Dior Beauty photography prize asks young creatives to come ‘face-to-face’ with the future
Dior Beauty’s fifth annual Photography and Visual Arts Award for Young Talents celebrates the work of 14 creatives at Arles Photo Festival, with London-based photographer Rachel Fleminger Hudson recently announced as this year’s winner
When photographer Samuel Fusso was looking through the portfolios of the 2022 nominees for Dior Beauty’s Photography and Visual Arts Award for Young Talents, he was struck by their unifying note of seriousness.
‘It is obvious that this generation are looking towards the future with concern,’ says Fusso, who judged this year’s awards, alongside Maja Hoffmann, founder of Luma Arles; Simon Baker, director of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie; Jérôme Pulis, international director of Christian Dior Parfums; photographer Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza; and artist Maya Rochat.
Shortlisted and winning photography
’What emerged from these young graduates’ entries is their outlook into the future, and the depth of this within their creations,’ continues Fusso. Yet, while these young artists are united in their anxious preoccupation with what’s ahead, the work they produce is enlivened by that anxiety rather than dampened by it.
The work of the 14 nominees makes for a visually and geographically diverse collection of images, spanning everything from the haunting black and white images of Tokyo-based photographer Yuka Iwahashi to the precise and restrained portraits by Leipzig-based grad Sophie Meuresch.
With this year’s theme of ‘Face-to-Face’, the jury encouraged the nominees to confront their subject matter through the camera – whether that be military and ethnographic archives from the Amazon featured in the work of photographer Emilio Azevedo, or Sul Youngjoo’s tender portraits of her peers.
‘I synthesise the mediums of costume, still and moving image to study people and places. I aim to engage with our psychological entanglement with garments,’ she continues.
‘I used the theme of Face-to-Face to continue these explorations, investigating the boundaries between fantasy and real self, performance and authenticity.’
The winner of this year’s prize is London-based photographer Rachel Fleminger Hudson, whose dreamlike imagery is heavily influenced by the aesthetics of the 1970s. Through costume and image, Fleminger Hudson examines how we construct our perceptions of the past and ourselves through aesthetic objects and representations. ‘I am aware to not glorify or sanitise the past,’ she says. ‘I aim to reconfigure it in the context of the present.’
The result is a captivating portfolio of work with a surrealist playfulness and contemplative seriousness. Says Fusso, ’I was drawn to the different feelings within Rachel’s work; sadness, compassion and the simplicity of daily life.’ §