A black and white photograph depicting a Footscray bar scene has been selected as the winner of annual photography prize, Picturing Footscray, from over 140 photographs.
Test Shot at Westgay by Matto Lucas took home first prize, judged by Adam Harding, Director of the Centre for Contemporary Photography, and Jody Haines, local photo media artist and curator.
“It was an image that suckered me in straight away, it drew me across the room – I just wanted to explore it and look at every little section of this work.”
Taken in the midst of an annual event celebrating the inner west’s queer community at local bar Littlefoot, Test Shot at Westgay invites viewers to explore the frame and discover multiple narratives.
“It’s a piece of social realism, a slice of life, that sums up so much about what is Footscray and what makes Footscray ‘Footscray’. What you see is what you get! There ain’t no pretension here!”
Oli Sansom came second with a sophisticated portrait of local icon Franco Cozzo. Third-prize winner Xavier Smeardon impressed with his “poetically shabby human chic” capture of the Footscray Drag Race while capturing Footscray’s intersection of cultures. And Mishka Winters was recognised for her birds-eye-view of the busy Barkly Street intersection and received the newly established student prize.
During the opening event, which attracted over 250 people, Adam reflected that “exhibitions like Picturing Footscray are the launch pad for artists creating new work. It is a place where artists take risks, be bold and find their voice”.
“How amazing it is to come to a venue like VU at MetroWest and see your own city, your street, your community reflected on the walls here?”