Photographer shortlisted for international award
A panel of distinguished artists has nominated a graduate of the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) for an international photography award.
Five finalists are showing their work at the Norton Museum of Art in Florida from now until 9 December, when the winner will be announced.
Bjorn Veno said: "It is a great honour to be nominated for this award. At first, I could not believe it but when the curator Tim Wride came over from Florida to talk about what work should go into the show, it all became real.
"I strongly believe in the work that I'm making and that it has something important to say, so to be recognised in this way is a very good support to keep at it.
"Just having my work shown to a new audience in the USA is worth a lot but winning would strongly support the next project that I'm working on and enable me to push myself further."
The Rudin Prize, named after the late New York City developer Lewis Rudin, is a biennial award which asks five distinguished international artists to nomainate an up-and-coming artist with the winner receiving $20,000.
Bjorn, who was born in Chatham but grew up in Norway, was put forward by Turner Prize nominee Yinka Shonibare.
Bjorn said: "Yinka has been a great support to me for a number of years now. Soon after he saw my work, he named me in an article for 'Britain's Best New Artists' in The Observer which really helped my profile.
"Having a Person of Yinka's calibre believe in you and support the work you do is the best help anyone could ask for."
Since graduating, Bjorn has gained a Masters at the Royal College of Art but he says it was at UCA that he created the unique form of self-portraiture he has become renowned for.
He said: "The direction I find myself today began at UCA. A visiting lecturer pointed out that there were hardly any male artists working with ideas of identity, whereas women have been good at redefining themselves and reflecting their identity for many years.
"UCA taught me how to develop and focus in on an idea and that a direct translation of an idea often gives for an image with little or no depth, so I learned that the best approach is to let an idea develop and grow all the way through the creation process.
"I also had access to Hasselblad cameras and other kit and studio spaces that are unrivalled to other universities, so it was a very good starting platform to me."
Bjorn remains an active part of UCA's creative community and has been a Technical Tutor in UCA Rochester's Photography department since 2007.
The winner of the Rudin Prize will be announced in December.
You can see more of Bjorn's work at: www.bjornveno.com.
For more information contact:
David Reilly, Press Officer, UCA
T: 01252 892939