Steph Fuller – 2023 Winner

As the winner of the 2023 Dawn Slade-Faull Award, Steph Fuller will be supported to explore new contexts in her art practice. She has been working in emotive black and white photographic imagery, with details hidden in dark tones. However, chronic illness led to a shift in focus, as she explores her difficulty navigating an invisible illness and coming to terms with suddenly occupying a different place in the world.

Previously unquestioned conventions of photography – the subject at arm’s length, behind glass – seemed to echo the experience of being isolated and ‘othered’ by illness. She felt prompted to push beyond the wall-based, two-dimensional work, and plans to experiment with photographic materials and found objects, and ultimately interrogate her medium to best convey the depth of her recent experiences.

Emerging from a period that effectively put her art practice on pause, Steph now has a better understanding of her health and limitations, seeing these new limitations more as a productive ‘restraint’ that could inform her work. Her imagery engages the viewer by evoking profound emotions through purposeful lighting and attention to micro detail.