FIRST PRIZE: DRUMMIES

(a series of four works)
Alice Mann
Inkjet Print, September 2017
First Prize £15,000

Alice Mann (05.09.1991) is a South African photographic artist based in London whose intimate portraiture essays explore notions of picture making as an act of collaboration. Her shortlisted series was shot in South Africa’s Western Province, focusing on the all-female teams of drum majorettes. Alice Mann says, ‘For these girls, involvement in ‘drummies’ becomes a vehicle for them to excel, and the distinctive uniforms serve as a visual marker of perceived success and represents emancipation from their surroundings. Continuing my consideration into notions of femininity and empowerment in modern society, it was my intent to create images that reflect the pride and confidence the girls achieve through identifying as ‘drummies’.’

Judges Comments: Mann’s series is consistent in its evocation of a sustained and intriguing narrative. Each sitter is precisely framed within a carefully considered composition, and the girls confidently meet the camera’s gaze. Their pristine and vibrant outfits jar with the rundown surroundings, lending a surreal and enigmatic atmosphere to the portraits.