Chrystel Lebas and Mike Perry were winners in the 25th Garden of the Year Photographic competition. Chrystel Lebas won in the best photographic group category and Mike Perry won in the best individual photograph category.
On Monday, 16 November 2009 the winners of the Garden of the Year Award 25th Anniversary Photographic Competition were announced: Chrystel Lebas for the best photographic group, and Mike Perry for the best individual photograph.
At the beginning of the Summer, a select group of professional photographers of the highest calibre were invited to take part in the competition, taking photographs of the past winners of the Garden of the Year Award, sponsored by Christie’s and the Historic Houses Association. The photographs were judged by a panel of experts for their originality and beauty, and measured by their success at capturing the essence of each garden in its historic setting. An inaugural exhibition at Christie’s of the photographs, including the winning entries will continue until Wednesday, 18 November 2009, and reopen at Christie’s King Street again in January. The exhibition will then be transported to Blenheim Palace, the most recent winners of the award itself, where it will remain for the first month of their visiting season.
Ricky Roundell, Vice Chairman, Christie’s said, “There is an exceptional degree of innovation and an extraordinary variety of approach illustrated in the photographs submitted for the 25th anniversary Garden of the Year Award photographic competition and exhibition sponsored by Christie's and the Historic Houses Association. The photographers have produced a wonderful array of concepts from wide views to close-ups, beautifully capturing the diversity displayed in these famous English gardens. The exhibition is a great testament to the dedication and enthusiasm of the gardeners and owners of each Garden of the Year Award winner from the last twenty-five years. The public exhibition of photographs at Christie's King Street is the perfect celebration of twenty-five years of the award, of the gardens, and the photographers who have captured their spirit and beauty so well.
Philippe Garner, International Head of Photographs and 20th Century Decorative Art & Design, Christie’s said, “We decided to invite a number of photographers who weren’t necessarily garden photographers, but whom we felt we could trust to tackle the subject with confidence and express a very personal perspective. We wanted variety: photographers who work on an ambitious or heroic scale and also those whose approach would be more intimate; we wanted colour but also black and white. The aim was to achieve a group of works that would surprise and stimulate, and I have found the outcome immensely satisfying. Christie’s business is in selling works of art that already exist, but there is something special and exciting about bringing new works into being.
Chrystel Lebas, Photographer, Winner of the best photographic group said, “As the owner Alastair MacDonald Buchanan took me around Cottesbrooke Hall I saw children playing and running around the wild garden. This inspired me to take a more lucid approach, concentrating on the magic behind such a dense and at the same time, man-made space. The Garden of the Year Award photographic competition has been a great adventure, taking me to a variation of avenues and explorations which I didn't expect. I have to confess that I am not an expert in gardening, however I did learn a few things, especially that a garden is in constant change according to the seasons – bulbs burst into alien forms and then transform into resplendent colour until finally die to be replaced by another variety of flower.
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