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First Edition Book Award 2015

Exhibition of the winning 2015 books on now

First Edition Book Award 2015

We are thrilled to announce that 2015 marks the first annual awarding of the First Edition Book Awards, sponsored by Toronto Metropolitan University Library Special Collections. The awardees this year are  Evan Hutchinson, Lodoe Laura, Lucy Lu, Emily Pleasance, Kristina Smith, Imogen Wallis-Mayer, and Rebecca Zynomirski. Their books are currently on display in Special Collections, on the 4th floor of the Toronto Metropolitan University Library on Gould Street.

As part of MPS507, a required 3rd year Image Arts class in The Photographic Book at Ryerson, students are to conceive of and create their own photobook featuring their original work.

Double page spread with a portrait of a woman and text telling her story
Stateless, by Lodoe Laura, foreward by Tashi Wangdi, 2014. Lodoe Laura’s first photo book, Stateless, attempts to tackle the notion of identity of the stateless Tibetans in Northern India.
Two page spread of a photo book, black and white abstract photo on right hand page and white hard cover book with black numbers on the cover.
43.7000 79.4000, by Evan Hutchinson, 2014. Departing from straight photography to more of a multi media approach, Hutchinson’s photos discuss and address the idea of identification, perception and self-reflection. Hutchinson strive to challenge the viewer’s perspective, allowing them to question what they are seeing and how they define what they are observing.
Double page spread, beach scene with blue sky and a woman in a bathing suit holding an elaborate cocktail and cover of the book, a photographs of the water in a blue swimming pool
Sheila’s Tropical Vacation, by Rebecca Zynormirski, 2014 “This project began with the realization that I had never gone on a tropical vacation before. I felt strongly like I had experienced one but the truth was, the closest I had gotten to this experience was though images. Images found in magazines and through friends. I wanted to experience this first hand but I didn’t have the resources. Instead, I created a fictional lady named Sheila who I would send off to experience the Tropical Vacation that I was familiar with. Using appropriated familiar Tropical Vacation imagery I created backdrops which allowed me to construct a new reality, one that I had experienced though the repetitive, monotonous imagery that I often saw in magazines and on the Internet. I played the role of Sheila performing in front of these tableaus combining truth and fiction, narrative and reality.” –Page 4.
Cover and spine of a book entitled Memories of Nowhere and double page spread with two cyan photographs, a portrait of a shirtless man wearing an animal mask.
Memories of Nowhere, by Lucy Lu, 2014 There is one distant set of images in mind from my childhood, perhaps it is my first memory, or perhaps it isn’t one at all. It had become so obscured that sometimes I am convinced that it’s actually a dream I’m remembering all along. It is strange to consider how the mind reconstructs and recalls the past, whether it is actualized history or fleeting narratives of the subconscious.” — page 66.

The Library will purchase the top five books in the class each year, as judged by the professor, Christopher Manson, and the Special Collections Curatorial Specialist, Alison Skyrme. The books are judged at an exhibition of the books at the end of the semester. For evaluation, particular attention will be paid to design, sequencing, and integration of images and text. The books are catalogued and held in Special Collections. They are available for reference by students and the public for research.

The Award was established to honour Ryerson photography students who have made exceptional achievements in photobook production. It provides incentive for them to achieve early recognition that will have a lasting legacy in our collection.

Double page spread, 2 black and white photos of abstract figure studies
An Ambiguous Form, by Imogen Wallis-Mayer, 2014 “In this series of photographs of the female body has been redefined; it has been contorted, lit, and manipulated to form juxtaposing images ranging from vast rounded landscapes to detailed macroscopic views. Both techniques force the viewer to disregard their previous understanding of the body as a physical structure, including the bones, flesh, and organs, of a person and instead observe the body as an ambiguous form, comprised of shadow and light, curves, and lines.”– cover page.
Open portfolio, title page reading My Relative LIfe , a small booklet titled My Relative Life The Archives, colour photograph of a family portrait projected on a backyard fence
My Relative Life: A Mapping of Memories, by Emily Pleasance, 2014
Emily Pleasance’s work explores themes of memory, time, identity, perception and the archive. Her introduction to art and art culture was primarily classical mediums such as paints, pastels, and sculpture. This background allows her to approach photography in a unique way. She recognizes light as the true medium of photography in the same way as paint is the truest form and medium in a painting. Having this type of awareness makes light itself her biggest visual inspiration.
Hardcover book, abstract orange background with the title Orillia and Double page spread, urban scene of a sidewalk, lawn and metal staircase on the left, cardboard box and garbage bags on the right
Orillia : A Photographic Exploration, By Kristina Smith, 2014 Orillia is a book documenting the smaller details of everyday scenes often unnoticed on routine journeys throughout the city. The photos lend a truthful eye to the place; mundane scenes with a quirky appeal that often go unnoticed. The interaction between the natural environment and urban developments are a common throughout. With over sixty photographs and captions the book offers an opportunity to pause and see banal everyday scenes in a different light.