IWPOY 2008 Statement – Making Things Clear

In reply to inaccurate and unchecked reports published into the public domain through social networking photography websites.  The IWPOY organisers provide the following statement regarding the IWPOY Awards 2008.

As Adrian Coles and Tina Nicholls have decided to release certain information regarding the IWPOY awards 2008 into the public domain through social networking photography websites and Ventnor Blog the IWPOY organisers feel that it is necessary to issue the following statement of the facts:

By way of reply to the inaccurate and unchecked reports published on Ventnor Blog (Controversy at IW Photographer of the Year Awards) and to false statements on other sites it needs to be made absolutely clear that:

  • Ms Nicholls and Mr Coles were not refused entrance to the building (Quay Arts Centre) on the night of the IWPOY Awards.
  • Mr Coles was very discretely asked to leave.
  • Ms Nicholls was told that she was welcome to stay.
  • Both Mr Coles and Ms Nicholls were aware of his exclusion in advance.
  • This exclusion was not related to his persistent criticism of other Island photographers but due to his breaches of rules and duplicity in previous IWPOY competitions and other statements he has published which go far beyond criticism of photographic work.

Our published statement of 23 November 2007 on this subject is clear
See: IWPOY Press Release 

Whilst every effort has been made by the organisers to ensure that the IWPOY is fair to all Island photographers, due to recent events, we now find it necessary to issue the following statement:

conduct not in keeping with the spirit of this competition, multiple single-user registrations, the use of false names and/or addresses will result in disqualification from receiving an IWPOY award and taking part in all future Isle of Wight Photographer of the Year events

Mr Coles was aware that he would not be permitted to attend this private function. It was entirely Ms Nicholls’ choice to bring him with her and to subsequently leave with her friend when he was asked to leave.

We find it illustrative that Mr Coles feels he is in a position to criticise the quality of the printed canvas of Ms Nicholls’ image “Spiral into Darkness” although at no time has he seen this canvas or even been close to it.

Shortly after the announcement of Ms Nicholls winning entry at the IWPOY Awards, it was brought to the attention of the organisers, that Mr Coles claimed authorship of the winning image on his website (www.kolzwerk.com) and also announced himself to be “the most inspirational photographer on the Island” ostensibly on the basis of that image’s selection as the winning entry. Although his website has changed often over the last week, as of 16th December 2008 the winning image is still prominently displayed amongst others that are, presumably, his own.  However he still claims copyright of the image and significantly fails to recognise Ms Nicholls by name as the author of that image or as the IWPOY 2008 winner. His link on that page to Camera Club Judging is broken.  That is just as well as he is not qualified to judge in league competitions.  The tasteless references to Hiroshima defy civilised comment.

The IWPOY organisers have no influence over who wins the competition and have never sought to have any.  They are aware of the winning entries well in advance of the awards presentation and have at no time questioned that Ms Nicholls took the photograph.  It was Mr Coles who did that by publishing it on his website and claiming it as his own.

The organisers have a responsibility to all Island photographers who enter the IWPOY competition and to the sponsors and the Judges.  The final prizes have been held back until this situation is resolved.

No part of this statement may be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the IWPOY Organisers.

© 2008 IWPOY