Many thanks to everyone who submitted photos to our Away From It All photo challenge, in partnership with London Transport Museum’s Poster Art 150 exhibition. Our experts, Anna Renton (exhibition curator) and Tina Smith (art editor of the lovely Lost in London), met on Monday to deliberate the shortlist and selected three photos which best met the brief.
Having curated the Poster Art 150 exhibition, I was looking at your photographs and comparing where Londoners enjoy going to get away from it all today with where they went in the past. It was fascinating to see that while some destinations are ever popular, some are very different! It was a really strong pool and well done to everyone who was shortlisted.
In Lost in London, we are always trying to show people the green between the grey in London, and to show that you can ‘get away form it all’ in the big smoke. So it was fantastic to be on the receiving end of that, and see all the ways the photographers captured that feeling of an oasis of calm.
All 40 shortlisted photographs will go on display at London Transport Museum shortly but here below, and in no particular order, are the images chosen for special commendation with a few words from our panel as to why. Congratulations to Robert Timothy, Andrew Smith and Donna Rutherford!
AR: I thought that the way you had interpreted the brief was very interesting, showing a very urban environment at sunset as your way of getting ‘away from it all’. I thought that the colours and composition were great, a really strong image.
TS: What I love about this image is that the people are gathered together in the busy Southbank, but are all facing out over the calm, still of the river. There is a real sense of slowing down and taking a deep breath in this image. The evening light and the shadows it makes are beautiful, and the graphic shapes of the composition suit the urban nature of the scene.
AR: This photograph reminded me so much of one of the posters in our Poster Art 150 exhibition: Poster 1983/4/718 – Poster and Artwork collection online from the London Transport Museum , which drew me to it initially. But I also really loved the composition and the stark and unusual contrast of a country scene with an urban background.
TS: This photograph is really all about the contrast of the rural and urban in one image. Several of the photographs juxtaposed a green foreground and cityscape background beautifully, but none make for such a surprising image as this one. It captures the themes of the brief very neatly.
AR: I really liked the dreamy and timeless qualities of this image. The reflection in the water is lovely, it really captures those early days of spring.
TS: This image reminds me of the painted transport posters of the 1910s. I love the wide variety of textures and tranquil, dreamlike feel of the scene. This one to me feels a bit magical, like a secret world. It certainly challenges peoples perceptions of London.
Theses three images will go forward to the next phase, and do battle with the three top photos from the next challenge theme, Love Your City. One photographer will then be chosen as overall winner, to be announced in the autumn.