Alumnus shortlisted for significant photography prize

07 December 2017
View of Autoportrait

Elam School of Fine Arts graduate Luke Willis Thompson has been shortlisted for the 2018 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize, for a work described as having classical beauty with quiet activism.

The 29 year-old Auckland-born artist has been nominated for his film titled Autoportrait which was shown at London’s Chisenhale Gallery earlier this year.

Thompson’s work was made with Diamond Reynolds, whose partner Philando Castile was shot dead by police during a traffic stop in Minnesota. Diamond filmed the fatal shooting on her phone, before uploading it to Facebook. The video was viewed by millions of people and went on to be used in the court case of the officer involved.

Thompson created a “sister-image” to Reynolds’ video, as an alternative to the well-known version of her captured during a moment of great stress and violence, presenting her instead as a strong, dignified and complex figure.

The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize, now in its 21st year, shortlists projects that reflect a shared concern with the production and manipulation of knowledge and systems of representation through visual formats.

Established by the Photographers’ Gallery in London, the prize worth £30,000 is awarded annually to a living artist of any nationality who has made the most significant contribution, either through an exhibition, or publication, to photography in Europe in the previous year.

Thompson, who is now based in London, previously won the Walters Prize in 2014, with his work titled inthisholeonthisislandwhereiam.