Jerwood/Photoworks Awards: Heather Agyepong and Joanne Coates

On left: Joanne Coates, Series Title 'Daughters of the soil' Year 2020. Poppy, Vet and farmer's daughter. A moment of rest at harvest. On right: Heather Agyepong, Le Cake-Walk: Caucasian Chalk Circle (#9.1 & #9.2 Diptych), 2020, Heather Agyepong (Commissioned by The Hyman Collection)

Jerwood Arts and Photoworks are delighted to announce Heather Agyepong and Joanne Coates as awardees of the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards.

Now in their fourth edition, the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards are a major commissioning opportunity supporting early-careerartists working with photography to make new work and significantly develop their practice.The awardees were selected from over 370 applications to a national open call for entries, and will now be supported to realise ambitious new works over the next 12 months. The work will be shown in a national touring exhibition launching in London at Jerwood Arts galleries at Jerwood Space in Autumn 2022 and in further galleries and exhibitions across the United Kingdom thereafter.

Heather Agyepongwill work on aseries of self-portraits birthed out of the collective compassion, empathy, and humanity witnessed during the pandemic. The work aims to represent these moments as our collective divinity and our true capacity to memorialize these moments. The work questions if these depictions usher in ideas of collective healing, deeper sense of solidarity and our ability for wider change.

With her work ‘Lie of the Land’Joanne Coatesplans to work with working-class rural women who are seen as a rarity, often portrayed by outsiders or not at all. Women make up 28 % of the farming industry in the UK but despite playing a central role in agricultural progress throughout history, documentation of female farmworkers is slim. Over time, the stories of women who have shaped the land have been left unheard. Coates, who comes from the same area, will work collaboratively with 12 lower-income women participants across the rural North East of England for a period of 8 months —producing work through mapping, archives, sound and photography. The artists will shed light on women’s contribution to the farming industry, which is significant but often overlooked due to underlying barriers such as access to land, class, motherhood and lack of clear leadership roles. Via community engagement, Coates aims to explore her home soil whilst unearthing gender bias and societal and political changes.
Both artists will each receive a £15,000 award (comprising £10,000 fee and £5,000 production budget) with a support package fromPhotoworks and Jerwood Arts to create new work over a 12-month period. The full value of each award package is £32,000. Previous recipients of the Jerwood/Photoworks Award include: Silvia Rosi, Theo Simpson, Alejandra Carles-Tolra, Sam Laughlin, Lua Ribeira, Matthew Finn, Joanna Piotrowska and Tereza Zelenkova.“We are delighted to announce Heather Agyepong and Joanne Coates as the awardees for Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 4. The Awards aim to support exceptional early-career artists working with photography to develop their practice at a pivotal moment in their careers. Both
Heather and Joanne exemplify this and we are looking forward to supporting them over the next 12-months with the time, money and mentoring that will help them realise their unique visions.” Lilli Geissendorfer, Director, Jerwood Arts“The Jerwood/Photoworks Awards are a very exciting part of the Photoworks programme now entering its fourth edition. The award gives opportunities to talented early career artists and helps to cultivate the exploration, expansion, and development of their practices. Heather Agyepong and Joanne Coates’ proposals stood out particularly because of their use of photography to address urgent topics in an original and creative way” Shoair Mavlian, Director, Photoworks