N.L. photographer wins worldwide award however cannot settle for it attributable to visa purple tape

N.L. photographer wins worldwide award however cannot settle for it attributable to visa purple tape

The winner of a prestigious worldwide pictures award who lives in St. John’s was unable to just accept the prize in individual on Friday in Spain attributable to visa purple tape. 

Ting Ting Chen is a pupil at Memorial College. In her spare time, she has found a ardour for superb artwork pictures, impressed primarily by her adopted residence.

“I’d say I’ve not solely discovered my residence in Newfoundland, but additionally my muse,” Chen mentioned.

This yr, Chen’s photograph — titled The Duke — was chosen as the general winner within the non-professional class (single picture) of the Julia Margaret Cameron Awards. The worldwide competitors entitles the winner to potential gallery illustration, {a magazine} function and a completely funded gala exhibition in Barcelona’s FotoNostrum gallery.

She is the one individual in Canada to win this yr.

Chen mentioned her solo exhibition can be made up completely of images of Newfoundland and Labrador and the individuals she has met there, a showcase for her to rejoice her new residence. 

However as an alternative of exhibiting Newfoundland off in Spain, she has spent three months combating to be allowed to return again to Canada after the present.

A photo of an old man, bald, with a long beard, and wearing a fur coat.
The successful {photograph} by Chen, known as The Duke, is of her good friend Robert Tilley. It was the general winner within the non-professional class (single picture) on the Julia Margaret Cameron Awards. (Submitted by Ting Ting Chen)

Chen, initially from China, got here to St. John’s in 2018 to work towards a PhD in folklore and rapidly fell in love with Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Once I first got here to Newfoundland I used to be enormously impressed by its lovely panorama,” mentioned Chen.

“So I rapidly devoted myself to photographing its panorama as quickly as I got here right here, and I purchased a greater digital camera. I up to date my gear and I’ve ambitions to be a greater photographer.”

Alongside along with her good friend, Robert Tilley, who’s featured in a lot of her images — together with this yr’s winner — Chen has travelled round Newfoundland. taking images of the locations and folks she’s seen, already incomes a number of awards for her work.

“If I did not come to Newfoundland, I would not turn into a photographer,” she mentioned.

Chen’s {photograph} of the Elliston panorama received the grand prize as a part of the 2020 Reflections of Nature contest hosted by Canadian Wildlife Journal. (Submitted by Ting Ting Chen)

Chen isn’t a Canadian citizen and is just in a position to dwell in Newfoundland and Labrador due to a research allow.

As quickly as she came upon she had received the award, she submitted her software for a brief resident visa to re-enter Canada after the exhibition.

“In line with the most recent data on their web site, the conventional processing time is from 15 to 39 days,” mentioned Chen. “Now greater than three months have handed.”

It is not the primary time she has travelled since coming to Canada, but it surely’s the primary time she’s had this sort of delay.

Chen has appealed to the Division of Immigration and to Minister Seamus O’Regan’s workplace and each have been useful and communicative, she mentioned. However she has nonetheless heard nothing last about her visa.

CBC Information has requested each for remark however had not heard again on the time of publishing.

The lighthouse at Cape Spear at sunrise, a small pond in the foreground with splashes of water in the air.
Chen’s photograph of the Cape Spear lighthouse. (Submitted by Ting Ting Chen)

It isn’t only a potential loss for Chen, however for Newfoundland itself, which she mentioned would have been seen by the European artwork world in a completely new mild.

“Every photograph of my solo exhibit in Barcelona is about Newfoundland,” mentioned Chen. “It is about Newfoundland portraits, it is about Newfoundland landscapes.

“I consider that is the primary time {that a} Newfoundland-themed superb artwork photograph exhibit has ever occurred in Barcelona.… I used to be so enthusiastic about this.”

This week, she has stored up with the occasions on social media. Julio Hirsch-Hardy, the gallery’s CEO, has supplied to delay her solo exhibition till November to see if the visa comes by.

The Colonial Constructing at night time in St. John’s as photographed by Chen. (Submitted by Ting Ting Chen)

Even when it does, Chen should then begin a second course of to acquire an entry visa for Spain. She must fly to Montreal and apply in individual on the Spanish Consulate Normal to do this.

“I am very grateful to return right here,” mentioned Chen, “and that is why I really feel heartbroken that I’d not be capable to go to Barcelona. I’d not be capable to showcase the fantastic thing about Newfoundland on a world stage as a result of I actually love this place.

“I actually worth this nice alternative … and now I’ve virtually misplaced it, and maybe I’ll lose it once more in November. So that is what enormously shatters my coronary heart.”


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