News Lights, Camera, Climate Action! 20.01.2023

Students from Collyer’s photography department are celebrating national success at the Take Climate Action competition run by Middlesex University London.

Laura Andrews, Assistant Director of Faculty and Head of Photography at Collyer’s, explained: “The university ran a series of events for students in years 10-13 from schools and colleges across the country. The events and competitions were designed to inspire, empower, and support young people to take climate action.

“Students at Collyer’s jumped at the chance to take part in a judged competition to spread awareness of climate action through the medium of photography.”

Winners were announced via a virtual event, hosted by Steph Berry, student liaison for Middlesex University, who was joined by Counsellor Anne Clarke, London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden. Judges included the Arts Faculty marketing officer, a Middlesex University graduate, and a lecturer on the BA (Hons) Photography course. Students from Collyer’s photography department swept the board in the competition, winning a record third, second, and even the overall first prize!

Laura Andrews said: “The judges told us they were ‘blown away’ by the great standard of work, that it was a pleasure to look through the submissions, and the young peoples’ passion really came across.”

Third place was awarded to Victoria Ward, with the judges “impressed with how she interpreted the brief” and how the lovely piece of work was “incredibly professional” in its construction. Victoria Ward said: “I’m proud of this photo and the meaning behind it. I am passionate about climate change and hope this image shares the need to act now.”

Second was Izzy Gwynn, for her collaged piece which contrast natural and manmade environments in colour and black and white. The judges said “Izzy has obviously thought about her ideas, the structure of the images and placement and relationship between the two landscapes. It was a very well written concept too.”

First place was presented to Erin Owen by Will Larkin, who teaches on the BA course at Middlesex University. Will said: “It was a difficult decision; the entries were very impressive, and we were taken back by them. Erin’s winning photograph was compelling and attractive, it has an edge and the sense of something that is being lost. The concept was well articulated and communicates her thoughts about the environment.”

Erin said: “I’m so delighted to have been given the opportunity to use my creative skills to draw attention to a serious matter, and hopefully raise some awareness surrounding climate change and its effects on the environment through my work.”

Steph Berry said: “Middlesex wanted to support young people to help raise the green agenda, as a university we are focussed on placing sustainability at the forefront of our action.”

Collyer’s photography teacher and Head of BTEC Creative Media, Rebecca Moon, was thrilled: “We are so proud of all the students that entered, and especially the talented young creatives that were selected as winners and runners up. It is fantastic to use photography to take climate action now.”

The photography department were awarded £100 in book vouchers from the university, and the students received certificates and prizes including Polaroid Go Starter Set, vlogging light, tripods, and phone camera lenses.

Deputy Principal Steve Martell said: “Huge thanks to Middlesex University, Laura Andrews, and Rebecca Moon for creating this wonderful opportunity for our students to showcase their photographic talents and to promote climate change on a national stage. Isobel, Erin, and Victoria are a credit to our brilliant photography department, and the Collyer’s community.”


Grey tower blocks overlaid with images of blue skies and rolling green hillspair of hands holding flowers and dripping with honey