Aesthetica Art Prize Call for Entries Count Down 11 Days to Go – Mary Humphrey

There’s still time to enter the Aesthetica Art Prize before 31 August, and as we head closer to that date we’re counting down with a run-through of artists selected in last year’s Prize. Today we’re focusing on Mary Humphrey, finalist in the Photographic & Digital Art category with her striking image Roma: Transylvania: January 2011. Through the medium of social, collaborative photography, Humphrey is committed to pursuing her passion for education and the plight of the marginalised.

For the past two years Mary Humphrey’s work has focused on various Gypsy and Traveller communities. She was given the opportunity to spend time with Roma communities in Transylvania where she produced photographs including Roma: Transylvania: January 2011. This body of work narrates the experiences and situations that Humphrey encountered whilst meeting and photographing Roma families living on the outskirts of a Transylvanian village. The portraits challenge the notion of groups of people living on the fringes of society, representing proud and defiant people. Their portraits capture the essence of their identity, and their confident and strong personalities are blatantly exposed by their uninhibited gazes. Roma: Transylvania: January 2011 reflects the Roma hardiness and resilience despite the basic and stark conditions that continue to prevail for these communities.

Humphrey recently gained a first class Honours Degree. During her studies she produced several bodies of work focussing on Gypsies, Irish Travellers and Transylvanian Roma, highlighted by a solo exhibition in Istanbul in September 2012. She is continuing with this work, as well as studying for an MA.

Register your artwork for this year’s Art Prize before 31 August

1. Mary Humphrey, Roma: Transylvania: January 2011. Courtesy of Jim Poyner and Aesthetica.