Brighton graduate in contention for top photography prize

A Brighton graduate’s photography book has made the shortlist for a prestigious prize.

Jacob Clayton, who graduated from the University in 2017, has been nominated for the MACK First Book Award.

Jacob completed his book, E2-E4, which contains a range of work from photographic studies to recorded performance, as part of his final year BA Photography project.

Jacob said: “I am very happy and surprised to have been shortlisted. I had sent E2-E4 to several competitions with no huge response, but if I could have chosen any prize to be shortlisted for it would have been this.”

“The nomination has definitely given me a confidence boost, which I didn’t realise I needed so much until I got it. I hope the interest in E2-E4 can help me spread it about a lot more and help me to build a stronger discourse around it. Going forward, I hope this will lead me to meeting more like-minded artists and gallery owners.”

The MACK Book Award was established in 2012 to support emerging and unpublished photographers. Previously, the shortlist has been nominated by a panel of international experts – but this year, for the first time, the list was drawn from an open call.

This year consisted of five industry experts: Michael Mack (founder of MACK), Sarah Allen (assistant curator at Tate Modern), Emma Bowkett (director of photographer at the Financial Times Weekend Magazine), Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa (photographer and writer) and Polly Fleury (director of special projects at the Wilson Centre for Photography).

Previous recipients of the prize include acclaimed photographers Paul Salveson and Joanna Piotrowska. 

Of his time at the University of Brighton, Jacob said: “I loved my time at the University. I got to be in amongst a lot of really knowledgeable lecturers and technicians whose information has been invaluable. Also, in my second year we had just moved to the new photography building at Edward Street so I had constant access to a brand new, huge darkroom.”

For more information on the MACK First Book Award visit: firstbookaward.com

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