Judging panel

Ash Palmisciano

Image of Ash PalmiscianoMy name's Ash Palmisciano and I'm currently living in Leamington Spa, where I grew up. I'm an actor, writer, and at the minute I play Matty Barton on ITV's Emmerdale. I love a nice coffee, spending time with my family, all things creative and the outdoors.

Leamington is an extremely picturesque and vibrant little town and the Pump Room Gardens is the perfect example of that, it's peaceful and open yet full of creativity and life all year round. Growing up in Leamington Spa I've also spent many hours in Jephson's Gardens. From climbing trees and begging my parents for another ice cream to now sitting with a coffee and music, enjoying the beautiful peaceful scenery.

I feel very honoured to be a judge and I'm really excited to see people's imaginations and creativity. I look forward to looking through all the fantastic pictures and creations and seeing what this beautiful place means to you.

Archie Pitts

Image of Archie PittsArchie Pitts started the restoration of the Pump Room Gardens in 2008, after a prompt from WDC. He recruited volunteers and raised funds, starting with the replacement of the eight Linden Arches, and followed by the full restoration of the bandstand and the park and opening up the riverbank.

The PRG have been a well-used and loved communal area for the town for over 200 years - the town's village green hosting local events. This is why I treasure them. They are a part of the chain of gardens, all popular with the public, along the River Leam: Victoria Park, the PRG, Jephson's gardens with Mill gardens ending at Newbold Comyn.

The eight Linden Arches were completed in Jubilee year 2012. Now the final stages are almost complete. The bandstand is rebuilt, apart from the planting in the surrounding bed to be done in autumn.

Having lived in Leamington for about 25 years I look forward to seeing all the competition photos, seeing the gardens with fresh eyes. Judging will be exciting.

Garima Dhawan

Image of Garima DhawanGarima Dhawan is a licensing artist and surface designer, and an alumna of RISD (Rhode Island School of Design). She lives and works between New York and Leamington Spa. Her work is a combination of traditional printmaking techniques integrated with digital technology, to create a dialogue between the two worlds. She loves the beauty of the printed mark and the technique of collage. For her it represents taking things apart and putting them together in a completely new way. She constantly returns to the theme of the garden, as a field of infinite potential and unlimited possibilities.

Her images start as experiments on an etching press with a combination of printmaking techniques like linocut, photolithography, drypoint, etching and collage (Chine colle) and then worked digitally in Photoshop. She sells at stores ranging from Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Target, Nordstrom, Kohl's to Bed, Bath & Beyond, NEXT, Habitat and online at Deny Designs, Society 6, Artfully Walls, Displate and Eastend Prints.

Garima is inspired by nature in it's infinite abundance, and is determined to create peace and happiness with bold, beautiful forms filled with color, space, light, laughter, movement, expansion and spirituality - Happiness by Design.

I love the Pump Rooms Gardens and green spaces in general because I find nature nourishing and rejuvenating and surprising in all it's infinite possibilities and variations. It's not a surprise that a big part of healing at the Spa was taking walks in the garden.

Warwick University's Photography Society

Our society is formed of a group of students sharing a passion for photography. PhotoSoc gives you the opportunity to learn and improve your photographic skills as well as connect with like-minded photographers. Whether you're a professional photographer or you enjoy taking photos on your phone - everyone is welcome!

The following 4 members of the Exec team will be working together to judge entries on behalf of the society:

Christina Menelaou (Treasurer)

Image of Christina MenelaouHello, I'm Christina, I come from Cyprus and I'm going to be a third year MORSE (Maths, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics) student. I'm so glad to be the treasurer of PhotoSoc and Climate Reality Warwick as well as the co-founder and co-president of the Emotional Intelligence Society of Warwick! I have been constantly practicing photography either as a hobby or as a part-time job in different university events. I also play the piano and sing in my free time.

I am a nature lover that likes to be outdoors and to walk in the peaceful, green spaces of Leamington. I enjoy to either just sit in places like the Pump Room Gardens or walk or run because it helps me maintain good mental and physical health.

I'm looking forward to seeing some creative, unique and interesting postcards that portray successfully the beauty of the gardens.

