Tierney call for applications

Applications open for the 2023 Tierney Fellowship at the Market Photo Workshop

Applications are now being accepted for the 2023 Tierney Fellowship at the Market Photo Workshop.

The Market Photo Workshop in partnership with The Tierney Family Foundation have over the last 16 years established and sustained the longest running photography mentorship of its kind in Africa. The artistic mentorship has assisted in creating opportunities for photographers to cultivate the development of their practice. The primary goal of the Tierney Fellowship is to find tomorrow’s distinguished artists and leaders in the world of photography and assist them in overcoming the challenges that a photographer faces at the beginning of his or her career. The Fellowship creates an ideal space for a photographer to develop a new body of work. The Tierney Fellowship will provide the successful applicant with the necessary resources to support the research, self-directed learning in the growth of a photographic body of work. Collaborating with mentors and a photographic arts and journalism community that now has global reach.

The Tierney Fellowship programme ran for the first time in South Africa in 2008 and partner institutions include the Market Photo Workshop, WITS School of Arts and The Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town.

Previous Market Photo Workshop Fellows

2008 – Tracey Edser

2009 – Simangele Kalisa

2010 – Thabiso Sekgala

2011 – Mack Magagane

2012 – Lebohang Kganye.

2013 – Sipho Gongxeka

2014 – Matt Kay

2015 – Tsepo Gumbi

2016 – Celimpilo Mazibuko

2017 – Tshepiso Mazibuko

2018 – Tshepiso Mabula

2019 – Kabelo Mokoena

2020 – Lusanda Ndita

2021 – DeLovie Kwagala

2022 – Sibusiso Gcaba

Fellowship Benefits and Outcome(s)

Subject to certain conditions, the fellowship entails:

  • R50,000 to produce the body of work that the recipient proposes to develop. The funds cover costs related to special skills development, research, travel, and other photography related supplies
  • The fellowship can be extended to curate an exhibition or publication of the work.

Application Procedure

  • Submit an unfished or work-in-progress photography series with at least 10 – 20 digital low-resolution JPG images. Maximum of 20 low-resolution files in total (max. 10MB). Please note: a selection of random photos will not be considered.
  • Submit a brief description between 500 – 850 words about the series in a Word document. The description could be in any of the languages of South Africa and should outline:
    • Project Concept and why you have chosen this unfinished series for the Tierney Fellowship
    • How do you propose realizing your Project Concept?
    • Why the Tierney Fellowship would be a significant opportunity for you?
  • Include a 150-word biography in a Word document, which details the year of study at the Market Photo Workshop and where you live and/or work.

Eligibility Criteria

Current students and alumni that come from needy financial background or previously disadvantaged individuals are encouraged to apply.

  • Must be a current student or alumni of the Market Photo Workshop
  • Must be resident in Southern Africa
  • Must have fulfilled contractual requirements for Market Photo Workshop courses they were enrolled in or previous projects they participated in
  • Must have basic project management skills and demonstrate understanding of project management processes.
  • Must be independent, determined self-starters with a drive to succeed.
  • Must not have produced a solo exhibition before.
  • Must be able to travel to Johannesburg for initial meetings.
  • Must not be older than 35 years of age at time of application. 

Selection of a candidate

  • A panel of judges appointed by the Market Photo Workshop, including panelists from The Tierney Family Foundation, will participate in the selection process.
  • Shortlisted candidates must be available for an interview after notification.
  • Judges need to be satisfied that the chosen Project Concept has merit; that the successful applicant will be able to manage the project, and that they are likely to derive lasting benefits from the Fellowship.

The Market Photo Workshop retains the right to request applicants to edit proposals.


Applications close on Wednesday 02 August 2023

All applications must be submitted by email to and copied to

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed on Thursday 07 August 2023.

Applicants are encouraged to contact Loyiso Oldjohn on +27 11 834 1444 with any enquiries. For more information on the Fellowship and project partners visit