We are pleased to announce that Martin Toft has been shortlisted for the Professional Discovery category at the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards with his project, The Seaflower Venture. The Sony World Photography Award is one of the world’s leading photography competitions with a total prize fund of $30,000 (USD) and this year, had a record breaking 319,561 entries from 201 countries around the world. A selection of Martin’s images will be exhibited as part of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at London’s Somerset House from the 20th April - 6th May.
Arthouse Jersey supported Martin with a research grant to develop The Seaflower Venture in Canada in 2017, enabling him to commence research in the National Archives and to begin production of the new work on the G?spe Coast.
The Seaflower Venture is a transatlantic project exploring the fictional and non-fictional story of Charles Robin, Jersey’s premier fish merchant through a photographic discourse that probe the island’s maritime identity and mercantile links with Canada during the very profitable cod-trade in the 18th and 19th centuries. Martin has just returned from Spain and Portugal visiting ports on the Iberian Coast where Jersey merchants in the past traded codfish for other Mediterranean and exotic commodities. He is currently researching in archives on both sides of the Atlantic and planning to visit the West Indies and South America this summer to explore further trade routes established by Charles Robin and other fish merchants in places such as Brazil, Honduras and Belize.
Martin is actively looking to secure further funding to continue the work with the intention of publishing a photobook in 2020 at the completion of the project. Visit his website to view more images from The Seaflower Venture.