jump to navigation

PRIX PICTET 2019 HOPE January 22, 2019

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online, Patrick Brown, Prix Pictet , trackback

Perhaps in our ability to carry on in adversity lies hope for us all. Hope that, despite the catastrophic damage that we have visited upon the natural world and upon the lives of our most vulnerable citizens, it is not too late to reverse the damage that we have done.

Kofi Annan (1938-2018), Hon. President, Prix Pictet, 2017

Patrick Brown Australia

The theme for the eighth cycle of the Prix Pictet is Hope – a theme that offers a wide range of creative possibilities and a strong set of connections to the Prix Pictet’s overriding theme of sustainability. Hope in the face of adversity. Recycling. Reforestation. Rewilding. Science – advances in medicine – and technological solutions for global environmental problems. Falling poverty levels. It is time to examine some of the positive actions on sustainability that are beginning to emerge by contrast with the alarming analysis that constantly assails us in the global media.

The next shortlist will be announced at Les Rencontres d’Arles in July 2019 and the winner at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in November 2019.

Thailand based Australian photographer Patrick Brown is one of the nominees. It has been a big year for Patrick with his work on the Rohinga crisis and his award from World Press.

Patrick Brown Australia

These are his words and a response to his nomination:

‘I’m proud and honoured to have been nominated for the prestigious Prix Pictet for this year’s theme, Hope.

When I first started working on the “Hope” project in 2009, I simply thought about the word which at first seemed full of positive connotations. After much deliberation and with little progress on what subject I was going to photograph, I decided to take a step back and examine the foundations of the meaning of “hope”. The Ancient Greeks associated the word with evil and malevolence, because of its association with the allegory of Pandora. When the box was opened all manner of evils were released to beset humanity; the only thing which remained captive in the box was hope. I found myself drawn to an essence of duality inherent in its meaning. The existence of the word “Hope” can only coincide with the word “Doubt”. The simple act of saying I’m hoping to meet my friend this evening, also implies doubt about it happening. I started to see hope and doubt as Yin and Yang. I became fascinated by these two opposing elements, the contrast of good and evil, right and wrong. And yet life isn’t simply a string of rights and wrongs, it is not simply black and white, there is the infinite/finite horizon line of life, hope sits in the grey area between these two lines. “Grey” the space between hope and doubt, the space between right and wrong – the Japanese word “Ma”. ‘Ma’ denotes the negative space between objects. It was this word that would take me to Australia in search of my own personal definition.

The vast open space of the Australian landscape is for me the place where “hope” and doubt collide. A landscape that has been abandoned by mankind, yet however deserted, its space has details, it has emotions, it has life. Most of my previous work to date retains elements of human interaction, presence, emotional implications and overtones. Yet it was the lack of human evidence in my “hope” work that has heightens its inherent sense of raw human emotion, and thus hope. Without emotions there can be no progress, no drive, and no ambition. What we humans do and why do it, satisfies our basic emotional needs. We strive to survive through hope and maybe a lack of hope leaves the door ajar for doubt to creep in. Maybe it is this fine balance between the two that shapes our destinies and gives us the strength to build on despair and joy in equal measure. This is my personal definition of “hope””


Sorry comments are closed for this entry