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Harry Kerr Memorial Photography Bursary

Harry Kerr Memorial Photography Bursary

Posted on: 27th May 2024


In May 2022, we lost a remarkable figure in the world of fine art photography with the passing of Harry Kerr. Harry was not just a photographer; he was a catalyst for creativity, a mentor to many, and a vital part of both the Glasgow and Donegal cultural scenes. 

Our partners at Artlink (Donegal) have set up Go Fund Me page to raise funds for the Harry Kerr Memorial Photography Bursary, with the aim of raising €25,000 to fund five bursaries of €5,000 per year for the next five years, providing ongoing support to deserving artists in the North West of Ireland and the West of Scotland. To find out more information or to support the fundraising effort click here .

Harry Kerr (1960 - 2022) was born in the West of Scotland in 1960. He was educated at Glasgow School of Art, specialising in photography, in the first instance in the Design School (the only route to studying photography at that time). He gained an honours Degree in Graphic Design & Photography. But Harry’s interests were always in the area of photography as a fine art medium so it was a happy coincidence that, during his time in the Graphics Department, Thomas Joshua Cooper, an American photographer with a vision for an entirely new kind of photography course, arrived on the scene and became a significant mentor.

Shortly after graduating, he was selected as the first year-long artist-in-residence at Summerlee Heritage Trust, a large industrial museum in his home town of Coatbridge. He later became the Design & Interpretation Officer at the museum. Subsequently, Harry became the first recipient of Scotland’s much missed lens-based media prize the Richard Hough Bursary. This award was for a project called Sense & Science which was premiered at Street Level and was exhibited in several venues in Scotland and England at a time when the circulation of exhibitions across photography galleries was reiprocally undertaken.

From 1993 until 2000 he was a technical instructor in the Fine Art Photography Department at the prestigious Glasgow School of Art and an active Board member of Street Level Photoworks. Harry moved to Donegal with Martha over twenty years ago with the intention of establishing a commercial photography business, while continuing to pursue their own personal art/photography projects.

He was involved with Artlink, teaching photography workshops in the early 2000s and in more recent years designed the organisation's website, produced videos, supported artists in installing exhibitions, designed promotional material, and documented events, approaching this work with his particular flair and commitment to quality.

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