Phoenix Photography Competition Winners Announced!


The Phoenix Photography Competition was held in 2020/2021 for young photographic artists aged 12 to 25, to showcase their works and gain exposure to industry experts and to meet other artists.

The theme of the competition was 'Change', with all entries judged by a panel of young people and experts on how they best interpreted the theme in their photograph, and the technical ability displayed.

A huge thank you to all the young photographers who submitted their work, after a very competitive judging the winners are as below:

First Place
Elijah Cristiano - 'Perturbation'

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"Through this image I have attempted to capture the uncertainty and anxiety that can be associated with change.  The incertitude of beginning university study in the midst of a public health crisis evoked feelings of apprehension, encouraging me to anticipate how I will fit into a new environment as a unique person.  This led me to consider the concept of identity, and whether it can be affected by varying environments. Is identity a constant uninfluenced by change, or does change invote a person to reshape their individuality?

The organic fluid-like distortion of the face in the piece illustrates the dissolution of one's identity when faced with change, leaving them in a confused and raw state of existence.  I have used a monochromatic scheme to symbolise the black-and-white cognitive processes that can be associated with the trepidation of change and the failure to rationally approach changing conditions."

 Second Place
Joel Biggs, 'Summer Dreams'

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"Called 'Summer Dreams' this photo was inspired by my Mum's love of flowers.  This was taken at the time of the first lockdown where my mum (the person in the photo) and I would go on lots of walks together to stay active and get outside.  The reason why I submitted this photo was because it shows no matter what happens you can always get creative."

Third Place
Jamie-Lee Mallia, 'New Adventures'

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"This photo depicts a semi-rural Melbourne landscape, taken at sunset in Laverton North off the Western Ring Road.  I saw the sunset and took the opportunity for an amazing photo. The sunset is framed by the sillouette of a gum tree and grasslands beyond the fence line. I like that the gum tree black out and contrasts the glow of the setting sun, playing with the use of positive and negative space. At a time after the Covid lockdown has lifted it signifies the end of a good day and the coming of new adventures."

Content Warning - The following artist descriptions mention mental health and suicide. 
If you or someone you know could be struggling with their mental health, help is available 24 hours a day through Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, or Lifeline on 13 11 14

Highly Commended
Arthur Jaeger, 'The Struggle'

"After suffering from depression a few years ago and recovering from it.  I wanted to create an image that shows the constant mental struggle that this illness puts people through.  Depression can be hard to represent as most of it happens in our head, and it is hard to explain to people not suffering from it.  I hope that this helps people to understand and maybe be more empathetic towards people going through depression.  It is not a fake illness, it is an invisible one."

Special Mention
Marissa Geraghty, 'Stronger'

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"This photo was taken when I was in very tough times, even feeling suicidal. I was feeling so sad.  I like this photos of myself because even through the tough times I could still smile.  Looking back at this photo, I've realised that I have changed a lot and I like the person I've now become.  I am stronger."