Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The Mo Wilson Memorial DocPhot Award

This is the first public notice of a new Documentary Photography Award in memory of Mo, jointly issued by The University of Wales, Newport, where Mo studied, and by Mo's estate.

Press Release: April 26th 2011

The Mo Wilson Memorial Award for Documentary Photography, The University of Wales, Newport

The Newport School of Art, Media and Design is proud to announce that it will join in partnership with the estate of the acclaimed photographer Mo Wilson to offer an award for excellence for an emerging student within the subject area of documentary photography.

The award will be offered on an annual basis and, in the first instance, will recognise and enable a student to develop a body of work that embodies and extends aspects of Mo Wilson's photographic practice and concerns - namely a strong story telling and narrative and a clear sense of social and regional inclusion.

It is envisioned that this award will be granted at the start of each academic year to enable a final year student to progress a body of work along these aims. Eligibility will relate to a student's previous portfolio and stated aims of their final year of study. It is hoped that this award will, in future years, broaden out into an established granting award within the portfolio of photography at Newport.

Mo Wilson studied Documentary Photography at Newport graduating in 1989. She immediately distinguished herself with photography that was rich and vibrant and drew attention from national and international publications that showcased her work and supported her extended projects - many of which were exhibited and featured in overviews of contemporary practice of this period. Mo's engagement with and fascination for aspects of social life within South East Wales marks her as an important chronicler and champion for this region and her contribution to the visual culture of Wales should not be ignored or undervalued.

The University would like to thank Mo's Estate for this generous opportunity to establish an award in her honour and we offer this announcement together on the anniversary of her passing - April 26th.

Further details of this proposed award can be found at www.mowilson.co.uk or by contacting Geraint Cunnick, Head of Fine Art and Photography at The University of Wales, Newport on 01633432693 or at geraint.cunnick@newport.ac.uk


Friday, 30 April 2010

Mo Wilson died on Monday 26th of April 2010. She was the partner of Brian Morgan who, along with family and friends was with Mo when she passed away peacefully at Velindre hospital in Cardiff after a two year struggle with a brain tumour.

Mo was born in Tillicoultry, Scotland, the daughter of Patrick and Margaret Wilson. She is survived by her niece Nina, sister Maggie and brother Chris. Mo spent much of her younger years travelling the world.

Mo went on to become a professional freelance photographer. In the 1980’s she came to study documentary photography at Newport under renowned Magnum member David Hurn. As well as working for Britain’s top magazines and newspapers, Mo’s work has been exhibited widely in galleries in the UK, including Cardiff and bought by the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff, the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth and for South Glamorgan County Council art collection.

Mo created some astounding images that gave an insight into communities and characters across Britain. But as well as falling in love with a Welshman, Mo fell in love with Wales; her many photo essays of Riverside where she and Brian lived, reveal the strong connection she had with her local community.

Throughout her illness Mo continued to help a group of teenage mothers and fathers in the South Wales valleys produce an annual magazine about their lives – a project she had worked on for eight years.

Mo had a vast circle of friends and was the life and soul of the party. Her sense of style and pride in the way she dressed will be remembered by all who saw her. She loved music and music festivals, but most of all Mo loved people; when she went to WOMAD dozens of her friends went too! She lived life to the full, was so caring, a fabulous conversationalist who will be sadly missed.

Mo’s funeral is on Saturday 15th May 2010 at 11.15am, Thornhill, Cardiff with an open-invitation celebration of her life afterwards at her Riverside house. Flowers from family only please. There will be a collection for the Samantha Dickson Tumour Trust at the funeral. Cheques to be made out to the funeral director, who will forward them in Mo's name to the trust. If you aren't able to attend the funeral and still wish to donate, please send your cheque to the funeral director by post and he will forward them in Mo's name to the trust. The address for the funeral director is:
Green Willow Funeral Homes
33 St Isan Road
CF14 4LU

Mo's friends and family would like to thank the many of you who have sent cards, messages of goodwill, flowers and food.

Tributes to Mo can be left on this blog posting below by clicking on the word "comments" at the end of this text. You will then be able to read other people's tributes and add your own at the end of these.