Deutsche Börse Photography Prize – Winner Announced

The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize has been won by Esko Männikkö. Congratulations to him but I agree with many others that John Davies should have won and I’m not just saying that because he is Liverpool-based. Take a look at the images on his website, imagine them printed large in a gallery. In fact, you may have seen some of them in Tate Liverpool in recent years. Brilliant, but Adrian Searle of the Guardian explains better than I can…

In the end, one has to ask who should win the Deutsche Börse prize, and it is Davies’ photographs that won’t leave me alone. They are dispassionate and compelling. In them, we see geology overlain with the social; the landscape quartered by roads and railways, viaducts and canals; back-to-back housing giving way to high-rise tower blocks that themselves are flattened. There is history in them, as well as light. They tell us things about cities and our relationship to the landscapes on which they are built, about human endeavour and folly. The slag heaps of the closed mines are forested; slate quarries become tourist attractions; trains wind between the houses on a Welsh hillside, carting containers of spent nuclear fuel. Racing pigeons wheel across a mild sky over Sheffield lofts that are about to be cleared for another round of urban expansion and renewal. There is no nostalgia here, only a kind of resignation. Neither Davies’ photographs nor his accompanying commentaries tell you what to think or feel, for which I am hugely grateful. He deserves to win.

Full review by Adrian Searle
The Photographers Gallery
John Davies website:


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