Backlight ´17 Portfolio review and awards
Backlight ´17 Portfolio review and awards

Backlight ´17 Portfolio review and awards

We were most glad to receive applications from 15 countries for our portfolio reviews held in Tampere during Backlight´s opening weekend. 30 artists were showing their works to 12 international experts working on the field of photography. Thanks to the participating artists as well as our reviewers Sheyi Bankale (UK), Martin Breindl (AU), David Drake (UK), Maira Dudareva (LV),Carla Erdmann (DE), Maria Faarinen & Tiina Rauhala (FI), Andrei Polikanov (RU), Alla Räisänen (FI), Pirkko Siitari (FI), Enrico Stefanelli (IT), Juuso Westerlund (FI) and María García Yelo (SP).

       Photos: Aimo Hyvärinen | Janne Kaakinen | Aimo Hyvärinen

Festivals are made of so much more than just great exhibitions. They are a truly good platform to meet colleagues, discuss your works and life -get to know one another, have fun together, build relations and networks that carry on when in need of assistance or a second view. The time spent together makes the moments matter and gives us something to hold on and embrace when back at normal routines. Thank you all for coming to Backlight ´17 -you made us great!

At our festival club TELAKKA with the 30th jubilee party. Photos: Aimo Hyvärinen

Three awards were given at the portfolio review by the decision of our 12 reviewing professionals.

This year we are happy to start a partnership with a Latvian printing house Jelgavas Tipogrāfija, who also did the wonderful printing work of our catalogue Backlight ´17. As the first step of this collaboration Jelgavas Tipogrāfija is generously handing out the Jelgavas Tipogrāfija Book Award for Backlight 2017 – Printing costs up to 1.500 euros at Jelgavas Tipogrāfija for one of the portfolio reviews participants. We had great pleasure to have Ģirts Karlsons, Head of Sales department, as our guest during the opening weekend.

Clare Gallagher and Girts Karlsson. Photo: Janne Kaakinen

Jelgavas Tipogrāfija Book Award for Backlight 2017 was given to Clare Gallagher from Northern Ireland.

Since 2014 portfolio reviews we have awarded one artist with an exhibition to the next Backlight event. 2014 winner Corinna Kern is currently having her exhibition Female Maskers at Galleria Ronga. This years Backlight Exhibition Award, exhibition at Backlight Photo Festival 2020 was given to Bénédicte Vanderreydt from Belgium.

Bénédicte Vanderreydt (in the middle). Photo: Janne Kaakinen

Bénédicte Vanderreydt is one of the Backlight ´17 artists -currently exhibited at Tampere Art Museum with her series I am 14. Her installation at the museum, with photos, quotes and video made with 14 year old girls, is also one of the key works at Art Testers (Taidetestaajat) -nation wide project aimed to involve teenagers from the 8th grade and around of 14 years of age, to get familiarized to art and get personally involved in making it. We are looking forward to have you back at Backlight ´20 Bénédicte!

Noora Isoeskeli and Ingunn Strand. Photo: Janne Kaakinen

Backlight is partnering in Nordic collaboration with Nordic Light (Kristiansund, Norway), Landskrona Foto (Landskrona, Sweden) and KATALOG -Journal for photography&video (Denmark). As part of this collaboration supported by the Nordic Culture Fund an Honorary Mention was given to  a young nordic photographer. Noora Isoeskeli from Finland was awarded with the Honorary Mention of Young Nordic Photographer. She will receive the  publication of her portfolio at KATALOG Journal of Photography and Video. We were glad to have our friend and colleague, Ingunn Strand, from the Nordic Light to announce the award.


The evening was heated on live by Ville Leinonen Hei taas! How lovely to have Modern Talking sang in Finnish with other world classics…Thank you Ville and  big thanks also to the artists and guests who participated in co-curating the nights play list – the one that made us dance until the morning. Thank you for being here with us – what a party!