’ doctors and medical teams through the indigenous community.

Taking some of the gloss off the BIFA announcement was the insane decision by both IG and FB to ‘remove’ the tasteful and respectful ‘news’ image of Veronica citing their ‘community standards’ and impose a ‘ban’ … whilst they constantly bombard social media with unsolicited overtly sexually blatant images of females displaying their various ‘bits’. Go figure …

You may check out where all four of these images have previously gained attention on my ‘Awards’ page here.

Also a special mention and a brilliant result for Cairns colleague and friend Emese Gyalog who won a ‘Bronze’ award and also 4 x Honourable Mentions … (and who just happens to be in Budapest right now.)

Big Thanks to my subjects … Veronica, Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson, Aurora Coulter and Leanne Bulmer.

Images © Brian Cassey

Budapest International Foto Awards (BIFA 2022 - Honourable Mention X 4 - "Veronica - Where Home Brew Kills", "Scooter", "Mother Africa" & "Covid Vax & Ice Cream" - by Brian Cassey

 

Head On Photo Festival … Exhibitions and Talks … Brilliant

There is so much I could say about this years Head On Photo Festival in Sydney. Could almost write a book about it …

Sadly, don’t have enough space to tell all about this years exhibitions, artists talks, panel talks, awards and other photographer events that made this years, soon to conclude, festival so special … but I will try.

This years annual extravaganza was based around the beautiful newly remodelled Bondi Pavilion opposite the World famous beach … and in the stunning surrounds at the Reservoir Gardens in Paddington. The work of 500-plus photographers was displayed in 107 exhibitions across the two major venues and further afield.

Work from my “A Photographer’s Life – Part Two” collection … first exhibited in full last year at The Court House Gallery in Cairns  … was selected as a ‘featured’ exhibition in Reservoir Gardens. Re-titled “(Selections From) A Photographer’s Life – Part Two” the work on the picturesque wall was edited down to twelve works (from the original 38) by Head On’s Moshe Rosenzveig and team (see top two images below).

Out of the nine other exhibitions also displayed in Reservoir Gardens four were my firm festival favourites … the works of two photojournalists, Giles Clarke from the USA (“Yemen: Conflict & Chaos”) and Mouneb Taim from Syria (“War Notes”), Judith Nangala Crispin’s magnificent and startling photographic creations using wild animals “Dangerous Stars” … and the haunting, disturbing, brave yet occasionally amusing work by breast cancer survivor Lisa Murray and her five-year-old son Griffin entitled “Through My Child’s Eyes”. Brilliant visual treats all …

Out of the many, many exhibitions lining the entire length of Bondi Beach I was most drawn to two that displayed a great visual sense of humour during Covid lockdown … Andrew Rovenko’s fabulous “The Rocketgirl Chronicles” and my old once Cairns mate Jake Nowakowski and his brilliant “Superheroes in Lockdown” set.

Please do take some time to click on the links to see these great exhibitions. Sadly the Reservoir Gardens exhibitions closed at the weekend but the Bondi works will be on display until December 4th.

I was also asked to do some ‘nattering’ at the Festival … in particular an artist talk regarding my “A Photographer’s Life – Part Two” work … and a panel talk on the challenges of photojournalism, and how photojournalists gain trust from and access to their subject entitled “Insiders & Outsiders”. The above mentioned photojournalists Giles Clarke and Mouneb Taim were my co-panelists in a talk moderated by photography journalist Alison Steven-Taylor.

Arguably the most satisfying festival event for me personally was the (re)opening of “Paper Tigers” … an exhibition of the work of sixty of Australia’s best photojournalists curated my myself and Moshe Rosenzveig. The culmination of nearly a year of cajoling and collecting the work of the best of Aussie based media PJ’s, the original exhibition of the sixty collected works was slap bang in the middle of Covid lockdowns and border closures. I and many others of the our contributors … even those in NSW … obviously couldn’t attend. Moshe and the Head On crew made good on their promise of ‘Launch Two’ at the fabulous Delmar Gallery in Ashfield just two weekends ago … and our “Paper Tigers” contributors could at last travel from around the country to celebrate the works on the walls and the accompanying “Paper Tigers” book (see images three and four below).

For those interested … here are the contributors to “Paper Tigers” … a totally talented bunch who withstood my constant nagging … Thanks …

Alex Coppel, Andrew Chapman, Angela Wylie, Ashley Crowther, Barbara McGrady, Ben Bohane, Brendan Beirne, Brian Cassey, Chris Hopkins, Craig Golding, Craig Greenhill, Darrian Traynor, Dave Tacon, David Dare Parker, David Gray, Dean Lewins, Dean Sewell, Delly Carr, Eddie Safarik, Edwina Pickles, Gerrit Fokkema, Glenn Campbell, Glenn Lockitch, Grant Wells, Helga Salwe, Ilana Rose, Jaime Murcia, Jake Nowakowski, Janie Barrett, Jessica Hromas, John Donegan, John French, Justin McManus, Louise Kennerley, Luis Ascui, Mark Crusty Baker, Martine Perret, Max Mason Hubers, Meredith O’Shea, Merv Bishop, Michael Amendolia, Michael Coyne, Moshe Rosenzveig, Nic Walker, Nick Moir, Nicola Bailey, Noel Butcher, Paul Blackmore, Penny Stephens, Peter Solness, Richard Wainwright, Rick Stevens, Rob Maccoll, Robert McFarlane, Simon O’Dwyer, Stephen Dupont, Sylvia Liber, Tim Page, Tobias Titz and Tracey Nearmy.

