Nerve Visual Hosts Prestigious Jill Todd Photographic Award

Annual showcase set up in honour of the young photographer whose life was cut short premieres in Northern Ireland with accompanying workshop programme

Declan Sheehan from Nerve Centre with Jill's parents, Trish and Barrie Todd

Nerve Visual, Derry~Londonderry’s newest art gallery, is playing host to the Jill Todd Photographic Award until May 2017. It is the first time the award has been exhibited in Northern Ireland and follows a successful run in the Stills Gallery, Edinburgh.

The annual award aims to recognise the work of Fine Art and Photography graduates from Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Scotland and gives them the experience and profile of a gallery show.

Jill Todd was a young photographer from Northern Ireland who graduated from Edinburgh’s Napier University in 2009 with a First Class Honours degree in Film and Photography. Her flourishing career escalated as she was recognised as emerging talent in Scotland, and was quickly commended for her growing potential.

Sadly, Todd's career was short-lived as a cancer related illness took her life in 2010. Her family, friends and colleagues in the world of photography subsequently set up the Jill Todd Trust and the Jill Todd Photography Award to commemorate her name.

The exhibition consists of works by three winning entrants: Linda Conroy from Ulster University, Mads Holm and Emma Levy, and a further six entrants whose work was commended by the judges: Calum Douglas, Nadia Gabriel, Mat Hay, Kotryna Ula Kiliulyte, Arthur Montgomery and Sam Wood.

The exhibitors were selected by a panel of judges and included recent graduates from courses in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Ulster.

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'A Balanced Homelife' by Linda Conroy

Speaking at the launch Jill’s dad, Barrie Todd, said: 'The objective of the Jill Todd Photographic Award (JTPA), to promote early careers in photography, was inspired by Jill’s rapid career progression during the year after her graduation. The Award is very different to student related awards, which normally involve work made during the degree course. The JTPA requires new work made after graduation thereby testing the untutored skills of each entrant.'

Barrie also thanked Nerve Visual for hosting this the Irish premiere of the exhibition and explained that, above all other prizes on offer, gallery exposure ranked as being the most important to all entrants.

Welcoming the exhibition to Derry~Londonderry, Declan Sheehan from Nerve Centre said: 'Nerve Visual is pleased to support early career talent in photography through this presentation of the Jill Todd Photographic Award. With no set theme, the works demonstrates varying thematic interests and contemporary approaches to technique, giving a more interesting insight into the artists themselves.'

The Jill Todd Photographic Award exhibition is part of Creativity Month 2017, funded by the Department for Communities. It is accompanied by a programme of free photography events including workshops on iPad photography for children and young people, drone photography, tilt-shift techniques and the historic practice of cyanotype printing.

On Thursday, April 27, winners of the 2016 award, Mads Holm and Linda Conroy, will be in discussion in Nerve Visual from 7pm while on May 13, photographers are invited to a portfolio day hosted by Source Photographic Magazine.

Visit www.nervecentre.org for full details on the exhibition and workshops. Nerve Visual, Buildings 80/81, Ebrington. Opening times: Tues - Sat, 11am - 5pm & Sun, 12 - 6pm. Entry is free.