Tacita Dean, recipient of the 2019 Cherry Kearton Medal and Award. Photo by Jim Rakete. Courtesy the artist, Frith Street Gallery, London and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York / Paris.
Steve McCurry, recipient of the 2020 Cherry Kearton Medal and Award.
Every year our medals and awards recognise geographers who have made a significant contribution to the discipline and the geographical community.
The Cherry Kearton Medal and Award is presented to a traveller concerned with the study or practice of natural history, especially those with an interest in nature photography, art or cinematography.
We caught up with former Cherry Kearton Medal and Award recipients Steve McCurry and Tacita Dean to discuss what the award meant to them.
What did winning the Cherry Kearton Award mean to you?
Tacita Dean (TD): I was very honoured to win this award as much of my work, from analogue film, to drawing and using Found Objects, has been about geography in its many and varied forms, physical, mental, etc.
Steve McCurry (SM): Winning the award was validation for my life-long interest in preserving and documenting the environment and the efforts being made for the ethics of protecting and maintaining the integrity of the natural world.
Did winning the award have an impact on your career or open up any opportunities to you?
TD: While I can’t say that winning had any discernible effect, it was extremely heartening to be recognised by such a prestigious organisation as the Society and I am very glad to be associated with it, even in a small way.
SM: Winning the award reminds me to redouble my efforts to put this goal at the top of my list each and every time I pick up my camera.
What would you say to our Fellowship to encourage them to nominate a special geographer for a Cherry Kearton Award?
TD: Like the Society, art can open minds to the exploration of the extraordinary nature of the world, and therefore our two worlds, that of artist and that of geographer, are not so different.
SM: There is no greater goal than to protect the well-being and health of this planet because, without that, there is virtually nothing left.
Tacita Dean received the Cherry Kearton Medal and Award in 2019 for artwork that encourages reflection on changing landscapes. She is an Artist especially well known for her work in 16mm film, but she also draws and uses photography and sound. Steve McCurry received the Cherry Kearton Medal and Award in 2020 for photography that encourages reflection on the interaction with peoples, landscapes and wildlife across the world. He is a Photographer and Photojournalist.
Any Fellow or member can make a nomination and the deadline is 5.00pm on Monday 8 February 2021. So what are you waiting for? Let us know who you think has made a difference in the geographical community and make a nomination.
We have a number of volunteer roles available on our Finance Committee, Investment subcommittee and Enterprise company board, commencing in the summer of 2021.
As the time for GCSE and A Level options nears, we will be sharing material and information about the benefits of choosing to study geography at GCSE and beyond, through our social media pages.
As part of our mission to undertake research on the Collections, in collaboration with Wiley, we have recently awarded 11 Research Fellowships for 2020-21 which provide researchers with access to the Wiley Digital Archive platform.
Following the cancellation of this summer’s exams due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Department for Education and Ofqual have opened a consultation on how GCSE and A Level grades should be assessed and awarded in 2021.
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