London-based photographer Jooney Woodward’s affinity for diverse landscapes and the open road has drawn her to Wales for the last 10 years. With rugged landscapes and a multitudinous sheep population, the country of the ancient Britons offers itself as a geographical treasure chest for the photographer. Wandering from one village to the next, Woodward captures many a singular personality to be found at community events. She also reveals Wales’ less considered landscapes beyond epic views of snowy peaks and deep-set valleys.
In her recent work Jooney explores the spirit of Wales’ agricultural shows. In the openness of the atmosphere the photographer observes each potential subject unawares before approaching them. Jooney presents to us a real-life cast whose idiosyncrasies appear amplified ten-fold and frozen in the most emphatic of facial expressions. At times such a result relies solely on the spontaneity of the first frame.
It is in the singular instant of the nine year-old’s clasp of a Vimto can, or the cross-legged lean of the young equestrian; the poker-face of the pensioner card-player, or the furrowed stare of the bulldog breeder that Woodward portrays the warm confidence of a community which remains largely foreign to the UK’s urban population.
Woodward is the winner of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011.
This post was contributed by educator and writer Alessandra McAllister.