Monday 23 September 2013

I've Won a Photography Competition!

OK, that heading is a tad misleading. I was, more accurately, a runner-up in a photography competition, being pipped for first place by two little girls. Josie and Maggie Horneff, aged 7 and 10, were the overall winners in the competition run by the Horniman Musuem, in Forest Hill, which involved taking a toy walrus on holiday and photographing it. You can see their lovely photograph here on the Horniman website.

I visited the Horniman on the first day of a short break I took last month and decided to enter the competition. This was partly because I like taking photos, partly because it sounded like a lot of fun, and partly because the walrus toys, on sale in the museum shop, are exceedingly cute.

My walrus went away with me to Somerset, where I photographed it at Stanton Drew Stone Circle on a misty morning, as you can see above.  I was really delighted when I heard I was one of the winners of the competition last week.

The Horniman Museum has issued a press release, and here it is:
Josie and Maggie win wandering walrus photo competition
Forest Hill girls Josie Horneff, 7, and sister Maggie, 10, have scooped first prize in the Horniman’s summer photo competition with their snap of a cuddly walrus scaling the Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona.

The competition, to celebrate the loan of the Horniman Museum and Gardens’ iconic stuffed walrus to the Turner Contemporary in Margate, has seen the toy walruses travel more than 35,000 miles – about 1.5 times around the circumference of the Earth – to be photographed enjoying their summer holidays.

Josie and Maggie were given their toy walrus, named Wilba, by their Aunty Sara. Josie says ‘It was great fun being with Wilba the Walrus in Spain. He loved Barcelona, the beach and his favourite ice cream was oreo-flavoured. We really miss the walrus at the museum and can't wait for him to come home.’

Adrian Murphy from the Horniman Museum and Gardens says: ‘The wandering walruses have been snapped as far afield as Alaska and Guam, as well as enjoying plenty of staycations here in the UK. We liked Josie and Maggie’s image because, like our own walrus, the Sagrada Familia is a graceful, soaring construction – and it’s a great fun photo! Congratulations to them and all our finalists.’

Josie and Maggie also won the ‘best creative use of photography’ category for their panoramic shot of 11 walruses at Tarragona amphitheatre in Spain. The other finalists are:

• Lucya Starza, from Bromley borough, for ‘Walrus in the mist’, taken at Stanton Drew Stone Circle, Somerset
• Alisa Owens, of Forest Hill, for her photo of a toy walrus in front of the Belgrade’s Cathedral of Sava, taken during a 3,500-mile motorbike tour of Europe
• an anonymous snap of a walrus meeting the locals in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Islands
• and Brockley’s Kirsty Connell and Seumas Skinner who documented the travels of Horace Walrus in Horace’s very own blog.

The finalists are all invited to a special tea party to welcome the walrus home to the Horniman.

Josie and Maggie also win a £20 gift voucher to spend in the Horniman shop.
The real Horniman walrus – in all his one-ton, over-stuffed glory – is now back in Forest Hill and I'm looking forward to seeing him when I go there to enjoy the tea party!

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