Ioanna Sakellaraki (b.1989) is a Greek artist based between Brussels and London. She is currently undertaking her PhD in Visual Arts after graduating from an MA Photography from the Royal College of Art in London. Ioanna was awarded with The Royal Photographic Society Postgraduate Bursary Award 2018 and was named Student Photographer of the Year by Sony World Photography Awards 2020. In 2019, she was the recipient of the Reminders Photography Stronghold Grant in Tokyo and the International Photography Grant Creative Prize. Nominations include: the Inge Morath Award by Magnum Foundation, the Prix HSBC, the Prix Levallois and the Prix Voies Off in France.
The Truth is in the Soil is a compelling, intense body of work about grief and mourning rituals in today’s Greek communities. Sparked by her father’s death, her own grieving process became the lens through which to successfully look into the collective mourning in Greek society, the intersection of ancestral rituals, private trauma and passage of time. The beautiful photography brings the viewer in a limbo between the real and the imaginary, having us look into the void of separation and loss.
Elisa Medde, FOAM Magazine
Sakellaraki’s work highlights the ways in which memory and grief go hand in hand. She also explores the connection between professionally performed emotion and photography, as an image often captures a staged moment. Whether impulsive or deliberate, an act is manipulated the moment it is photographed, turned into a scene to be viewed like theatre.
Sophie Gladstone, Wallpaper Magazine
Ioanna’s beautiful series The Truth is in the Soil, shows what layers of grieving look like from her perspective and that of the Greek death rituals she sought to capture and explore after the passing of her own father. What I responded to first was how time, figures, and landscape seem to be flattened in a lot of her imagery. When reading about the series more, it really struck me how she was able to communicate what it looks like when a loved one passes and how they appear in your memories. Do they fade, or do the images of them blend into something new altogether in the process of grieving?
Elizabeth Renstrom, The New Yorker
2023: PhD in Visual Arts, Archiving the Disaster: Preservation, Separation and Encounter, Techne Doctoral Scholarship awarded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, United Kingdom
2020: MA Photography, Royal College of Art, London, United Kingdom
2017: Graduate Diploma Photography, Agnès Varda School of Photography and Visual Techniques, Brussels, Belgium
2012: MA European Urban Cultures, Free University of Brussels, Manchester Metropolitan University, Tilburg University, Estonian Academy of Arts
2011: BA Communication and Media Studies, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece/ Film Studies, Sociolinguistics, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany
Prix HSBC pour la photographie– Finalist
Belfast Exposed Futures Artists 2020– Grantee
COCA 2020– Finalist
International Photography Grant– Creative Prize Winner
Inge Morath Award by Magnum Foundation -Finalist
Prix Voies Off in Arles-Nominee
BMW Art and Culture Residency -Finalist
RBSA Photographic Prize– Nominee
2018: The Royal Photographic Society Postgraduate Bursary Award -Winner
Urbanautica Institute Awards-Finalist
International Photography Awards (Honourable Mention)
2017: International Photography Awards (Honourable Mention Winner)
PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris (Honourable Mention Winner)