A pleasure once again to be faced with the task of judging the work of the extraordinary visual arts students at Trinity Bay High School in their annual photographic portrait prize. This is the fifth year I’ve had the privilege of being the arbiter of their collective efforts at portraiture. Would have to say that this years overall collection well exceeds the standards of the previous four years.
Although slightly down on numbers from last year (not surprisingly during a year when their school curriculum has been adversely impacted by Covid-19) approximately fifty portrait prints lined the walls at the Trinity Bay school.
Standout ‘Best in Show’ winner was a somewhat controversial exceptional image entitled ‘Dysthymia’ by grade 12 student Kayla Allan of her sister Keira. I must confess that that I was unfamiliar with the term ‘Dysthymia’ and had to look it up.
A form of clinical depression, dysthymia is from the Greek word meaning “bad state of mind” or “ill humour”. Symptoms include depressed mood, disturbed sleep, low energy, poor concentration, poor appetite, low self-esteem, and hopelessness.
Once seen, the image (top – below) doesn’t let you go … the irresistible eyes follow you around … and it vividly tells ‘a story’ commensurate with it’s title. I won’t forget the work … or the meaning of the word ‘Dysthymia’.
Kayla deservedly received a Nikon DSLR camera for her work courtesy of sponsor Garricks Camera House.
The Seniors Prize (for grades 11 and 12) went to Kelli Baker (grade 11) for an eerie self portrait ‘A Watery Veil’ (below – second from top). The Juniors Prize (grades 7 to 10) I awarded to Sam Williams (grade 10) for his equally atmospheric portrait entitled ‘Isolation’ of his mum Kylie (third row – right). Each were awarded vouchers to spend on photo kit at Garricks.
Also handed out several well deserved ‘Highly Commended’ awards to Juniors … Shaun McIntyre (grade 10) for ‘Thoughts’ of subject Layla Johnson (pensively looking remarkably like a young actress Genna Davis – below – bottom), Imogen Toohey (grade 7) for an ‘Untitled’ work … and Seniors … Madison Robinson (grade 11) for ‘Expectations’ (below – third row left), Chantelle Nolan (grade 12) for ‘Behind’ and Hanna Browning (grade 11) for ‘Secluded Minds’. (NB – My apologies to Hanna, Chantelle and Imogen – unable to present your work here due to ‘space’ issues.)
The visual arts teachers at Trinity Bay also deserve their own award for fostering these photographic talents amongst their student numbers. Again, a distinct pleasure to be involved.
Images © the Artists … from top … Kayla Allan, Kelli Baker, Madison Robinson (left), Sam Willams (right), Shaun McIntyre.