Inuk photographer Katherine Takpannie has been announced as a 2020 New Generation Photography Award winner, along with photographers Noah Friebel and Curtiss Randolph. All three will receive $10,000 in prize money, and have the opportunity to have their works featured in exhibitions at the National Gallery of Canada and as part of the Toronto Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.
Currently based in Ottawa, ON, Takpannie regularly explores the nuances of urban Inuit life in her work. She is known for her photographs of performance and political protest, as well as her intimate portraits of women. This approach to contemporary Inuit life, which Takpannie captures in both natural and built environments, was the focus of her Spring 2019 profile in the Inuit Art Quarterly.
Takpannie’s work was showcased in the 2018 group exhibition Getting Under Our Skin at the Art Gallery of Guelph, and her work is held in the City of Ottawa’s art collection. She was most recently included in the exhibition They Forgot That We Were Seeds at the Carleton University Art Gallery this spring, where her photographs documented food sharing between Black and Indigenous women and two-spirit people during a November 2019 gathering.
Established in 2017 as a creative partnership between Scotiabank and the Canadian Photography Institute at the National Gallery of Canada, the New Generation Photography Award is the only dedicated prize offered to photographers aged 35 and under.
Jurors for this year’s award include Ann Thomas and Andrea Kunard, Chief and Associate Curators at the National Gallery of Canada respectively, past winner Luther Konadu, artist Suzy Lake and Université de Québec à Montréal professor Alain Paiement.
“The 2020 winners reveal the many approaches artists take to the medium, a testament to photography’s broad expressive capacity,” said Kunard in a statement. “Viewers are presented with documentary modes, conceptual strategies, personal journeys, and matters of social urgency.”
The winners were due to be announced in March 2020, shortly following the longlist announcement. However, due to COVID the announcement was delayed, as was the exhibition schedule for the winners, who will be exhibited alongside the 2021 winners next year.