Somme centenary inspires student photography

p1090395The centenary of the Battle of the Somme was the impetus for this year’s History Photography Competition ‘Echoes of War’.

Students from years 7 to 11 submitted over 40 photographs, interpreting the theme in a variety of ways with great creativity and skill. There were collages, memorials, and militaria as well as more subtle echoes in the physical landscape.

The best photographs were displayed at an exhibition in the Orangery where guest judge, professional photographer and photography lecturer Miranda Hutton, selected the final winners.

First runner-up was Annabel Hoy’s striking image of a statue of Churchill silhouetted against the sun. Ms Hutton found the image an arresting response to the title with the lighting behind the statue giving the photo a spiritual inference and feeling of loss.

The next runner-up was Rose Chaloner’s seaside family snapshot in which a girl looking through a telescope on the pier is juxtaposed with a tank on the beach below. Ms Hutton liked both the overall composition and the fact that the model is looking off frame to hint at another story.

Rose’s photo was also the winner of the People’s Choice award, selected by visitors to the exhibition.

The overall winner was Maia Mattinson’s landscape of grass-covered trenches. Ms Hutton found this image of a healed landscape both technically well composed and emotionally arresting as it showed both the present and hinted to the horrors of what had taken place there in the past.

Head of History Dr Sarah Wallace said: “We are thrilled that so many students took part in this competition. The photos collectively provide a reminder of the triumph and sadness of war in this centenary year of the Battle of the Somme.”

The exhibition will continue to stay on display in the Orangery and entrance hall over the coming weeks.