A photographer who has just been shortlisted for one of the world’s most prestigious photography competitions is about to start an exciting community project called ‘Made in Tenby’.
Amid the Sony Awards 2023 Winners’ Galleries section of the World Photography Organisation’s website is a page entitled ‘Circuit Boards by Alun Crockford’; a “collection of motherboards extracted from defunct personal computers… photographed using paper negatives on a 10x8 Deardorf camera to emphasise the otherworldliness of the objects.”
Mr Crockford was one of only six in the world shortlisted for the Professional: Still Life award in this year’s Sony World Photography Awards: a feat made more remarkable when you realise that over 415,000 images from over 200 countries and territories were submitted to the Sony World Photography Awards 2023 and over 180,000 were entered into the Professional competition - the highest number of entries on record.
Alun Crockford, one of the well-known and long-established Tenby harbour family, has worked as a photographer since 1986. His inclusion in the winners’ galleries 2023 is validation of his professionalism, he says. But the ‘Made in Tenby’ project - which could not be more different in subject material - is so much more important than commercial photography.
Armed with a vintage camera that is sure to turn heads, Mr Crockford intends to photograph the heart and soul of the seaside town in an old-fashioned way. The photos will feature about 100 members of the community. He also hopes to take the camera into the junior schools and take photographs of community groups. Tenby has its share of celebrities, and they too will also form a valuable part of the picture.
Inspiration for ‘Made in Tenby’ came from Mr Crockford’s previous show at the town’s museum, which centered on the harbour community. “After the challenges of the last few years, it seems the time is right to produce a new up-to-date version, this time including the entire community” said the photographer.
The ‘Made in Tenby’ photography project aims to promote community cohesion and all those making a contribution; to compare and contrast those scenes of 30 years ago with the present day, celebrating what remains. Alun Crockford will be working in collaboration with videographer Sharron Harries and storyteller Phil Okwedy. With funds from the Welsh Arts Council and a requirement for bilingual access, the project is expected to take six months to complete.
The work will be exhibited in Tenby Museum from October 11 to November 12.
“Whilst winning one of Sony’s world professional photography awards was a positive validation of my commercial work, I am much more excited about the new project about to start in Tenby,” said Mr Crockford.
“Working with Community filmmaker Sharron Harris and with archive contributions from local photographers such as Mick Brown, ‘Made in Tenby’ will be a collection of portraits and group shots, as well as video and voice recordings celebrating the people and groups that go to make the local community so special.”
“I want to ensure that these new images will be around for future generations,” he added. “All the pictures will be taken on an old-fashioned camera with black and white film. This will hopefully also be an interesting experience for the subjects.”
Like the previous exhibition, the completed project will be displayed at Tenby Museum and Art Gallery.
“I must credit [former curator] Mark Lewis for the positive encouragement he gave to the initial idea and allotting space at the gallery to allow this to take place.
“Thank you also to Eloise, Tenby’s new curator, who helped with the planning and Arts Council Wales for their invaluable advice and funding.”
The work will be exhibited at Tenby Museum, Castle Hill, from October 11 to November 12.