The National Photographic Portrait Prize 2016 exhibition brings together images that reflect the faces of Australia. With portraits from every state and territory in the exhibition, we see the diversity of the Australian community. Director of the National Portrait Gallery, Angus Trumble described the exhibit as ‘Telling the national story in a particularly challenging, vibrant and fruitful way.’
There are portraits of families, people with their pets, of vulnerability and anticipation. Children with innocence in their eyes and survivors who have seen and experienced way too much in their life. There are actors, performers, and celebrities, there is real-life and the self-portraits, questioning the why.
Now in its ninth year, the photographic portrait prize competition is open to all photographers. This year, more than 2,000 entrants were received, with 49 finalists selected. Finalists include professional photographers and entrants who picked up a camera (or phone) in the past year.
Angus Trumble said that when the judging panel views the entries each year, they observe the recurring and evolving issues that define a year and that the images provide a demonstration of contemporary photographic practice.
‘Life Dancers’ by Elizabeth Looker is the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2016 winner and the Highly Commended award winner is ‘Asha‘ by Sean Davey. For the first time, a ‘packing room’ prize has been introduced with ‘On Albatross Island‘ by Matthew Newton as the inaugural winner. Interestingly all three photographs are in black and white.
What draws you in to tell you a deeper story?
What makes a good photographic portrait?
One of the judges this year’s panel, photographic artist, Narelle Autio said she initially looks for an amazing photograph, then looks further to see what is interesting about it, and what draws you in to tell you a deeper story.
So what do you think? Voting is now open for the People’s Choice Award – cast your vote for the image that leaves a lasting impression on you.
The National Photographic Portrait Prize 2016 exhibition is on display at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra from 19 March to 28 June 2016, then touring to the Dubbo Regional Gallery, Lovett Gallery in Newcastle, Port Pirie Regional Gallery, Mildura Arts Centre and Glenelg Art Gallery in South Australia.
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