By Joshua Thomas, CSU Photography student at Wagga Wagga Campus
The student program for the Sony World Photo Competition is possibly one of the most unique experiences of its kind. From the gala dinner to the student portfolio reviews and networking, I gained plenty of new perspectives on art and myself as a photographer.
One of the most important experiences of the program was that we (Joshua and CSU photography lecturer Dr Jamie Holcombe) were flown to London, which gave me the opportunity to experience the world-renowned museums and galleries that the UK had to offer.
This was almost overwhelming and I was able to view art in a way that I’d never have experienced in Australia, as well as see works that may never travel to Australia. I saw my photographic heroes’ original works on display and discovered a series of artists I never knew but now will follow very closely.
Moving on to the gala dinner for the Sony World Photo Competition was an overwhelming experience of its own, and from the perspective of a young rural artist, it makes you feel like some sort of celebrity and the work you’re doing gets an appreciation you never thought of receiving.
The next day you’re in the Somerset House, which is a work of art of its own in architecture qualities, where all of us student finalists were grouped together to present our portfolios towards each other and our three judges, who all had very prestigious photographic backgrounds.
Here we commented and gave constructive feedback on each other’s work and some direction of where to take it. It definitely provided a new perspective on your work than one is used to, due to the three judges and nine other students from all around the world and their lecturers.
There are so many things to take in from this experience such as just having your work on display in the Somerset House and what an accomplished feeling that gives you.
A lot of people have asked me whether I ‘placed’ in the competition, but the system doesn’t work like that, and besides the main prize, we all won rewards that we would not experience in any other photographic competition.