Museum's documentary photography exhibition open for entries

Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon

The Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon's popular annual Documentary Photography Open competition has been launched with the theme of 'Speaking Out: Changing Times'.

The competition is free to enter for participants over the age of 14, including amateurs, professionals, and photography groups. Entries are now being accepted and the winning entry will receive a prize of £300 from competition sponsors, Jamaica Press.

This year's theme asks entrants to comment on the recent political, social and environmental events that are affecting northern Devon. Whether that is documenting the strength shown in communities, the changes affecting the region's towns, villages and countryside or local protests about national or worldwide interests – entrants can focus on whatever this theme means to them.

Successful applicants will feature in the exhibition showcasing contemporary photography from across northern Devon. Selected exhibition images will gain further exposure online as part of the museum's digital marketing through their website, social media and mailing lists.

Museum Curator, Alison Mills says "Our aim is to provide a platform for everyone interested in photography, whether they are amateurs or established professionals looking to improve their exposure and help document northern Devon. We hope to inspire people to carry on the tradition of documentary photography in the area. 

"With over fifty five thousand people visiting the museum every year, our aim is to help promote and inspire future documentary photographers. Each year we will have a different theme drawing on the museum’s inspirational photography collections."

Successful entries will be showcased in an exhibition between Saturday 10 February and Wednesday 13 March 2024. During the exhibition’s duration, a public vote will be held within the community gallery and the image with the most votes by the closing date of the exhibition will be awarded with a £300 prize kindly donated by Jamaica Press to help further the photographer’s practice. One standout piece from the exhibition will be selected by the Museum team to enter into the Museum’s digital archive, continuing to help to document North Devon and its people.

Submitted pictures must have been taken in the area of North Devon, including Torridge, Lundy Island, and Exmoor.

Before submitting, entrants should read the photography open’s guidelines on the museum website. The deadline for submissions is Friday 5 January.

Please email with any queries.