Model turned photographer, Ayesha Jones, represents Birmingham in Magnum Photo’s international photography competition

Magnum Photos and The Photography Show have teamed up to produce the “30 under 30” award for 30 young photographers who’s work addresses social issues.

Ayesha is a 24 year old documentary photographer and the only Birmingham based artist in the final of this international competition.

Rampent rabbitThe finalists will be included in an exhibition at The Photography Show (March 21st-24th, 2015) at The NEC in Ayesha’s home city, Birmingham.

There is a Peoples Choice Award for the top three photographers and Magnum Photos will be holding an awards ceremony and announcing the top three winners of this award on Tuesday 24th of March 2015.

You can vote for Ayesha >>here<<

Her project, titled IMPerfection, explores the notion of beauty, sexuality and body image and the way colonial systems have aided in their distortion. She exposes her hidden “disability” from all angles as she learns to find the beauty in life’s imperfections.

Ayesha said:

We are taught to block out pain and avoid struggles, this means we miss a valuable opportunity to heal ourselves and to deal with issues at their core.

I address social issues from the inside out. I turn the camera on myself in order to see struggles in a new light. I embark on a photographic journey that takes me to the root of my pain.

Euphoriaonline added:

Absorbed in a world so consumed with sheer vanity, there’s nothing more refreshing than the work of Ayesha Jones. With a creativity that breathes authenticity…. Ayesha uses her illness to inspire her creative journey- and deliver an art which is both visually and intellectually fulfilling.

About Ayesha

My Ugly Back (Magnum show image)At 13 years old Ayesha was diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis. A spinal deformity that causes the spine to curve and rotate. She was told by a doctor that she would “….grow up to be a pretty girl with an ugly back.”

During that same year she was also scouted as a model at The Clothes Show Live, which was held at the NEC. She was rejected by the agency when they saw her back.

She attempted to pursue a modelling career despite the knock backs. She modelled in commercial photo shoots and music videos. However she eventually realised her passion lay behind the camera. She is now using photography as a tool to address social issues.

She documents her journey as a young woman living with scoliosis through a series of self portrait photographs and archive images from her own family album. She has now come full circle, back to the NEC, where she was scouted over 11 years ago, but this time she will be noticed for her artistic talents not her “pretty face” or “ugly back.”

Ayesha has been supported by mac birmingham, Beatfreeks, Friction Arts and Nitro Theatre to develop her artistic practice. Taking part in numerous projects and events in Birmingham has given Ayesha the confidence to take her art to the next level.