In honour and loving memory of Her Majesty, today marks the start of The Queen’s Green Canopy official tree planting season in the United Kingdom with a poignant tree gifting ceremony at The Royal Hospital Chelsea in London.
The Tree of Trees was illuminated during a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace on the evening of Thursday 2nd June in honour of Her Majesty the Queen.
I was commissioned to photograph and capture the sculpture on the run up to the Jubilee celebration weekend.
Designed by Heatherwick Studio, the sculpture is one part of a national community campaign to plant more trees and inspire the next generation of tree planters, led by the Queen’s Green Canopy.
A nationwide network of over 300 inspiring charities and organisations have been unveiled as part of the living legacy in honour of The Queen.
The chosen recipients embody a spirit of selflessness and support, with a purpose dedicated to the betterment of their communities, the environment, and the nation. This means trees from the Jubilee will flourish in places like Luton’s Peace Garden Initiative, which offers a place for families to plant trees in memory of COVID victims; the Caribbean Sports and Wellbeing Club in Sheffield, which provides support and opportunities for young people who have encountered racism and discrimination; and the Swansea Environment Centre, which encourages activities to tackle the challenges of plastic pollution, biodiversity loss and climate change.
I have always worked with NGO’s. There is something that is incredibly rewarding about the photography. Earlier this year my work with the British Red Cross introduced me to Compass Collective.
Compass Collective assists unaccompanied minor refugees and young people seeking asylum to build resilience and integrate into the UK through theatre, music and film projects and arts-led professional development programmes.
They support approximately 150 young people aged 14-26 a year, from 12 locations in the UK. The majority are at their initial stage of immigration. 70% are unaccompanied minors.
“Next Steps” is an arts-based development programme culminating in a performance written and performed by the participants.
The participants learn to access and use their authentic voice and are given the opportunity to be creative in a safe, welcoming, and empowering space. The work is always created and led by the individuals they work with.
I photographed the final show at the incredible Coal Drops Yard building designed by Thomas Heatherwick, in the Samsung KX space.
Compass Collective is supported by a team of industry professionals with a unified desire to help those seeking sanctuary integrate into the UK. The Board of Trustees includes Wendy Solesbury (MBE), Bruce Goodison, Toby Jones, Mohamed Al-Kaisi and Becca Machado.
For more information about The Compass Collective and to find out how you can support them in the future check out
Congratulations to Konstantinos Tsakalidis for winning this years Siena international Photography Awards, “Photographer of the Year”.
The winning photo, “Woman from Evia”, was revealed at this years Siena Awards Ceremony on Saturday 1st October at the Teatro Dei Rinnovati theatre.
Tsakalidis’s picture captures the desperation of Kritsiopi Panayiota, an 81-year-old woman, as the flames approach her home during the devastating forest fires in the summer 2021 causing extensive environmental damage.
Since 2015, the Siena International Photo Awards has stood out as being one of the most prestigious photographic competitions in the world, with an annual participation of photographers from more than 150 countries around the world.
This year’s winning photographs can be viewed at the SIPA website - https://sipacontest.com/gallery/2022
The pictures are also on show at various exhibitions around Siena. This year there is a “Hall of Fame” section featuring the photographers that have won in previous years. The Hall of Fame was created to recognise the value of those who have believed in the importance of the project since the first edition of the Siena International Photo Awards.
It is an honour to have my name amongst such esteemed photographers and a pleasure to be part of the wider SIENA Awards family.
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The Siena International Photography Awards is one of the most prestigious photography competitions in the industry. I was honoured to be awarded the grand prize of Photographer of the Year in 2019.
I am sad not to be able to attend the event this year to see my good friend Luca Venturi and attend the photography talks, photographic exhibitions, and evening awards ceremony. Unfortunately, I am away on assignment for the British Red Cross.
Good luck to all my fellow photographers that have been nominated and I wish everyone attending an enjoyable weekend of creative inspiration.