independent

Saturday 20 September 2014

Snap in the middle of the East

BILL BROWNE

Published 20/02/2014 | 05:26

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Photographer Ivor Prickett

A FERMOY photographer has been nominated for a prestigious international award for a stunning picture essay on everyday life in Kurdistan.

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A FERMOY photographer has been nominated for a prestigious international award for a stunning picture essay on everyday life in Kurdistan.

Ivor Prickett (29) from Castlehyde has been shortlisted for the 'People' category award in the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards.

His captivating series of images entitled 'Kurdistan is Booming' documents life in the semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan a decade after the allied invasion.

His work was selected by a panel if industry experts from among almost 140,000 submissions by photographers from 166 countries.

Having studied at Sallynoggin College of Further Education in 2003, Ivan subsequently completed a degree in documentary photography at Newport University in South Wales.

He spent three years in London building up contacts and an impressive portfolio, with his work featuring on the pages of numerous national newspapers.

In 2009 Ivor moved to Istanbul in Turkey to concentrate on his dream of documenting life in the Middle East.

"I was keen to work in the region and felt I would get a better feel for the area if I was based there rather than fly in and out for each assignment. I love it here. Istanbul is a wonderful mix of Europe and Asia," he told the Corkman from his Turkish home.

"Finding freelance work is difficult, so a lot of young photographers will move abroad to chase work. You have to position yourself if you want t o make work that you feel is important," said Ivor.

His big break came in 2012, when he took a graphic series of images featuring Iraqi refugees forced to live underground. That same year in Egypt, Ivor took the last portrait image of Sunday Times war correspondent Marie Colvin in Tahrir Square prior to her death.

Ivor spent weeks travelling across Kurdistan for his award nominated essay, meeting people and getting a feel for life there.

"The Middle East can be a volatile area, but Kurdistan is not as dangerous as people might think, it is certainly a lot safer than the south of Iraq. I wanted to capture the feel for self determination among its people amid the aftermath of war," he said.

"While the images are on the whole triumphant, they are tinged with a hint of darkness as Kurdistan. While it is beautiful, it is also a place of quite severe contrasts. That was one of the reasons I was drawn to work there.

The Sony category winners and the overall Sony International Photographer of the Year will be unveiled at a ceremony in London next April.

"These are very special awards as the shortlist is drawn up by a panel of respected editors and photographers. It is always nice to be judged by your peers within the industry who you know and respect," said Ivor.

"To be nominated for A Sony Award is a huge compliment. To win one would be the icing on the cake," he added.

To view images from 'Kurdistan is Booming' and other examples of Ivor's work visit www.ivorprickett.co.uk

Corkman

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