British Journal of Photography-Les Rencontres d’Arles 2019

To coincide with Les Rencontres d’Arles 2019, The British Journal of Photography are inviting photographers to be part of a groundbreaking new awards series. Opening up the walls of an internationally renowned gallery in Arles, looking for images that respond to the theme 'Home & Away’ - images that capture a sense of belonging, escapism or identity.

50 successful images will be part of a month-long exhibition at Galerie Huit Arles, a remarkable 17th century mansion and gallery space that has been at the heart of photography in Arles for over a decade. By exhibiting work at Galerie Huit Arles during Les Rencontres de la photographie, Arles 2019, one of the world’s most established photographic festivals, the shortlisted images will be seen by industry experts, peers and visitors from across the world. Here then are my selection of images Christopher Curtis

"Harmony" - The dog is not home, but the cat is guarding the house. Did he escape or is he sleeping, maybe its both. Humour in life is a valuable asset, if animals have it, so should we. This doorway is in a small village in Provence.

 

"Exotic Fruit" - is a real green frog, it changed its colour to reflect the new environment and next to it was an abandoned Portugaise hotel, long time closed which reminded me of a pineapple. The frog seemed happy just to be.

 

"Second Home" - I saw these two people quietly sitting on a beach in the Camargue and looking out to sea. Capturing them through broken sails and debris washed ashore, I wondered if they were truly happy or imagining a new life somewhere far away.

 

"Slow Life" - In a small village in Provence, I came across an abandoned farm that once, I imagined enjoyed better times. What else was there to give it an identity as a home, maybe the gate itself gave it a point or maybe it was just a snail farm.

 

"Somewhere else" - is an image of isolation in the countryside and the track of two moons and a star between one place and another. The illuminated building acting like a beacon for people far away or a way to come home.

 

"Made in China" - If you want to belong or to dream in China, everything is possible, you just create it. Fake toys, London Taxi, a 2CV, a camper van. You can escape into your own dreams and be anywhere you want to be. Stay home - we have it all.

 

"Which way?" - A sprawling city like Hong Kong has its own taste, smell and odour. It holds life and has a powerful identity. Street food markets provide us with a means to eat and act as a focal point sharing information on where to be. I like that.

 

"A galaxy not so far away" - on a recent visit to Mt Ventoux in Provence, I came across this deserted telescope. It was alone because everyone was taking selfies. Looking through it you can see sand dunes next to the sea, just like a lunar landscape.

 

"Portal" - With immigration such an issue and fuelling extremism, what can be so wrong by wanting the green lands beyond the door. If you manage to get there what happens and how must you feel when the shutters are closed. Your not welcome anymore.

 

"Anyway" - How difficult is it to belong, how easy is it to go just where you please, is there any chance of escape to a better place. This way or just one way, follow the signs. You maybe can come in, but you must not stay, it's a one way journey.