As the year nearly comes to a close, National Portrait Gallery reveals its annual prize of The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014. The selected sixty images were chosen from over 4,000 submissions, 2,000 photographers from 60 countries worldwide. Exploring traditional and contemporary portraits, the photographs exhibited in the gallery presents a range of insight into photography, from editorial to amateur, as well as fine art and advertising images.
Fashion and advertising photographer, David Titilow received the first prize with his photograph ‘Konrad Lars Hastings Titlow’ (2014). A composed portrayal of his baby son surrounded by friends and relatives captured a natural moment that made it reflect almost like a painting. The spontaneous shot awarded Titlow a prestigious £12,000, as well as the title of The Taylor Wessing Photographic Prize 2014 First Prize winner.
Alongside to Titlow’s achievement, the second prize winner was given to Jessica Fulford-Dobson, with her photograph ‘Skate Girl’ (2014). The composed portrayal of Afghan skater girl from The Skate Girls of Kabul was the photographer’s intention in depicting girls around the world are alike to each other. A portrait of identical twin boys, ‘Braian and Ryan’ (2013), was taken by Birgit Püve and received the third prize winner, which is part of her project in photographing twins and triplets living in Estonia. With his portrait of a group of young Kosovars, ‘Indecisive Moment’ by Blerim Racaj was given the fourth prize. Racaj indicates the uncertainty and vulnerability among the youngsters in showing the socio-political landscape in Kosovo.
In addition to the four prizes of , The John Kobal New Work Award – a prize awarded for a photographer under thirty who have been selected for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Prize exhibition – was received by Laura Pannack. Pannack’s winning photograph, ‘Chayla at Shul’, is a portrait of a young Jewish girl, allowing her to be comfortable in the image while feeling empowered within.
The range of images selected for the exhibition varies in portraying through colour and monochrome, as well as emotionally, deliberately and unintentionally portrayed. Among the display, challenging portraits can be found such as in Marcia Michael’s ‘Myrtle McKnight, My Mother’ (2014), where the portrait was faceless as Myrtle undresses in the attempt to be perceived beyond identity aesthetics. Another ‘faceless’ portrait is seen in ‘Jennifer’ by Shelly Calton. Calton was working on a series of Texas women and their right of handgun ownership. When she wanted to photograph mother, Jennifer, her son ran to her with his handgun toy, allowing Calton to capture a new perspective to the photograph depiction.
hold the sense in engaging with the audience, for viewers to understand the subjects in the frame. Still, the way they are depicted within these photographs will carry different perceptions, which adds towards the perception of the photograph.
The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014 was judged from original prints by Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery (Chair); Robin Muir, Writer, Curator and Contributing Editor to Vogue; artist Bettina von Zwehl; Phillip Prodger, Head of Photographs Collection, National Portrait Gallery and Niri Shan, Partner and Business Group Director, Taylor Wessing LLP.
The John Kobal New Work Award was judged by by Simon Crocker, Chairman of the John Kobal Foundation and Terence Pepper, Senior Special Advisor on Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery.
Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014
13 November 2014 – 22 February 2015
Porter Gallery, Admission £3 (concessions £2)
Supported by Taylor Wessing