In partnership with Hahnemühle

Hahnemühle is recognised worldwide as the gold standard for photographic paper, but in addition to providing great paper for photographers, the company also does a lot to help and encourage younger visual artists.

As part of this, Hahnemühle has set up the Student Awards, with the winners to be revealed at Photo London. This prestigious international photography fair place takes place in central London from the 16 – 19 May 2024.

Launched in 2023, the Photo London x Hahnemühle Student Award is an exciting opportunity for students enrolled in photography degrees at UK universities. It aims to bring developing photographers’ portfolios to international attention and support early-career talent within the industry.

Now in its second year, this initiative builds on Photo London’s ongoing commitment to supporting and investing in emerging photographic artists.

The Student Awards judging panel, which includes eminent names such as Guardian picture editor, Fiona Shields, will select one overall winner, to be announced at a special ceremony at Photo London on Saturday, 18th of May.

Overseeing the shortlisted image printing

In the meantime, the shortlisted photographers in the 2024 Photo London x Hahnemühle Student Award recently visited Spectrum Photographic Brighton – a Hahnemühle Certified Studio in the UK – to oversee the production of their exhibition prints for Photo London. The winner will be revealed during a special ceremony at the fair on Saturday 18th May.

Emi O’Connell examining her prints

Check out the YouTube video below from Hahnemühle and there is also more information about the Photo London awards in this blog

More details on the shortlisted artists

Africa Barrero-Alexander

Currently based in Madrid and studying for a BA in Photography from the University of the West of England, Africa Barrero-Alexander is from Madrid. His work centres around the relationship between humanity and the land, the nature of the human condition, and the beauty of the mundane. Turning the camera on oneself claiming authorship of identity – by purposefully manipulating light, space and time, Barrero-Alexander depicts deeply personal yet inherently political subjects.

Africa is also interested in using photography as a therapeutic tool and exploring its ability to reshape narratives and recontextualise past events and traumas. ‘I have chosen Hahnemühle Digital FineArt Collection Natural Line Sugar Cane 300gsm for my exhibition prints,’ he explains.

Hahnemuehle Photo London Awards
Credit: Africa Barrero Alexander

‘The texture adds depth to the images and has a tactile quality that I really like. Also, the warmer tone of this paper works well with the black and white imagery I’ll be printing onto it. Finally, I think it’s important to use materials from renewable sources wherever possible, and to produce work that’s sustainable and eco-friendly.’

Emi O’Connell

Based in South East London, Emi O’Connell’s work focuses on equality and women’s health with a particular interest in phototherapy and using visual arts as a way to sensitively approach topics of trauma. She uses self-portraiture and re-enactment, as well as a research-based practice mixing documentary photography and performative elements throughout her work.

Photo London Hahnemühle Student Award, Emi O'Connell
Image credit: Emi O’Connell

Emi’s intimate and sensitive approach uses primarily analogue photography and cameraless techniques such as lumen printing. She has a distinction in MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at London College of Communication, UAL, was recently shortlisted for the Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Prize and has exhibited at The Atkinson Museum, Southport.

‘I have chosen Hahnemühle Digital FineArt Collection Photo Rag 308gsm for my prints as I wanted to choose something with texture and a vintage feel to suit the themes of my work. Photo Rag feels ideal for black and white printing with its deep blacks, contrasting shadows and how it handles fine details so well. I feel that Photo Rag has a distinctive look that complements black and white images so beautifully and it felt like the perfect timeless paper to choose for my proj‘and then I ran’.

Ben Hubert

Ben is a UK-based artist, best known for his photography influenced by Ancient Greek and Renaissance art. Recurring themes include relationships between masculine representation and identity, and photography’s relationship with the male form, while the combination of photographic and sculptural works is central to his work.

Photo London Hahnemühle Student Award, Ben Hubert
From the image series, Plinthos 1

Creating and capturing the fragility of what appear to be strong physical artefacts in alignment with the timelessly complex nature of masculinity’s landscape. Hubert is currently studying for BA Photography at Arts University Bournemouth; he won the British Photography Award in 2020 and was shortlisted in the SIFF International film festival in 2021.

‘My paper choice is Hahnemühle Digital FineArt Natural Line Hemp 290gsm,’ Ben explains. ‘The primary reason is the textured surface and matte finish – the images contain relatively tactile subjects and it’s important to me that the paper reflects this in its feel and aesthetic. I also wanted to work with a heavier paper for the same reason and so the prints to some degree feel as though they are objects, like artefacts in a frame. I also prefer the slightly warmer tone of this paper over some others, it’s quite an inviting attribute for black and white imagery to have, without being so warm that it feels sepia.’

Ada Marino

Ada is an Italian visual artist based in Wales, working at the intersection between photography and installation. She studied Photography at the University of Wales Trinity St David, and as a native of Naples, her artistic formation is deeply rooted in her Southern culture and family experiences, mirroring the patriarchal domination that had surrounded her since childhood.

Photo London Hahnemühle Student Award, Ada Marino
Image credit: Ada Marino

Marino’s background has served as a springboard, enabling her to analyse and interpret the contradictory forces that shape society. Marino’s practice focuses specifically on women, embracing the causes, concerns and gender issues women are subjected to, investigating socio-cultural phenomena which implicate deviant behaviours and identities structures. Marino’s works have been shown in multiple group and solo exhibitions; was awarded the Alan Whatley Prize in 2023 and nominated LensCulture 2024 finalist.

‘I had the opportunity to see the Hahnemühle catalogue provided to my university and it was difficult to choose from a such superb selection of fine art paper. I was principally oriented to the Photo Rag range as I used already in the past to exhibit my works, but then compared with the Hahnemühle Digital FineArt CollectionPhoto Rag Matt Baryta 308gsm I noticed a difference in the structure and I felt that a slightly lightness could give the perfect consistency without losing the vibrancy and clarity characteristics.

The work was born as a response to a previous project and which brings with it an aura of positivity and lightness that I would like to be perceived in all its forms therefore drawing this peculiarity also from a paper that proves to be a bit less hard so perfectly compatible with the concept I wanted to express.’

An Liu

An Liu is a London-based photographer whose soft and dreamy visual style blends portraiture, documentary, and staged photography. After graduating from Wuhan University in 2016 with a degree in Computer Science, she pursued a more creative path and began working in fashion and commercial photography in her native China.

Photo London Hahnemühle Student Award, An Liu
Image credit: An Liu

An developed her skills further during the MA course in Commercial Photography at the London College of Communication (UAL) in 2022-23, which sparked her interest in narrative projects. An discovered her unique voice during her MA studies, delving into personal and collective stories and exploring empathy and connection through photography.

‘I chose Hahnemühle Digital FineArt Collection Photo Rag Matt Baryta because it offers vibrant colours and rich details,’ she explains. ‘Most of my work is shot on colour film, and this paper can showcase the warm and dreamy light in my work while preserving the abundance of details captured by the film.

Additionally, the theme of my work revolves around stories of age and time I hope the audience can feel the passage of time when viewing my work, so the matte texture of the Photo Rag Matt Baryta prevents any glare from any direction, allowing viewers to experience the intimate emotions within the artwork. Lastly, its impressive archival qualities and highest age resistance are also very appealing to me.’

For more information about Hahnemühle and its papers, which suit a very wide range of photographic genres and approaches, see here.

Further reading
Hahnemuhle expands paper range for every genre