We recently announced Daniel Norwood and Orande Mensink-Nouws as joint winners of the Shutter Hub PHOTOMASTERS Award. So, as a follow up to that we thought we’d take a closer look at the works, which were selected by representatives from The British Journal of Photography, The Old Truman Brewery and Shutter Hub.
Orande Mensink-Nouws was awarded for her series Haven. She said:
I feel very fortunate to have won the competition (with Daniel Norwood)! I thought it was already a very good exhibition in London, with a lot of interested (general) public and also professionals from BJP, Old Truman Brewery and Shutter Hub of course. Winning was like the cherry on the cake.
Her series documents the ‘expat’ community in the UK, as she explains:
Change never appealed to me. In 2012 I left my home country, my home, family and friends; I quit my job and followed my husband because he was offered a good job in the UK. It was a life-changing decision for me. I closed the door at home without knowing whether another door would open.
After we arrived, I read books and poems, wrote down quotes in my old- fashioned scrapbook and pasted cards in it as mementoes of where we went. I went to exhibitions and attended lectures. Yet, there didn’t seem be any connection between all these things I was collecting. When I started to take photographs things slowly started to make sense. I put my scrapbook aside and started to make a book of photographs instead: Photography became my new mode of collecting.
The expats that I have photographed are predominantly women, wives who have followed their husbands because of a job offer. Ostensibly, expats are very privileged. They can rent big houses, drive big cars and live a leisurely life in between the school runs. And it is a life that can be very enjoyable; it can also be lonely.
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