The winners of the 2015 – 16 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Scholarship Program were selected by a jury of three: Adelina Vlas, Associate Curator, Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario; cheyanne turions, an independent writer, curator and director of No Reading After the Internet and Dave Jordano, winner of the 2015 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize.

Said the jury of the winners’ work:

Catherine Canac-Marquis’ work is characterized by a sophisticated and mature vision. The beautiful structure of her carefully rendered compositions, the ambient light, and her sensitive color palette are hallmarks of an artist who has a confident and commanding grasp of her medium. Throughout the work there is a quiet, contemplative approach but also strong intent which amplifies and addresses issues of conservation, governance, and environmental issues.

Exploring the inherent connection between photography and memory, the work of Jeff Chiu addresses the physical precarity of the medium as informed by his diasporic experience. Chiu manipulates family photographs in an attempt to convey the failure of human memory to make sense of the past in a coherent way. In addition, Chiu shows a profound engagement with ideas in articulating his photographic investigations.

Over a diverse body of work, Alexia-Leana Kokozaki displays a voracious curiosity with what the medium of photography can accomplish, while demonstrating a sustained interest in the limits of contextualization. Her photographs both point outside of the frame and make strange that which appears within it. Her experimental attitude and ability to conjure conversation in the mind of the viewer distinguished Kokozaki among this year’s candidates.

Andi Icaza Largaespada’s work questions what it means to be from a place and how it feels to be shaped by inheritance, while simultaneously exploring the possibilities of occupying pre-existing structures in idiosyncratic ways. For her ability to conjure the political stakes of representation, we are pleased to recognize Largaespada’s practice through the first ever honourable mention for the AIMIA Scholarship program.
- cheyanne turions, Dave Jordano, Adelina Vlas

The winners are:

Catherine Canac-Marquis

Catherine Canac-Marquis, Glory fades from the series, The Keepers, 2015-2016, Inkjet print

Catherine Canac-Marquis is from Quebec City where she studied graphic design before living in Reykjavik, Iceland for several months. Now living in Montreal, she is finishing up her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in photography at Concordia University. In 2015, she received two bursaries for academic excellence. She was selected to take part in the most recent edition of the Concordia Photography Collective and her work has been presented in several group exhibitions in Montreal and Toronto. She works with medium format cameras.

(Concordia University)

Jeff Chiu

Jeff Chiu, Ghost Money, 2015, Archival Inkjet Print

Jeff Chiu was born in Toronto, Ontario and his parents were born somewhere in the rural regions of China. Chiu’s work currently serves as a guide that navigates an ongoing understanding of the diasporic second-generation immigrant. He is currently pursuing a BFA at Ryerson University's School of Image Arts.

(Ryerson University)

Alexia-Leana Kokozaki

Alexia-Leana Kokozaki, Tulle, Plastic, Pebbles (And Light), 2015, Digital photogram

Alexia-Leana Kokozaki is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Ottawa. Her work in photography and installation involves recontextualizing familiar objects and figures within anomalous spaces or narratives in order to create images that trigger curiosity and perplexity. She is interested in the juxtaposition of differential elements as well as in the questions that can arise from such pairings. Her photographs appear to belong to both a tangible and intangible reality since what is photographed seems to be malleable and physical yet is unmistakably constructed and unnatural. As such, a certain theatricality and quirk pervade her photographs and her depictions of reality range from direct representation to total abstraction.

(University of Ottawa)

Andi Icaza Largaespada

Andi Icaza Largaespada, Bundle, 2016, C-Print

Andi Icaza Largaespada is a visual artist based in unceded Coast Salish territories, most of the time. She incorporates elements of social research, ethics and sustainability to her multidisciplinary work in the forms of photography, sculpture, and writing. Thematically, Andi’s practice observes modes of belonging and resistance, searching for the possibilities within tensions. Her latest exhibition addressed socio-ecological parasitism, and it happened in Managua, Nicaragua, where she grew up and spends most of the rest of her time. Andi is currently pursuing a BFA at Simon Fraser University's School for Contemporary Arts, and was the recipient for their Canon Canada Prize in 2015 and their Tanabe/Thorne Annual Award in 2016.

(Simon Fraser University)