Winnipeg photographer Sarah Anne Johnson has won the inaugural Grange Prize for contemporary photography. Announced last year, the prize considers work from both Canadian and international contemporary photographers. This year, Johnson and Quebec photographer Raymonde April were in competition with three Chinese photographers: Miao Xiaochun, Huang Yan and Liu Zheng. A unique feature of the prize is that the winner is determined by public voting on the website www.thegrangeprize.com.
In this year’s competition, Johnson received 53 percent of 2,700 votes cast from Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Australia, India, Turkey, Greece, the United States and the UK. Tree-planting experience in British Columbia and travels to the Galapagos Islands have led Johnson to explore the link between labour and utopia, community and landscape. Johnson holds a BFA from the University of Manitoba and an MFA from Yale. She lives and works in Winnipeg.