Dior has been holding its Photography and Visual Arts Awards for Young Talents for the last five years. In partnership with LUMA Arles and ENSP, the project seeks to identify the most exciting emerging image-makers around the world, many of whom are hand-picked from the finest international art schools. The Dior “laureates” are a shortlist of 14 candidates each year, with one selected as the outright winner. The artwork is then exhibited as part of the prestigious Les Rencontres d’Arles.
There was stiff competition this year. In response to the recurring theme, “Face to Face”, entrants responded with a variety of arresting imagery, from film and photography to fine art. As part of this year’s award, London’s Joseph Craven was named laureate for his darkly evocative photos of small-town British life; New York’s Ashley Mclean for his tender images of Black fatherhood; and Kyoto’s Yuka Iwahashi for her hauntingly ominous black-and-white portraits. But Rachel Fleminger-Hudson, a graduate of Central Saint Martins, was the winner overall; she creates cinematic, characterful photographs that are like photographs from never-before-seen films.
The images she creates are magnificent, effortlessly beautiful and brimming with humour and emotional complexity: brows are furrowed, eyes are wistful, and pleasure (and exhaustion) are palpable. “It’s a place between reality and fantasy,” Fleminger-Hudson explains. “I’m trying to capture people when they are the most unconscious of being seen – at their most aggressive or most expressive.” Her work is meticulous, from lighting to casting to make-up to costume design (fashion, and how it shapes our identities, is at the heart of her work).
Cody is the Editor in Chief and senior contributor at liminul.
He is a photography aficionado, fashion enthusiast, avid Lana Del Rey fan, and lover of all things aesthetically pleasing.