James Bugg Wins Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize

Congratulations to emerging Melbourne photographer James Bugg for winning the $50,000 2018 Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize (MCPP) – Australia’s richest photography prize.

A recent graduate of the Photography Studies College Melbourne, the 22-year-old artist was praised for his authentic portrait of ‘Zach’, a resident of The Pines in South-East of Melbourne. Standing awkwardly in front of his friend’s home, surrounded by discarded pots and garden ornaments, the subject is a nostalgic snapshot of a time and place seemingly distant from contemporary urban society. About his work, Bugg remarks, ‘The Pines is an Australian town that sits on the fringes of society. It is a suburb like many others that can’t shake the stigmas of drugs and crime. Occupants like Zach seem to feel the centripetal pull of Australian society here.’

The judges of the 2018 MCPP were photographer and curator Cheryl Newman, photojournalist and photo editor Jon Jones and Australian documentary artist Raphaela Rosella. ‘In his hands the lens does not exploit his subject’, remarked Newman, applauding the raw honesty of Bugg’s photograph. Among the thirty finalists, the judges awarded Highly Commended to Isabella Moore for her photograph The Significance of Ceremony and Matthew Abbott’s Wrestlers Cooling Off.

The Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize (MCPP) was established in 2007 by the Moran Arts Foundation and it awards and promotes Australian contemporary photography and excellence in all forms of still, photo-based artwork – including analogue and digital photography or staged and directorial photo-media work. This is the first year that the MCPP has been announced separately to the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, which is awarded in October each year.

The Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize
5 – 27 May, 2018
Juniper Hall, Paddington, Sydney

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