A Self-Portrait by Jameisha Prescod is one of this year’s Wellcome Photography Prize winners.
The photograph, titled Untangling, was taken at his London home during the lockdown’s forced isolation.
“This is where I work full time, eat, sleep, meet friends and, above all, cry,” says Prescod from his house.
To escape, Prescod turned to knitting during the pandemic, which she says helps calm her mind. It might not be a cure, but it at least “pauses everything else” for a while, Prescod says.
“It’s really hard to talk about mental health, and I guess it’s especially hard to turn a camera around – to expose some of the deepest and darkest. [feelings].
“I’m happy that even taking it I can address something that many of us have been through during this pandemic,” she adds.
Prescod is a London-based filmmaker and journalist whose work focuses on people with chronic illnesses.
The Wellcome Photography Prize focuses on the health challenges of our time and how health affects society.
The other grand prize, for a series of photographs, went to Yoppy Pieter. Her work, Trans Woman: Between Color and Voice, shows the many obstacles trans women face in Indonesia.
Based in the capital Jakarta, Pieter co-founded Arkademy, an educational platform that promotes the use of photography as a creative medium to critique the relationships between self and society.
The winners were selected from 90 shortlisted images from 15 countries.
“The two winning entries moved the judges and started the debate – we couldn’t help but discuss them at length,” said Jeremy Farrar, director of Wellcome and chair of the Wellcome Photography Prize.
“Covid-19 and mental health are elements of both, but what has captivated us all are the powerful human stories at the very center – seen through a lens of compassion. “
Four other category finalists were also announced:
The Big Fish, by Morteza Niknahad, Iran
The time of the coronavirus, by Aly Song, China
Climate cost, by Zakir Hossain Chowdhury, Bangladesh
An elegy for the death of Hamun, by Hashem Shakeri, Iran
You can see the pre-selected entries on the Wellcome website.