A self-portrait by Jameisha Prescod is one of the winners of this year’s Wellcome Photography Prize.
The photograph, entitled Untangling, was taken in her London home during the forced isolation of lockdown.
“It’s where I work a full-time job, eat, sleep, catch up with friends and, most importantly, cry,” says Prescod, of her home.
As an escape, Prescod turned to knitting during the pandemic, which she says helps to soothe her mind. It may not be a cure, but it does at least “put everything else on pause” for a while, explains Prescod.
“It’s really hard to talk about mental health, and I guess it’s especially hard to turn a camera on yourself – to expose some of the deepest and darkest [feelings].
“I’m glad that, even taking it, I could touch on something that a lot of us have been going through in this pandemic,” she adds
Prescod is a London-based filmmaker and journalist whose work focuses on those with a chronic illness.
The Wellcome Photography Prize focuses on the health challenges of our time and how health affects society.
The other top award, for a series of photographs, went to Yoppy Pieter. His work, Trans Woman: Between Colour and Voice, shows the many obstacles which trans women face in Indonesia.
Based in the capital Jakarta, Pieter co-founded Arkademy, an educational platform which promotes the use of photography as a creative medium to critique the relationships between self and society.
The winners were selected from 90 shortlisted images from 15 countries.
“Both the winning entries moved the judges and initiated debate – we couldn’t help but discuss them at length,” said Jeremy Farrar, Director of Wellcome and Wellcome Photography Prize Chair.
“Covid-19 and mental health are components in both, but what captivated us all was the powerful human stories at the very centre – viewed through a lens of compassion.”
A further four category finalists were also announced: