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Artist Dominic Harper awarded for Deal Boxing Day Dip Collage at Turner Contemporary art competition, Portfolio

By Eleanor Perkins

An artist has been awarded a prize for his ‘rebellious’ photograph of Deal's Boxing Day Dip.

Dominic Harper, of Claremont Road, Deal, topped the community category in the Turner Contemporary’s annual art competition, Portfolio.

The member of SEAS (South East Artists) submitted a photograph collage of more than 100 snaps taken at last year’s dip.

Dominic Harper's prizewinning photo collage of the Boxing Day Dip in Deal can be seen at the Turner in Margate from June 27 until August and then at Canterbury Cathedral
Dominic Harper's prizewinning photo collage of the Boxing Day Dip in Deal can be seen at the Turner in Margate from June 27 until August and then at Canterbury Cathedral

The competition’s 2019 theme was Art Rebels and he felt his entry displayed the overwhelming turnout to the festive charity swim.

He said: “It contains many hundreds of people involved, both swimmers and spectators, with lots of detail visible in the original work, 1.5m across.

“It was made with a digital camera and long lens.

“The separate images were collaged into one image in Photoshop, with the computer struggling towards the end."

Using trial and error, it took him several weeks.

He continued: “I’ve exhibited some of the individual photos of the Boxing Day swim before but these didn’t really get the feel of such an overwhelming event.

“On the other hand, a single photo of the whole scene didn’t convey the detail of the various incidents that happen over the course of an hour or two.

“To me it has the feel of large paintings of events you may see in the Groenigemuseum in Bruges or the National Gallery in London but technically is closer to Andreas Gursky’s large composite photos.”

Dominic Harper
Dominic Harper

BBC radio presenter Gemma Cairney and illustrator Lizzy Steward were among the panel of judges, with the winners announced last Wednesday.

Karen Eslea, Head of Learning and Visitor Experience says: “Portfolio is a celebration of creativity in Kent.

“From young people to teachers and community groups, the range of artworks submitted is always inspiring and of an exceptionally high standard.

“With the decline of the arts in the curriculum, Portfolio is an important way of sparking creativity in classrooms and beyond.”

Mr Harper’s work, alongside other winners, will be on display at the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate from June 27 until early August and then at Canterbury Cathedral and other venues.

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