The Winners of the 2022 New Generation Photography Award

Clara Lacasse, Marisa Kriangwiwat Holmes and Séamus Gallagher. Photographs

Clara Lacasse Photo : Manolis Daris;  Marisa Kriangwiwat Holmes (detail) Photo: Ali Bosley; and Séamus Gallagher Photo: Courtesy the artist

The Winners of the 2022 New Generation Photography Award are Séamus Gallagher, Marisa Kriangwiwat Holmes and Clara Lacasse. In their work, these artists combine mediums to explore identity and culture in a variety of ways, layering realities with additions, construction and artifice. Their work is being exhibited in Toronto as part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, and a selection of the artists’ work will be presented at the National Gallery of Canada later in the year. The annual New Generation Photography Award recognizes outstanding photographic imagery by three emerging Canadian lens-based artists, ages 35 and under.


Séamus Gallagher

Séamus Gallagher, face not recognized 1, 2022. Inkjet print

Séamus Gallagher, face not recognized 1, 2022. Inkjet print. Collection of the artist.© Séamus Gallagher 

Séamus Gallagher is a non-binary photography and new media artist currently based in Kjipuktuk (Halifax, Nova Scotia). A graduate of NSCAD University, Gallagher has been working in partnership with IOTA Institute since 2019. Their work interlaces photography and virtual reality, focusing on drag and queer culture as well as the visual language of video games. Speaking of their 2018 project A Slippery Space, the artist said: "Through a process of converting digital 3D renderings into paper models, I have constructed drag-influenced costumes, wigs and masks that I wear for this series of self-portraits. By staging these photographs within sets created from images of video game environments, I am interested in the queering of virtual spaces and blurring the binary of the digital and the physical." Their work, full of vibrant colour and fractured structures, addresses questions of identity, disjunction and realms of fantasy and reality.


Marisa Kriangwiwat Holmes

Marisa Kriangwiwat Holmes, Bell Ringerl, 2021. INkjet print

Marisa Kriangwiwat Holmes, Bell Ringer, 2021.  Inkjet print. Collection of the artist. © Marisa Kriangwiwat Holmes 

A graduate of the Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Marisa Kriangwiwat Holmes is a multi-disciplinary artist living in Vancouver. She works in photography – often combined with collage, sculpture, installation and music – to create work exploring the presentation and dissemination of vernacular imagery. Her practice centres around perceptions of, and interaction with, images in advertising, media and on social media platforms. In a Polygon Podcast last year, she discussed her interest in exploring "other ways of showing photographs" and finding multiple points of entry. At times using layering, cropping and small formats, she reflects upon the contemporary consumption of visual vocabulary and the invasive ways in which it affects today's society. Art critic Tatum Dooley described her practice, " She uses the language of advertisements – the colours, composition, and position on a sign – as a framework for her art practice. The result is a dystopian jest, images that look like advertisements but only reflect society back to us, articulating the spectacle." 


Clara Lacasse

Clara Lacasse,Clara Lacasse, Plateaux, 2020. Chromogenic print

Clara Lacasse, Plateaux, 2020. Inkjet print. Collection of the artist. © Clara Lacasse 

Clara Lacasse is a photo-based artist, who creates images that tell narratives centred around history, science, nature and society. A graduate of Concordia University, Lacasse creates works that are connected to in-depth archival research and collaborations with institutions, including the Montreal Biodome. She mixes images with historical documentation to present an autonomous vision that initiates critical reflection and the questioning of inherent truths in culture. Most recently, her 2021 solo exhibition Un jardin nommé terre was the culmination of a two-year project exploring the changes to the Montreal Biodome, a structure reimagined since its inception as the Velodrome of the 1976 Olympic Games. Speaking about her way of working, the artist explined, " I try to go a little more towards other mediums – the video, the publication – […] but I would say that the image [the photograph] plays a very big role in my practice. I am someone who is fascinated by language or visual culture. I have always been drawn to images, the information they can convey, and all that knowledge that can transmit through the image. […] I think it is this kind of plurality in the meaning of images that interests me and exploiting them in my own way."


The winners' work will be included in the 26th edition of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival (opening May 1, 2022); work by the winners will also be view in The New Generation Photography Exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada from August 12 to December 19, 2022. Share this article and subscribe to our newsletters to stay up-to-date on the latest articles, Gallery news, exhibitions and events, and to learn more about art in Canada.

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