Brindleyplace Hanami photography competition announces winner

Brindleyplace has revealed the winner of its recent photography competition which aimed to celebrate the traditional Japanese cherry blossom festival, Hanami.

Organised in partnership with Ikon and Café Opus at Ikon (both of which are based in Oozells Square at Brindleyplace), the Hanami Photography Competition received an impressive 52 entries from members of the general public, local photography students and people working on the estate.


Following a tough judging process by Pete James, Curator of Photography Collections at the Library of Birmingham, Ikon Curator, Stuart Tulloch; Free Radio Presenter, Dan Morrissey and Manager at Café Opus, Amy Secretan, the winner has been announced as 31 year old Sarah Harding from Cradley Heath.


Pete said:

“Sarah’s photograph really stood out to all the judges as she’d, rather uniquely, captured the cherry blossom on a rainy day, rather than in the bright spring sunshine that was used as the backdrop to the majority of entries. The wet ground meant the light and reflections of the cherry blossom were really quite different to what we expected.”


As a prize for winning the competition, Sarah’s photograph will now be put on public display in Café Opus. Additionally, Sarah and a friend will enjoy a complimentary meal for two at the popular café.


Sarah said:

“I was actually using the cherry blossom trees as a shelter from the rain when I decided to take the photograph. There was something about the early evening light and the glow from the nearby restaurants that really made the pink of the wet and soggy blossom stand out to me.

“It was afterwards that a friend suggested I enter the photograph into the Hanami competition. I love how much photography has now become part of people’s everyday lives and I’m delighted to have won this competition.”


An annual event, Hanami is the Japanese tradition of ‘enjoying the transient beauty of flowers’ and is celebrated to coincide with the flowering of cherry blossom across the country.


Lydia Ellis, Marketing Manager at Brindleyplace, said:

“Every year we have so many people commenting on how beautiful Brindleyplace looks in the spring, particularly the tree-lined Oozells Square when the cherry blossom is in full bloom. As a result, this year we decided to launch this photography competition to help ensure the memory of the cherry blossom season, or Hanami, lasts all year round.

“We were overwhelmed to receive so many fantastic entries and it was a really tough decision to decide which photograph should be the winner. Sarah’s entry captured the true British spirit of not letting the rain ruin our spring and I’m sure it will bring a smile to many diners at Café Opus over the coming months.”


The team at Brindleyplace are currently organising a number of free community events that will take place at the estate over the course of the summer, including the Dragonboat Festival in June and the Film Festival and Chilli Festival in July. For more information about upcoming events click here. 

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