Suffolk-based Gillian Allard wins €150k award and becomes second Sky Arts Master of Photography

Photographic artist and teacher Gillian Allard, based in Suffolk has become the second winner of Sky Arts Master of Photography, Europe's largest photography award. The televised series saw 12 contestants from across Europe take on a series of tasks across eight weeks to demonstrate their skills and abilities in a variety of subjects and genres. 


The contestants for Master of Photography 2017 were:
Viktoria Sorochinski (37,Ukraine) 
Gillian Allard (51,UK)
Martina Biccheri (29,Italy)
Max Brucker (22,Germany)
Niko Giovanni Coniglio (29,Italy) 
Souvid Datta (26,UK)
Wojciech Grzedzinski (37,Poland)
Sohail Karmani (50,UK)
Molly Keane (18,Ireland)
Comewell Puplampu (21,Italy)
Olympe Tits (25,Belgium)
Sonja Thoms (26,Germany) 

The four finalists Gillian Allard, Olympe Tits, Comewell Puplampu and Souvid Datta were each given the final task of travelling to a different location to capture the habits, customs, tradition and lifestyle of an indigenous community. Steve McCurry joined judges Darcy Padilla, Caroline Hunter and Oliviero Toscani as the final episode’s guest photographer.

Click below to see a gallery of Gillians' images from the final task

Speaking about being named as the winner Gillian said:
"When Caroline announced me as the winner, I kind of felt numb, bewildered and excited all at the same time. It has taken a while to sink in and at times I still find it unbelievable, but I am so happy and feel very honoured. I am still rather emotional about it, as it will open up a new future for me and my family and allow a change in direction that I will totally embrace.

"An overwhelming experience at first, Master of Photography allowed my resilience, self-belief and skills to grow and the pressure of the show helped me excel. The guests and judges taught me that although it is, in many situations, the best idea is to follow your instincts, there are times when the advice of others is invaluable. As you get older you can become set in your ways; I think I learnt from my fellow contestants the value of patience, smiling and that being open-hearted and open-minded is a good thing!

"The award will help me pursue some new projects; to visit the Knoydart in Scotland, ‘the last wilderness’ and spend some time photographing there, to revisit my love of film and the darkroom, and I’m planning to start my own photography teaching school."

Master of Photography is a creation of the Sky Arts Production Hub, a commissioning and production centre of excellence dedicated to creating quality arts programmes for Sky’s 21 million customers across the UK and Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria. Will it be back for a third series? We'll keep you posted. 

The whole series is available to watch now on Catch Up TV 

For more information, please visit


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