AUB Lecturer Lauren Forster has picked up a win at the Helsinki Photo Festival 2020, after chronicling the final months of her mother’s life.
The award-winning Photographer and Lecturer picked up the accolade for her reflective photo-essay God Has No Favourites. Lauren’s poignant and moving photo-essay explores the relationship between herself, her family and her mother, who tragically passed away from brain cancer in 2018.
As missionaries, Lauren’s parents travelled across Africa through Ghana, Zambia, Malawi, and Tanzania before returning to Leeds and Coventry in the late '90s to work as Salvation Army Officers. Lauren’s project, God Has No Favourites, is named after a comment made by her father while reflecting on mortality and religion.
Lauren said: “The work explores the universal human qualities of strength and fragility and the project was driven by the desire to record my deeply personal struggle as this marked a transition in my life.
“The images are defined above all else by a range of emotional forces that we as a family were experiencing that many people will be able to relate to.”
Speaking about her award, Lauren added: “Being selected has provided a platform for my work to be seen by a new audience both inside and outside the photography community. As well as showing the work in galleries the festival displayed images on digital JCDecaux screens around Helsinki, it was refreshing to see spaces that are normally taken up with advertising disseminating artwork.”
Lauren’s work has been exhibited in Parliament, and at The New York Photo Festival, The AOP Gallery, and at the Wellcome Trust. Her portrait Lieutenant-colonel Malcolm Forster was crowned winner of the British Journal of Photography’s Portrait of Britain in 2018.
She is also a winner of the International Photography Award and has been a finalist for the Wellcome Photography Prize, Portrait Salon, Royal Photographic Society International Photography Exhibition, The Kuala Lumpur International Photo Awards, The Observer Hodge Award and The Nikon Discovery Award.