Navya Mohan (Social Secretary)

Image of Navya MohanI am Navya - the social secretary for PhotoSoc, University of Warwick. I am a photography and traveling enthusiast. I am inspired by people and their ability to portray emotions thus having an interest in portrait photography. Apart from photography, I am inclined towards the business field and am currently initiating a project to help NGOs raise funds.

I am really looking forward to being on the judges' panel mainly because I want to see the diversity of artists and their individual ways to express their creativity. I absolutely admire the need to bring together people from all age groups and giving this competition a more homely feel and a platform to resonate with what they feel in their own beautiful ways.

 Sara Barghelameno (Vice-President)

Image of Sara BarghelamenoHi, my name is Sara and I'm a Liberal student from the University of Warwick and part of the Warwick PhotoSoc.  What I like about this district is that it's filled with lots of nice green spaces, just being tucked away from the crowds. 

I'm really excited to see people's projection of this area and how they will capture its history and beauty in a creative way.

Thierry Rossignol (Training Manager)

Image of Thierry RossignolI grew up in France my whole life, and came back to the UK to study Humanities at Warwick University.  For the last few years I have been cultivating my passion for photography and hope to one day set up a stable freelancing business around it.

After having lived in Leamington Spa for a year I can easily say that the Royal Pump Room Garden is my favourite place in the area. I have spent countless hours, reading, thinking and taking photos of the beautiful greenery and animals that inhabit this wonderful space.

I am so excited to see and be inspired by all the creativity the people of Warwick District can offer. I don't doubt there will be so many amazing photos to choose from and I am honoured to assess which I think are the best!

Warwickshire Youth Council

The Warwickshire Youth Council is affiliated to the British Youth Council, who empower young people aged 25 and under to influence and inform the decisions that affect their lives, at a local and national level. Warwickshire Youth Council consists of 4 representative Youth Councillors for each of the 5 districts (Stratford upon Avon, Warwick, Rugby, Nuneaton and Bedworth North Warwickshire). The following 4 representatives will be working together to judge entries on the Youth Council's behalf:

Alice Battersby

Image of two hands with 'Warwickshire Youth Council'Hello, I'm Alice Battersby, a local young person and member of Warwickshire Youth Council who enjoys photography and art.

I love green spaces as they give me a chance to walk, clear my mind and enjoy nature. I also love the Pump Rooms themselves, as I'm fascinated by their history.

I'm looking forward to seeing unique perspectives on the same place, and hopefully getting some ideas of my own.

Adam Ratcliffe

Image of Adam RatcliffeI am 13 years old. I love doing loads of data collection and taking photos. This will really help me in this competition judging especially the artistic side. "I can't draw" but I have an eye for artwork. I am looking forward to all the entries as this is a great activity for all to get involved with. The Pump Rooms and the park's surroundings are fabulous as I have been with my Nan and Grandad last summer especially the high maintenance in Jephson gardens. 

Akshya Subramanian

Image of Akshya SubramanianI'm a Warwickshire Youth Councillor and a member of Rugby Youth Forum. I love the outdoors and go out for some fresh air every day. I also love drama (which I take for GCSEs) and drawing whenever I get the time.

Although I don't live in Leamington Spa, I think it's great how there are so many green spaces in the district, and especially love Pump Room Gardens' inclusive nature. I think Pump Room Gardens' Historic York Bridge across the River Leam is unique and stands out the most to me, as well as the free Wi-fi of course!

I'm excited to see everyone's amazing creativity and take on what the gardens mean to them.

Pavels Scerbacovs

Image of Pavels ScerbacovsMy name is Pavels and I am a member of the Youth Council for Warwickshire and a fan of greenspaces! It really helps your mind relax and scientifically benefits your mental health too. My garden is all green and sometimes going for a walk in the park alone helps you feel better. I also love theatre and programming.

I like the green spaces in the district as they give not only a better aesthetic and environmentally friendly areas but also spaces for people to relax and appreciate nature. The Pump Room Gardens are well placed and make a great part of the town. 

I'm excited to see what kind of pictures and art people come up with and hope it gives an opportunity to appreciate nature a bit!