Gavin snaps up top photography awards

An Edinburgh College HND Photography student is enjoying double success after scooping two industry awards.

Gavin Smart was named Scottish Student of the Year 2018 at the Master Photographers Association (MPA) Awards 2018.

His winning image ‘Identity’ was inspired by, and features, his close friend and actress, Daisy Grant, and focuses on gender fluidity and dispelling labels and social categories.

Gavin’s fellow student Lance Aikman Green was also commended by the Masters Photography Association, picking up the Student Award of Excellence for his ‘Elvis B’ image. Elvis B was part of a personal project Lance was working on with an aspiring model.

It was success all round for the college as three of its BA Professional Photography students Marta Drozdz, Danny Smith and Agnieska Nawrocka were also awarded Merits by the MPA at this year’s ceremony.

Gavin’s MPA win comes less than a week after he picked up a Fine Art Photography Award for his Through the Mouse Hole series of images, inspired by Tom and Jerry and The Borrowers.

Gavin received the accolade in the Open Theme category for his images which depict a young girl who finds herself in the home of a small mouse, living behind the skirting board in the family home.

Gavin said: “The main character is inspired by Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands, a loveable outsider who struggles to deal with the real world, and seeks solace in the world of fantasy. It’s partly autobiographical, as when the world becomes difficult and things become too much, fantasy and model making have always been a comfort to me.

“The awards are a great recognition of my hard work. I’ve put a lot of time and emotional investment into my work, particularly my Through the Mouse Hole series as I built all the models, props and scale sets by hand with my father. The course at Edinburgh College has helped tremendously with my professional development and the team of lecturers continue to push and inspire me.”

Edinburgh College photography lecturer Jon Lee said: “All the lecturers in the Photography department congratulate Gavin on his award wins. He has been studying in our department for two years and has always produced excellent work, the awards are very well deserved. Congratulations, too, to Lance, Marta, Danny and Agnieska on their recognition. It is fantastic that the high-quality, professional-standard work produced by students at the college is being celebrated.”