Silver prize in the Series category
was awarded to Thomas Ladd
, who used domestic objects in domestic settings to create intentionally open-ended narratives. The images are part of a large body of work created by the American-based photographer.
"Objects are repeated within this series of images in order to create a formal dialogue between photographs," he told us. "There were a number of conceptual and formal inﬂuences, including cartoons produced by Frederick Quimby, Roland Barthes’s essay 'The Rhetoric of the Image', Alfred Hitchock’s movies, table top photography, prose poetry, literary nonsense and animism."
We asked Thomas what makes these images so strong. "Hard work, making a ton of images and smart editing," he said. "I have made still-life photographs for a number of years and have always been fascinated with still-life, particularly paintings, so this is not a new direction for me. I also make landscape photographs, and am equally fascinated by this genre."
Thomas's background is in photography and graphic design, with advanced degrees from Cranbrook Academy of Art and Rhode Island School of Design. He is a college professor, but has previously worked in Boston as an artist, freelance designer and commercial photographer.
"Both teaching and my personal creative projects are very time consuming," he said. "I am busy finishing five portfolios of photographs made in North and South America."
He had this advice for anyone interested in working as a commercial photographer: "Look again and again at the established masters of photography, search for smart photographers who are not following trends, and learn technology inside and out."
Thomas is currently working on a document of the páramo in the Northern Andes. "The páramo, which is located at high elevations in the Northern Andes, is an austere glacier-formed grassland which is windy, cold, wet, and blanketed by clouds," he said. "The land has long been the home of indigenous communities who have grazed livestock and cultivated tubers. Unfortunately, the landscape is changing rapidly. Mining concessions, agricultural encroachment and population growth have transformed most of the land, in some cases irreversibly."
Thomas is keeping his next project a secret for now. "Give me a year or two and hopefully I will show you," he said. "All I can say is I will be traveling very far south..."