Many Thanks to the Head On crew of Moshe, Anita, Stephen, India, Georgia and Talia for putting on a truly awesome festival.

Finally … two further things … happy to report that my image “Scooter” (Paralympian Grant Patterson) was selected as semi-finalist in the Head On Portrait Prize (image below) … and that in a very, very, VERY rare occurrence fellow photographer lovely Iceland based Serena Dzenis managed to con me into being the subject (hate that) of a damn photograph at my Reservoir Gardens exhibition (bottom below). No idea how she managed that …

Images © Brian Cassey (top five) & Serena Dzenis (bottom)

Head On Photo Festival 2022 - "(Selections From) A Photographer's Life - Part Two" - by Brian Cassey - at the Reservoir Gardens Paddington Sydney

Head On Photo Festival 2022 - "(Selections From) A Photographer's Life - Part Two" - by Brian Cassey - at the Reservoir Gardens Paddington Sydney

Head On Photo Festival 2022 - "Paper Tigers" exhibition of Australian photojournalism - Curated by Brian Cassey and Moshe Rosenzveig - at Delmar Gallery Ashfield Sydney

Head On Photo Festival 2022 - "Paper Tigers" exhibition of Australian photojournalism - Curated by Brian Cassey and Moshe Rosenzveig - at Delmar Gallery Ashfield Sydney

"Scooter" - Semi-Finalist in the Head On Portrait Prize 2022 - image by Brian Cassey

Brian Cassey at his Head vOn Photo Festival exhibition "(Selection From) - A Photographer's Life - Part Two" at Reservoir Garden Paddington Sydney - image by Serena Dzenis

Cracking Clarion Winning Eve in Brisbane …

Great evening at “The Clarion Awards” 2022 … the night where Queensland wide media gather together in Brisbane to party, generally misbehave … and share a few awards around.

Very pleased to have picked up one of those awards … ‘Best Photographic Essay’ … with my work from the indigenous community of Yarrabah, “Covid Vax  & Ice Cream”. The pic essay consisted of twelve images narrating a door to door covid vaccination campaign by doctors and medical professionals organised to increase extremely low inoculation uptake amongst the populace. I covered the door to door program (with an arranged ice cream van following dispensing free treats) for The Australian who used most of the work either in print or in on-line galleries. One of the pics contained in the essay … of 67 year old Leanne Bulmer with her post Pfizer jab ice cream … has also found much success on it’s own, previously winning several awards around the planet (see here, herehere, here and here … and bottom below.)

The second Clarion photography award category … ‘Best News Photograph’ … was also of a covid nature and taken out by the Courier Mail photographer Lachie Millard. His terrific work showed three year old Memphis being reunited with his mother at Archerfield air field following a two month covid border closure separation.

Magic to catch up with many friends and colleagues from around the State. It’s such an enjoyable annual event and get together. Huge thanks to all at The Clarions and the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance for their great organisational skills and presentation at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.  Wonderful … 

Below are just four of the twelve images that make up my winning “Covid Vax & Ice Cream” photo essay. To see the complete essay go to my ‘Awards’ page at … www.briancasseyphotographer.com/awards  .

Images © Brian Cassey

2022 The Clarion Awards - Brisbane - WINNER - Best Photographic Essay - "Covid Vax & Ice Cream" by Brian Cassey

2022 The Clarion Awards - Brisbane - WINNER - Best Photographic Essay - "Covid Vax & Ice Cream" by Brian Cassey

2022 The Clarion Awards - Brisbane - WINNER - Best Photographic Essay - "Covid Vax & Ice Cream" by Brian Cassey

2022 The Clarion Awards - Brisbane - WINNER - Best Photographic Essay - "Covid Vax & Ice Cream" by Brian Cassey

“Mother Africa” in International Photography Awards (IPA) …

Must admit … there was a lot of emotion entailed in making this image “Mother Africa”. Without getting too personal my captivating subject Aurora Coulter was heavily invested in the subject, history and experience of making this work. Aurora … normally vibrant and ebullient … dug deep into past personal experiences to channel the emotional plight of her African American forebears over the centuries. There were tears …

So … I’m delighted as much for Aurora as for myself that this work has been recognised several times around the planet … the latest being last weeks notification of an “Honourable Mention” in the ‘Portrait’ section of the 2022 International Photography Awards (IPA).

Over the last few months “Mother Africa” … made in January this year in a friends shed studio (Thanks Marc) … has also catalogued other mentions in … the 2022 Pollux Awards (Portrait – Honourable Mention), the Moscow International Foto Awards (People Culture – Bronze Award), the 2022 International Portrait Photographer of the Year (Published in IPPOTY Top 101 Portraits selection and book), the 2022 Percival Photographic Prize (Townsville – Finalist) and the 15th International Colour Awards (Portrait – Finalist).

Even later news (from just last eve) … “Mother Africa” will be one of the thirty works exhibited in an inaugural portraiture exhibition at the Crate 59 Gallery in Cairns.

“The Burning Cane Portrait Exhibition” (for portraiture in any medium made this year by Queensland artists) will open on the 4th of November and run for three weeks. “Mother Africa” will be there (very) large on the walls from the celebratory opening event … which, sadly, I will miss as I’ll be at the launch of the 2022 Head On Photo Festival in Sydney. More on both of these events at a later date.

Image © Brian Cassey (and massive Thanks again Aurora !)