For the first time in 42 years, the highly anticipated Press Photographers Association of Ireland ‘Press Photographer of the Year’ Exhibition is unable to embark on its nationwide tour, due to the current nationwide restrictions.
To continue the tradition, the association has launched its very first ‘virtual exhibition’ through its online platforms on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vimeo and www.ppai.ie.
The exhibition has travelled across the globe, including Irish festivals in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Paris, Brussels and Warsaw, to name a few and has been enjoyed by millions. It is also a regular visitor to festivals, libraries and locations around Ireland. Across nine categories including News, Daily Life, Sport and Reportage the exhibition provides a fascinating snapshot of the year 2019 in Ireland covering the many highs and the lows including sporting events both at home and abroad, from the outstanding moment Shane Lowry won at ‘The Open’ as well as historic events, such as 100 years of the Liffey Swim.
The 42 nd annual awards of The Press Photographers Association of Ireland took place in February, at a gala awards ceremony, with photographers from across the island of Ireland represented. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was in attendance to present the overall award of the ‘Press Photographer of the Year’ 2020 award to Mark Condren of Independent News and Media.
The exhibition of 110 photographs was culled from some 2,000 images entered by some of the top photojournalists working on this island. As well as the winning portfolio of Mark Condren and other category winners visitors can see outstanding photography throughout the exhibition including “Finally Five” by Eoin Noonan of Sportsfile which captures the joy of Dublin’s five in a row victory at Croke Park. Besides hard news photographs, the exhibition features many gentler moments such as a scene in the Phoenix Park as crows pluck fur from a deer to feather their nests (by Alan Betson/The Irish Times), a stage call for Nell the Cow (by Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland) and a stunning sunset surfer by Naoise Culhane. Prizewinning images include work by Tom Honan who won first in news for a sensitive portrait of a young girl at an Extinction Rebellion protest, and “Summer Shower”, a Lowery-esque weather picture by Marc O’Sullivan. Other outstanding images featured in the exhibition include “For Everyone in the Audience”, a remarkable and poignant image from the funeral of Gay Byrne by Sam Boal of Photocall Ireland, “Wet in Wexford” a highly unusual hurling image from Tommy Dickson of Inpho Photography, and “On Reflection” a stunning image of a Cormorant in the Grand Canal by Niall Carson of PA.
The judging panel was chaired by photographer Frank Miller and former picture editor, The Herald, Glasgow, Jim Connor and internationally acclaimed photographer Edmond Terakopian. The trio also curated the exhibition which is now available online and through social media for the first time. The multimedia award, which also went to Mark Condren, was judged by Michael Lee, RTÉ cameraman and Philip Bromwell, RTÉ News video and mobile journalist.
Crispin Rodwell, President, The Press Photographers Association of Ireland, said; “The Press Photographers Association is proud to be able to bring the work of its members to a national and even global audience, through the launch of its new virtual exhibition. The exhibition encapsulates the many highs and lows from the year gone by, containing striking images caught by working press photographers from right across the island of Ireland. We hope that as many people as possible can enjoy the exhibition and indeed share it with their friends and family. And we hope that when the Covid-19 emergency has passed many will have the opportunity to see the exhibition in its optimum print form as it travels the island of Ireland.
The Press Photographers Association of Ireland ‘Press Photographer of the Year 2020’ Exhibition is now on view on the association’s website – www.ppai.ie/2020-exhibition, their Twitter feed @PPAI_IRL, and on Instagram at ppai_irl. To find the exhibition as it features on Twitter @PPAI_IRL search