A graduate from Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD) has today (28 February) been honoured by the judges of the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards for his work, a photographic series Food Puns which was shortlisted as one of the top ten in the world in the awards’ Professional Still life category.
21-year-old photographer Grant Hegedus from Billingham graduated from the university-level campus in Hartlepool in July 2016, and has been recognised alongside the shortlisted photographers of the Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus competitions, all of which are also announced today.
Over 227,000 images from 183 countries were submitted to the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards. In the Professional competition, judges were looking for strong bodies of work between five-ten images, representing the finest contemporary photography today.
Food Puns was created for Grant’s final major project at CCAD, where he produced a colourful and humorous photography exhibition. The series shows what happens when the names of primarily British meals are taken in a literal sense, using witty imagery to offer a symbolic interpretation with visual puns.
Explaining the concept behind the award-nominated Food Puns collection, Grant said: “The images show what happens when you take the names of meals in a literal sense and what happens when you begin to look at the language surrounding food in a comedic way. Therefore, transforming the names of the meals and foods to what they literally describe, and making them come alive as a physical form.”
“After receiving the email confirming that I had been shortlisted, I couldn’t seem to do much other than smile! I was over joyed with finding out that I had been shortlisted for such a prestigious award. I can’t even say that it has sunk in because it hasn’t; each time I think about it I just seem to smile or feel overwhelmed with happiness.
“My parents and family are close to being as overwhelmed and as happy as me. My friends understand how big of a chance this is and are really pleased. I can’t wait to attend the ceremony with my parents, it will be amazing just being there.
After graduation, Grant took some time out for travelling, which led him to draw attention more to his portfolio and produce new work, and is now a commercial photographer located in the north east of England. He aims to produce more creative photography and plans on adding to personal projects, as well as traveling more so he can thrive of what he finds and so he can show more creative passion within his profession.
He added: “I have a few projects, one of which is based around something similar to Food Puns, being that its focuses on the comedic side of language and British heritage. I also have an ongoing personal project based around my family and my family’s culture.”
Grant will now compete to win the Professional Still life category and the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards’ Photographer of the Year title. The winners will be announced on Thursday 20 April and prizes include the latest Sony digital imagery equipment, a trip to the awards ceremony in London and $25,000 US dollars. The photographer’s work will also be shown alongside the awards’ other shortlisted and winning images at the Sony World Photography Awards & Martin Parr – 2017 Exhibition in London from April 21-May 7.
Jamie MacDonald, BA Photography Programme Leader at CCAD, said: “Grant is a talented young photographer who demonstrates a creative passion for his photography. This has been enhanced by his engagement of the programme and determination to succeed. At CCAD we encourage students to develop their own unique style with a view to prepare them for a range of appropriate vocations, when they leave. These days studying photography in an independent art college environment is different and we provide a unique learning experience. Grant’s success is a testament to both application and professionalism. He has a bright future.”