Caroline Purnell, from Swindon, saw her picture on display at London’s Proud Camden gallery on 18 June at a glittering awards ceremony.
The 23 year old winner in this year’s Mencap Snap! competition was presented with a top of the range Fujifilm camera by Alex Proud, gallery owner (pictured below). Caroline’s photo and all the other winning pictures will be on display at Proud Camden from now until 6 July 2008.
The award’s evening was a glamorous affair, with Sarah Lark and Keisha Amposa-Banson, from BBC1’s ‘I’d do anything’ show, and Adam Child from Channel 4’s ‘Shipwrecked’ programme, stopping by to congratulate the winners.
Caroline Purnell won a gold award in the A day in my life category. Her mother Sarah, comments:
“I think it’s a lovely picture. Because Caroline can’t speak and was looking in the mirror, there’s an inquisitiveness that comes across. Caroline tends to look very intently into people’s faces, which some people can find off-putting, but it’s how she works out who people are and finds out about the world.
“It’s nice that there are captions under the photos. I think there’s a limited understanding of learning disability, but it’s getting better. The only way people will accept people with a learning disability is by spending more time with them.”
Snap! is Mencap’s photo and story competition, now in its sixth year. The competition, run by the UK’s leading learning disability charity, showcases the talents of people with a learning disability through photographs and inspiring stories to increase understanding of learning disability by those closest to it. The photographs are either taken by or feature someone with a learning disability and are accompanied by a short descriptive story.
Judges for this year’s competition included, iconic fashion and celebrity photographer, Rankin (pictured right); Alex Proud, founder of Proud Galleries in London; and Eamonn McCabe, photographer and former picture editor of the Guardian.
Alex Proud comments: “The quality and depth of work is stunning. In my whole life of working in photography, I don't think any set of photos has ever made me laugh, cry, gasp or admire quite so much.”
Snap! is sponsored by Fujifilm and supported by The Sorrell Foundation. For more information on Snap! visit www.mencap.org.uk/snap.