Dawn Woolley from Cambridge has been named the winner of the ongoing #SaatchiSelfie creative self-portrait competition, organized by the Saatchi Gallery and mobile phone manufacturer Huawei, with her image titled ‘The Substitute (holiday)’.
Her winning shot was selected from over 14,000 entries by the panel of judges, who ran the competition in support of the newly opened From Selfie to Self-Expression exhibition at the gallery itself, which examines the history of the selfie, from the old masters to the present day – and where creativity might take it in the future. The show also explores the role the now ever-present smartphone might have in art and self-expression as we go forward.
Dawn’s winning self-portrait will be printed and hosted at the gallery until 30th May, alongside the other nine shortlisted entries, while a digital wall will show all 14,000 submissions to the contest.
Speaking about her work, Dawn wrote: ““Primarily my artwork is self-portraiture, but not in the traditional sense. In the work I create a photographic copy of myself and place it in the real world instead of me. By creating artwork that establishes me as an object it could be argued that I produce photographs that reinforce stereotypical images of the female body, but with apparent exhibitionism I create a substitute that renders my real body invisible. The substitute series was taken in a variety of location including Cardiff, London, Malta and Paris. It is an ongoing project that began in 2008.”
As winner, she receives an all-expenses-paid trip to join a Leica ambassador on an international photo-assignment, and the other nine artists are each set to gain a Huawei P10 for their achievement.
Nigel Hurst, CEO of the gallery said of the competition: “The range, diversity and creative flair of 14,000 entries exceeded all our hopes and expectations, so it was difficult to choose ten to shortlist, let alone one overall winner. We hope that the competition has encouraged anyone with a smartphone to realise its potential as an artistic tool, and inspire them to document their daily lives with even more creative vigour.”