The Judges

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REFOCUS: The Castlegate mima Photography Prize, saw Sarah Pickering selected as winner to produce a work for this prestigious biennial photography prize by an esteemed panel of judges including: Aaron Schuman independent curator and editor of online photography magazine Seesaw, Charlotte Mullins, writer and broadcaster and Anna Dannemann, curator The Photographer’s Gallery, London. 

Aaron-WebAARON SCHUMAN  is an artist, writer, editor and curator.  His photographic work has been exhibited and published internationally, and is held in a number of public and private collections. Schuman is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton and the Arts University Bournemouth, and is the founder and editor of SeeSaw Magazine.

Schuman is a regular contributor to publications such as Frieze, Aperture, Foam, Hotshoe, Photoworks, TIME, The British Journal of Photography, and more; he has also published essays in several recent books, including The Photographer’s Playbook (Aperture, 2014), Storyteller: The Photographs of Duane Michals (Prestel, 2014), C-Photo: Observed (IvoryPress, 2013), Photographs Not Taken (Daylight, 2012), Words Without Pictures (Aperture, 2010), and others.

Judge Aaron Schuman writes: “Sarah Pickering’s proposal, and ultimately her commissioned work, represent the spirit of the REFOCUS Prize at its best. In exploring and invoking one small but incredibly important aspect of Stockton’s own heritage – which ultimately proved to have a profound and lasting impact internationally  - it emphasises the vital relationship between the local and the global, the historical and the contemporary, and the artist and the community, both preserving and embodying the lasting legacy of Stockton’s own inventiveness and creativity in a myriad of fascinating ways.”



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DR CHARLOTTE MULLINS is an art historian, writer and broadcaster. Picturing People, her latest book on contemporary figurative painting, will be published by Thames & Hudson in September 2015.

A former editor of Art Review, V&A Magazine and Art Quarterly, she has written over ten books on visual art including monographs on Karin Hanssen and Jan Vanriet (Lannoo, 2014) and Painting People (Thames & Hudson, 2006).

She has written on art for the Telegraph, Financial Times and specialist titles for many years, and is a regular contributor to BBC arts programmes including Front Row, Free Thinking and Saturday Review.

Her most recent radio documentary for BBC Radio 4 explored the life and work of artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey. Charlotte studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art and Sotheby’s Institute in London, and completed her doctorate on the impact of photography on travel imagery in the nineteenth century at the University of Sussex/National Maritime Museum in 2012 (AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award holder).

Judge Charlotte Mullins writes: “Sarah Pickering has successfully fused together the history of the local area with her own practice to create an arresting image that will engage passers-by (and hopefully ignite more than a few imaginations!)”


023e521c4a908d4f1212672279a771c1_wide (1)ANNA DANNEMANN is part of the exhibitions team at The Photographers’ Gallery in London.

Among other projects, she has curated the touring exhibition Work, Rest and Play – British Photography from 1960 to today (2015, ongoing), Charlotte Dumas’ exhibition Anima & The Widest Prairies (2015), Viviane Sassen’s exhibition Analemma (2014), exhibitions of the photographic work of acclaimed writer and cult figure William Burroughs and filmmaker David Lynch.

She has also worked on different exhibitions and publications including projects at the Museum of Everything; Green Cardamom, London; Martin-Gropius-Bau and KW, Berlin.

Judge Anna Dannemann writes: “Judging this unique Prize was a challenging and rewarding experience. Sarah Pickering’s concept and particular visual language caught my attention with the powerful contrast of the black backdrop and the sharp light emitted from the match.

“Particularly with the historical context of the Stockton area in mind, this project seems extremely fitting for the Refocus commission. I cannot wait to see the resulting work in situ.”

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