THE parents of a talented former student who died from an asthma attack have presented a college’s inaugural award in memory of their son.
Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD) photography student Jonathan Brooke died after suffering the attack aged just 24 in December 2008.
He was so talented, staff at the Hartlepool campus planned for him to become a technical demonstrator at the Church Square site.
The first Jonathan Brooke Photographic Award, for commitment and dedication to the technical skills of photography, was presented to town student Peter Grange.
Jonathan’s parents, the Reverends Kate and David Brooke, from Middlesbrough, presented the 25-year-old with the accolade at a poignant awards ceremony.
Jonathan’s mum, who is a chaplain all over Teesside, including Hartlepool, said: “Jonathan was about seven when he first picked up a camera and from then on always seemed to have one around his neck.
“I am delighted that this award has been made in tribute to Jonathan to help inspire other young students keep alive the passion for photography that was so dear to his heart.”
BA Photography student Peter received a £50 voucher, an original signed fibre based print, a book by internationally-renowned photographer Ian Macdonald and a trophy.
CCAD photography programme leader Jamie Macdonald, Ian’s son, said: “Jonathan came to us in 2007 and right from week one he stood out as a keen and attentive student.
“His sudden death was tragic and unfair and also a great loss to the world of photography.
“He never took any short cuts and his technical skills in the dark room established him as an authority on the process, so much so that we were priming him to become the next technical demonstrator here at the college.
“The idea to have an award in his name was mooted quite soon after his loss to recognise commitment to photography, as well as his memory, acknowledging his skill, craft and dedication to the subject.
“The standard was very high and I was extremely pleased that my dad Ian agreed to be involved as a judge as he knew Jonathan from a master class he had been involved in at the college.”
Ian, who attended the awards ceremony, said: “Peter’s entry really stood out as the outright winner.
“He has a remarkable talent for a first-year student and is a very skilful and dedicated photographer.
“I’m sure Jonathan would have approved.”
The award, open to all BA students on the college’s photography programmes, invited participants to submit prints made using darkroom techniques and more than 30 entries were received.
Fellow judges, director of the British Institute of Photography Russell Baston and CCAD photography lecturers Antony Chambers and Richard Whitehead, reviewed all the entries based on artistic merit, originality and style and all were in agreement on the winner.