Prizes are problematic. The exhibition of the National Photographic Portrait Prize is the result of a judging panel of three, assessing a large collection of submissions of photographic portraits.This year their decision is one of the most baffling in all the years I have attended the exhibition.
We only see the shortlisted ones but within the exhibition there are dozen’s of photographs that eclipse the bland ordinary snap that has been nominated as the winning picture. Within the exhibition there are truly rich faces, bodies, relationships and contexts that are represented in complex inter-relationships with each other that engage the viewer with their detail and content.
I have placed some of the better examples below in phone pic.
The following link has the judges and the prize winners listed .https://nppp.portrait.gov.au/.
4 May -14 August
There was a set of portraits in the foyer gallery at the National Portrait Gallery.created by Arthur Boyd . They were of people close to him in a period of his life. Being in the small entry gallery to the Portrait Gallery the set of portraits had an intimate closeness and gave an idea of people who had lots to do with each other.
Below are some samples of the portraits taken with a phone.
Saturday 19 March until Sunday 26 June 2016
The vitality of the portraiture in the 2016 National Photographic Portrait Prize is wonderful. Portraits can be a bit predictable but this set has some adventurous items and some that capture an inspiring moment. The set embraces an amazing diversity of age and ethnicity in the subject material. Styles range from simple face shots with plain backgrounds to complex contrived compositions that tell a range of stories through the objects within the photograph.
My favourites include a black and white image of nine cousins in a group on a field in which every member is revealing rich developing personality traits.
There are several pictures of children in their various play and fantasy worlds.
There are celebrations of the newcomers
The prize winner is a highly constructed mix of lace, nudity and gnarled tree.
Overall it is a worthy collection of portraits.
The current exhibition at the Portrait Gallery in Canberra is titled Bare. Lots of portraits are created focusing on fully clothed people. However as conventions have shifted the need to have diverse subjects increased. Lots of paintings have nude people in them but lots more are of people who are not fully clothed. Sporty people, entertainers, models, actors and relaxed people all often appear in limited clothing.
The Bare exhibition is beautifully laid out on bright blue walls with connection paths of yellow broken lines and arrows. I was a bit uncomfortable at the thought of the exhibition but the experience was a delight as the pics are varied, fun and always interesting.
I am in my sixties and am aware of the facial and body changes that come with age and have seen the transformitive effect of time on what I look like. The small set of photographs by Rod McNichol in the entrance gallery of the National Portrait Gallery record changes over time in a selection of people. In this space they are combined with a point in time set of photographs of some of distinctive looking people.
I have included a sample below of the ones I liked the most. Once again the Portrait Gallery has brought portraiture to the public in a delightful way.