SUGi x NAVA Photography Contest
In 2022, together with our forest partner NAVA Contemporary, we launched our inaugural Photography Contest around the theme: “Rewild our eyes. Show us the ways you connect to Nature”. We received over 500 submissions, globally, resulting in almost 4,000 images to select from. Ten winners were granted cash prizes totaling $10,000 with a grand prize of $4,000.
The jury certainly had a tough time deciding, but felt that the selected winning images best showed us how to bring nature closer. In the words of one of the jurors: “the winning entries handled the idea of nature and rewilding — how it intrigues, encompases and conquers — but they also asked you to look, and look again.”
The 2023 winners
Grand Prize - Winner: Ivelina Berova
In her project, “Mother Earth”, Berova reflects on our connections to nature and the inner self. Berova’s work explores issues such as deforestation, pollution, climate change, and the consequences of human activity in nature. She writes, “Creating conceptual and surreal works with respect for nature is my alternative way of experiencing nature and our relationship with it.”
People's Choice - 1st:
Atlantic flying fish
This beautiful fishes are generally found in surface waters near the coast, they are capable of leaping out of the water and gliding for long distances above the surface. They feed on plankton, so we end up meeting each other regularly.
People's Choice - 2nd Prize: Chloé Milos Azzopardi
“Écosystèmes” is the last part of the ongoing series “Les formes qu’ils habitent en temps de crise”. It’s a futuristic fable in which identities become porous and metamorphoses possible, a research about how we can imagine new interspecies relationships in a post-capitalocene era.
People & Nature - 1st Prize:
Arcenillas’s photography explores the helplessness and fragility of the individual in today’s society. He uses the imaginary as a basis for visual reflection.
People & Nature - 2nd Prize:
Trip to the Mountains 5
Pustaiova’s project “Trip to the Mountains” is a simple story about a trip her grandparents took to the mountains. They have never had neither money nor the energy for traveling, so Pustaiova brought this “trip” directly to their house. In this series, Pustaiova’s grandparents went camping, hiking, and relaxing without leaving their comfort zone.
Urban Wildlife - 1st Prize:
Colorado potato beetle larvae on a leaf (Leptinotarsa decemlineata). Irina Petrova Adamatzky specializes in wildlife micro-photography and science fiction inspired installations organically integrating living and artificial entities.
Urban Wildlife - 2nd Prize:
Your gaze is green .024
Visual artist and photographer, Daniela Balestrin’s work involves two spaces: the intimate space, where imagination and feelings circulate, and the external space of the concrete world. She uses analog photography as a tool, seeing in it a device that materially communes with the life she observes and files, and also as a living organism, which often acts in co-authorship with the artist through its mechanical and chemical processes.
Underwater - 1st Prize:
Eye Sea U. Rewild Your Eyes on an Endangered Reef Project
Caribbean Reef Octopus (Octopus briareus). Octopi are often elusive to photograph during the day. This one surprised the artist by remaining in sight at the back of its lair while the camera did its job.
Underwater - 2nd Prize:
Portugal is distinguished by its location on the Atlantic Ocean, where all marine animals, such as fish, sharks and other diverse fish, vary.
Landscape - 1st Prize:
Foggy morning on South Buh river
Focusing primarily on the nature, Samuchenko’s work is a study in the subtlety and constantly shifting relationship between man and nature. With his works, Samuchenko shows the fragile beauty of our planet and the possibility of dialogue in the interaction of man with nature.
Landscape - 2nd Prize:
Kazemi is a self-taught photographer from Iran. In his youth, he was witnessed 8 years of war between Iran and Iraq which influenced his work greatly. Kazemi’s photography is inspired from his life. His work explores happiness and tragedy, war and peace, and the society and the individual.
Wildlife - 1st Prize:
Growing up in Zambia, Chhagan had numerous opportunities to explore the flora and fauna of this region of Africa. He writes, “The serenity of these vast lands and the excitement of spotting wildlife often transpired within me; more so when I found photography (or when photography found me). There is a certain kind of empowerment I feel being able to capture wildlife in its element with the detail and frozen moment that a lens can apprehend.”
Wildlife - 2nd Prize:
A silhouette shot of an adult female Empusa fasciata... “My goal as a photographer is to make people more aware of the beauty that is all around us but often goes unnoticed”.
Climate - 1st Prize:
The Haze Disaster
Manggala Agni and military personnel were seen extinguishing the fire hotspot from peatland fires which are plantation areas in Ogan Komering Ilir, Palembang, Sumatra island, Indonesia. Photo taken on August 23, 2019. El-Nino storms due to global warming have triggered the occurrence of catastrophic fires in peat land and forest areas on the Sumatra Island, Indonesia from 2014-2019.
Climate - 2nd Prize:
Lac Annecy January 2021
In January 2021, the Sirocco (a hot wind, often dusty or rainy, blowing from North Africa across the Mediterranean to southern Europe) traveled from the Sahara to France and spread a cloud of strange yellow sand in the city of Annecy. At the same time, the water level in the lake was overflowing. This picture represents exactly how we were feeling at this period: overwhelmed and lost in the fog with a disturbing horizon.
Conceptual - 1st Prize:
Maria La Sangre
The power of the word
La Sangre playfully places a Hibiscus petal in her mouth, looking like a tongue. She writes that the image is “Self-portrait and magic ritual to empower my voice.”
Conceptual - 2nd Prize:
Human Impact On The Environmen
There are no people in Iana Zholud’s collages. This is done intentionally to show nature, animals and aftermath
of the disaster caused by irresponsible human behavior.
The 2022 winners
1st: Dmytro Kupriyan - Ukraine
— Home #2
From series “Home”
In his series, Home, Kupriyan explores the human environment and our innate need for the opposite. Kupriyan illuminates landscapes and other natural views with projections of buildings or architectural elements on top of them. The resulting images highlight our man-made creations invading the natural world.
2nd: Elena Aya Bundurakis - Greece
— Touching Glutinous II,
From series "Eating Magma"
Bundurakis examines the very idea of being a living organism in her series “Eating Magma”. Through her work, Bundurakis aims to show that at our core, “we all have our vital senses to help us experience this world in a sensuous, cooperative way, along with other organisms.” Her work highlights the importance of observation, a skill that is becoming easily lost in our increasingly over-stimulating world.
3rd: Lorenzo Maccotta - Italy
Air collection and treatment pipes are intersected by a thriving green tree in Maccotta’s “LMA-05”. Here, at the Bresso Niguarda depuration plant in Milan, Maccotta captures the convergence of nature and urban structure.
A Gallery for the Forests
NAVA Contemporary is an art advisory and online gallery showcasing a remarkable collection of original work and limited editions from artists around the world. Always pushing the envelope of creativity, NAVA is partnering with SUGi to build biodiversity through a dedicated offering on Samsung’s Frame Television, a powerful visual platform that turns TV screens into artwork. This innovative collaboration will be extended through the launch of an annual NAVA x SUGi Photographic Arts Contest and Exhibition to support the next generation of photographers in bringing Nature closer to everyone everywhere.
Artist — Natasha Durley
Artist — Henry McCausland
Artist — Henry McCausland
Artist — Grace Helmer