The First Book Award competition is organized by MACK Books publishing house and the National Media Museum, UK. This year was its third edition. The award is given to a photographer who has not yet had a book published by a third party publishing house. Photobooks are nominated by industry professionals and the winner chosen by a jury. On the shortlist of 12 finalists for this year's competition, the name of another Pole – Magda Buczek - also appeared, for her Justina&co.uk project.
Among the books published by the British publishing house are those of Joan Fontcuberta, Paul Graham, and the duet of Broomberg and Chanarin. The FROWST photobook can be expected in June 2014.
Joanna Piotrowska's works in the FROWST series show family worries: the bonds and systems of dependence which tend to be both necessary and harmful. The images are carefully staged: Piotrowska asked her subjects to pose in almost sculptural ways, re-enacting moments of intimacy and– repeating spontaneous instants of tenderness in performances which are imbued with a plethora of new meanings. Influenced by the philosophy of the German psychotherapist Bert Hellinger, Piotrowska integrated movements and gestures from Hellinger’s therapeutic method of Family Constellations, which attempts to expose and heal multi-generational trauma. Her black-and-white images, intentionally nostalgic for lost moment of happiness, are shrewd observations of the tensions that pervade every family dynamic.
Born in Warsaw, Joanna Piotrowska is a Polish photographer who recently completed her MA at the Royal College of Art, London. She has exhibited her work internationally in Ireland, Spain, Poland, Russia, France, Latvia and the UK. Works from FROWST have been included in Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2013, and in the exhibition ‘Jerwood Encounters: Family Politics’, curated by Photoworks.
ed. Michał Dąbrowski 14.05.2014, translated: Katarzyna Maksimiuk, 14.05.2014