This past July, Google and SN37's Creator Labs and Aperture created a new initiative, Creator Labs Photo Fund, to provide dedicated financial support for artists in need in wake of COVID-19. Lens-based artists and photographers in the U.S. were encouraged to submit a cohesive and compelling series of eight to ten images from one body of work. Twenty artists were selected to win a prize of $5,000 each. Here we present three analogue-based winners!
More winners can be found here.
Arielle Gray (b. 1996) is a photographer and filmmaker from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Gray is a graduate of the University of Alabama and is currently a first-year MFA candidate at the Yale School of Art. Her work explores the family structure in the rural South and Black beauty within this landscape.
"I would like to describe the work that I have been making as this opportunity to connect with the people whom I love and imagine worlds within worlds. Since the earlier stages of the pandemic, most of my work has revolved around the home in the rural South. I have felt this great sense of warmth while working with friends and family. I have wanted to create work with people who look like me and if not me exactly, people who remind me of my mother or my grandmother or my brother, etc., and go from there. Shooting on film, ultimately, has been a wonderful way to re-connect with people in a more organic and thoughtful way when it comes to spending time with them and taking their portraits."
Matt Eich is a photographic essayist working on long-form projects related to memory, family, community. and the American condition. Matt's work has received support from an Aaron Siskind Fellowship, a VMFA Fellowship and two Getty Images Grants. He was an artist-in-residence at Light Work in 2013 and the Rauschenberg Residency in 2019. Eich teaches at the George Washington University and self-publishes under the imprint Little Oak Press. He resides in Virginia.
“My practice is situated in the documentary tradition but has drifted from its photojournalistic roots into a space shaped more by my interests in music and poetry. With the series, Bird Song Over Black Water, I place certain limitations on my process in order to distill my visual language. In order to strip away the complications of color, I'm working with 6x7 and 4x5 black and white. The pictures I make are informed by history, rooted in the present, and created with the intention of being read/viewed by future generations.”
“My hope is that as the work progresses it leads me closer to my natural voice, instead of a voice shaped by the needs of clients or visual trends. The poem I am responding to in this series (Charles Wright, Meditation on Song and Structure) ends with the line, ‘...help me to lie low and leave out / remind me that vision is singular, that excess / is regress, that more than enough is too much, that / compression is all’. Here the poet is wrestling with the space between silence and sound, acknowledging that reduction (silence) is critical for the voice to emerge. I'm trying to embrace this in my own practice, which will inform the way the series is edited and sequenced in the end.”
Sydney Mieko King is an artist working primarily in large format photography. Her work explores the physicality of photography, its relationship to the body, and its potential to create new realities and histories. Her work has been shown at the International Center of Photography Museum, Huxley-Parlour Gallery, the Broodthaers Society of America, the Dean Collection, Chashama, the Lewis Center for the Arts, and others. She has held residencies at the Yale Norfolk School of Art, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and engaged in a collaborative residency at Recess Art alongside movement artist Ogemdi Ude in January 2021. King was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with a degree in Art and Archaeology in 2017. She is a 2021 En Foco Fellow and will be an artist-in-residence at BRIClab in Spring 2022. She is currently an MFA candidate at the Yale School of Art.
"I'm interested in investigating the underlying mechanisms of photography, reexamining and modifying the photograph's discrete relationship to time and space. In Entanglement, I envision photography as connective tissue, linking me to my maternal grandparents and to a greater ancestral past."
Make sure to check out the other winners here.