Sunday, 11 November 2012

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize (2012) - NPG

Jordi Ruiz Cirera, Margarita Teichroeb
The winner of the 2012 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is Jordi Ruiz Cirera for his picture of Margarita Teichroeb.
Read an article by one of the judges, Sean O'Hagan.
The exhibition of works selected for the competition will be at The National Portrait Gallery until 17 February 2013. (All text, below, is from the NPG website.)

Born in Spain in 1984, Jordi Ruiz Cirera studied Design at Elisava College, Barcelona before moving to the UK and gaining an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication. His shortlisted portrait of Margarita, a Mennonite from the Swift Current Colony in Bolivia, is part of his long term project portraying the daily life of this community.
He says, ‘Almost all of the houses have tables in front of their windows giving fantastic light to the scene. Sitting in front of the camera was not easy for Margarita, photography is forbidden for Mennonites and having her direct portrait taken was quite difficult so I could only take two frames of her. Even though we were enjoying the situation, Margarita posed with this sort of awkward expression.’
Second prize was awarded to Jennifer Pattison for Lynne, Brighton.

Jennifer Pattison, Lynne, Brighton
Born in Hertfordshire in 1978, Jennifer Pattison gained a BA in Photography at the London College of Printing before beginning a career as a photographic agent and producer. Her shortlisted portrait is of her friend Lynne and was taken in the empty bedroom of a derelict house in Brighton. It is part of a currently untitled series of naked portraits and landscapes.
Pattison says, ‘There is an interesting shift in the consciousness of the sitter during the slow process of making these portraits; a moment in the quiet where they become unaware that they are naked. I capture them as they drift to another place. With no direction Lynne adopted this straightforward pose, bare and undaunted, looking straight down the lens and beyond.’
Third prize was awarded to Spencer Murphy for Mark Rylance.

Spencer Murphy, Mark Rylance
Spencer Murphy, born in 1978, grew up in Kent and studied at the Kent Institute of Art and Design before gaining a BA in Photography at the Falmouth College of Arts. His shortlisted portrait is of actor Mark Rylance and was commissioned for the cover of the Telegraph Magazine to mark the actor’s return to the Globe to play Richard III.

Murphy says, ‘I’ve always enjoyed working with actors as there’s no awkwardness or discomfort in front of the camera and they are able to understand direction and react to it very easily. Mark was no exception.’
Fourth prize was awarded to Alma Haser for The Ventriloquist.

Alma Haser, The Ventriloquist
Born into an artistic family in the Black Forest, Germany in 1989, Alma Haser moved to the UK in 1995 and gained a BA in Photography from Nottingham Trent University. Her shortlisted portrait, taken in her shared house in South London, is of friends Luke and James who have known each other since they were 12. Struck by their hairstyles, Haser initially planned to take separate portraits but it was difficult to get them to concentrate so she decided to photograph them together.
She says, ‘I asked them to sit on a tiny, wobbly coffee table, forcing them to almost cling onto each other. Ultimately I wanted to turn their verbal banter into a visual image. The title is designed to help viewers make up their own stories about what is going on.’

Other shortlisted pictures include:
Jason Pierce Williams, Pastry Chef
David Brunetti, Brehan
Eamonn McCabe, Sarah Lucas
See below for pictures from the 2011 and 2010 competitions.

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