Award winners announced for the International Photography Exhibition 161

09 October 2018


We are excited to announce the award winners for the 161st edition of the International Photography Exhibition (IPE 161), the world’s longest running photographic exhibition.


The winners are Catherine Hyland (Gold Award), Christopher Bethell (under 30’s Gold Award), Alys Tomlinson (Silver Award) and Oli Kellett (Bronze Award). 

7327 entries were submitted to the open-call from over 60 countries including UK, USA, Australia, Brazil, Russia and Indonesia from which 189 were selected for a shortlist. The final selection was made from prints. 54 photographers were selected to exhibit in the IPE 161 touring exhibition which will open at the RPS’s new building in Bristol early next year, before travelling to Birmingham, London, Dublin and Hull. 

Selections were made by an esteemed panel comprising of curator and founding editor of online magazine Photomonitor Christiane Monarchi, photographer Jack Latham, documentary photographer Jon Tonks, photographer and professor Karen Knorr FRPS and artist, writer, editor and lecturer in photography Aaron Schuman. The selection panel praised the freshness, variety and consistent high quality of entries and winners whom demonstrate photography executed to the highest standard. 

“Our selection panel was truly impressed with the number of interesting photographs submitted, and I believe we created an engaging exhibition across a wide spectrum of genres.” – Christiane Monarchi

Panel member Jack Latham comments on the award winners, “Whether it is photographing crossroads in America as the world waits to see what leaders do next, reflecting on the space of spiritual contemplation or how we, as a society, deal with climate change. Each of these photographers have demonstrated that photography is as relevant a tool as any other to reflect on our time in history.”

The panel was also pleased to welcome a large quantity of works submitted by female photographers. 

“The winners reflect ongoing trends in contemporary documentary photography, developed by a new generation of photographers who are extending the vocabulary using the medium in a profound and reflective way. The attention to detail and selection of images submitted by the winners made us pause. I was impressed by the crafting and care dedicated to the photographic image.” – Karen Knorr FRPS. 

View the 54 photographers exhibiting in the IPE 161 online. #ipe161 #royalphotographicsociety


IPE 161 Tour Dates: 

RPS, Bristol, dates TBC
Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham, 30 March to 12 May 2019
Royal Albert Hall, London, 22 May to 23 June 2019
Municipal Gallery, dlr LexIcon, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, 5 July to 4 September 2019
HIP Fest (Hull International Photo Festival), 4 - 27 October 2019


The IPE is proudly supported by creativehub

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Lead image © Catherine Hyland, Maddens Wind Farm (left), The Gardener (right)

Below is a selection of the winners' images, view all winning photographs plus a small selection from the exhibition in this gallery

U30s GOLD AWARD WINNER Christopher Bethell. Coney Island

© Christopher Bethell, Coney Island


SILVER AWARD WINNER Alys Tomlinson. Odrynki© Alys Tomlinson, Odrynki


BRONZE AWARD WINNER Oli Kellett. Cross Road Blues. Hubbard St Chicago

© Oli Kellett, Cross Road Blues (Hubbard St Chicago)


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