Picturing Footscray 2022 winner Jessica DuPlessis
Picturing Footscray 2022 winner Jessica DuPlessis

After two years of being held virtually, Picturing Footscray finally returned to a physical exhibition and community celebration in 2022. The exhibition opening night and prize announcement was held on Thursday 13 October at the Footscray Connectivity Centre, drawing a big crowd despite the wet weather.

Always was, always will be land of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and the Bunurong peoples of the Kulin Nation by Jessica DuPlessis won First Prize, sponsored by Plenary Health.

Judges Cameron Cope and Paola Balla chose this photograph because of its message about the traditional owners of the land that Picturing Footscray has been running on for seven years. Cameron, a fine art photographer, thought it was especially powerful due the simplicity of colours and clean composition that drove the message home. Paola, an Indigenous academic at Victoria University’s Moondani Balluk and Footscray local, commented on how the photographic language conveyed the message well and that the location being a rooftop carpark made it even more interesting.

Second prize went to local photographer Matto Lucas for his image (A few) colourful faces of Footscray, a montage of portraits of local residents. The judges were not only impressed by the image as a whole, but also by each individual photograph being a strong photograph on its own.

Looking down by Sarah Schubert won Third Prize for its intriguing composition. Cameron commented that the image looked almost like an oil painting at first glance, making the viewer want to look again.

Manon Keown won the Student Prize for her photograph Now and Then, depicting the contrasting elements of old and new Footscray. Both judges were drawn to this photograph for its visual composition and duality. The award was sponsored by VU’s Library Services and presented by Chief Student Officer Naomi Dempsey, who talked about the importance of initiatives like Picturing Footscray for students to feel a real sense of connection to both the VU and local community.

The exhibition at Footscray Connectivity Centre will remain open to the public until 5pm Friday 11 November 2022.

Voting for the People’s Choice Award, sponsored by the Footscray Connectivity Centre, is also open until then. Vote for your favourite image via the online gallery.

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