Five winners, five different interpretations of the theme. Discover the works and motivations of the Jury here.
Dione Roach is a multidisciplinary artist living between Italy and Cameroon. Photography is her main medium, which she uses both as a means of documenting the realities around her and as a tool for more intimate and experimental research.
Balance is the state we desperately pursue, in whatever situation and with whatever means we have at our disposal. Since 2017, I have been working in Douala Central Prison on various projects, including a photographic one. Here I met Bokassa, jailed since 2014 serving a ten-year sentence. Bokassa lost his legs many years ago in a car accident. He cannot afford a wheelchair, so he depends on the help of his friends who carry him around the prison on their shoulders. This photo shows him in front of a painting of what he misses most about freedom and his earlier life: dancing in the cabarets of Douala. This image of him represents a twofold balance: physical, in which he has to seek support to be able to move, and interior, in which to cope with the long years of incarceration he finds relief in memory and desire, portrayed in the landscape painted behind him. This shot is a hymn to resilience.
For interpreting the Award’s theme courageously, combining a narration of the present, of individual history and collective experience. This work reminds us that there are as many ways that we can achieve balance as there are positions in society, and it can take on unexpected guises, while communicating forcefully and making itself understood by everyone.
Martina Zanin (1994) is a visual artist. Author of the photo book I Made Them Run Away (2021) published by Skinnerboox. Her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions internationally and is part of several public and private collections (FMAV, MoMA Library, Fondazione Orestiadi). She won the Camera Work and Cantica21 awards in 2021. Italian Contemporary Art Everywhere promoted by MAECI and MiC.
“Dear F.” interweaves photography with the familiar archive image and text, creating a dialogue and balance between the three mediums. The work explores the tension between human and animal, the personal and the universal, and the relationship between image and text. The artist communicates with her absent father by transferring her figure into the animal world in the form of a falcon. She finds in family photo albums shots in which her father poses as if taking flight. She extrapolates and recontextualises a detail by relating it to a photograph in which man and animal merge, almost in an act of metamorphosis. Excerpts from the artist’s diary of sightings, the texts addressed to her father/falcon bring the work back to an intimate, autobiographical dimension. The choice of installation goes back to the theme of the Prize: the work, which rises from the ground to human height (approx. 195 cm), is composed of three elements that seem to hold each other in balance.
For looking at and considering the Award from multiple perspectives thanks to the way it is installed and the choice to rely on the hybridization of codes and languages. A work that investigates the relationship between the two opposite extremes of animal instinct and human reason, and the way in which they come together on the field of emotional and interpersonal relationships.
AMATEUR AWARD WINNER
Born in 1972, Antonio currently resides in Buccheri (Sicily). Antonio is self-taught. He began to take an interest in photography around the age of 17, focusing on portraits and travel reporting often with a social background, with a preference for analogue black-and-white photography. His photos have been published in several Italian and foreign magazines and websites (Around Photography, Vis a Vis, Brennpunkt, etc.). He has participated in several solo and group exhibitions.
The work is part of a reflection in its embryonic phase and features urban landscape scenarios as a source of unexpected balances of shapes, light, shadows and geometric spaces. It represents a personal path of analysis focused on the continuous search for visual harmony and meaning; a constant deepening in the search for a compositional rigour that allows me to reveal the connection between my inner world and the world that appears in front of me.
For proposing a work which, in the stark contrast of black and white and starting from the scenarios of the urban landscape, carries out an analysis of balance as visual harmony and therefore of meaning, as a meeting point between leading lines around which we build our visual perceptions and the very act of seeing.
COMMENDATION – ACADEMY
Born in 2002 in Catanzaro, she started attending the Photography course at the IED in Rome in 2021. Her artistic research is oriented towards the investigation of interpersonal relationships and their emotional dynamics. In her work, people are intimately interwoven with places, which become settings for sensitive lives.
Even though many nights I will not sleep for you
“Even though many nights I will not sleep for you” is meant to be a shy and fragile conversation about love between my mother and I. How does it feel to want something you cannot have? She longed for motherhood but hers was an inhospitable womb, unfit for life. The sense of inadequacy turned that desire into a suffocating wound. A wound is not always understood, causing imbalance. It’s a vertigo that makes you sink into your own skin. How can a soul live in harmony? She stopped believing in it, in me. We met two years later. In her gift of breath I live.
For presenting an entirely intimate interpretation of balance, centred on the idea of motherhood and the mother/daughter relationship. Using a painful and “metaphysical” wound as its starting point, the work that won the Commendation – Academy Award lays out an engaging, complete story, carried out with great skill and exquisite narrative.
TERNA’S HIGHEST VOTED WORK
Multi-potential, photographer, content creator and social media mentor.
In 2017, photography saved him from severe work-related stress and depression. In the same year, he turned photography into his career and left his day job. Awarded by Jill Mathis as the best U30 photographer in Piedmont, today his aim is to disseminate the philosophy of solitude as a means of connecting with oneself and nature through landscape photographs of Lake Maggiore.
Peace, in balance
Make yourself comfortable. Enjoy your moment of solitude in front of this photo. The most important psychological asset for human beings today is loneliness. Stop running, where are you going? Stop listening, who…in the midst of this noise? Stop being, who are you really? Now, stop thinking and enjoy that fixed point. We live in a connected world for fear of being alone, but loneliness is the real solution to connecting with the only person who can help you find balance with the world: YOU. You are like a small boat with an electric motor, in the middle of a fishing trip. The fog envelops you, you are alone. You feel a sense of loneliness, you are afraid. You try to see the shore, but you cannot. Your electric motor is undetectable, no one will hear you. You feel the light breeze of fog on the lake, you resign yourself. You hear a seagull, you don’t see it, now though, you know you are close to shore. You keep fishing, you feel at peace. See the balance? I see you.
For being the highest voted (one fifth of the total) by Terna personnel, who viewed and voted for their favourite finalists on the TernaCult portal. This piece invites us to give priority to centring ourselves, seeking our own inner balance and focusing on what is essential and worth pursuing in our lives.