National Photographic Portrait Prize 2018

National Portrait Gallery

A learning resource for teachers of primary and secondary Visual Arts.

How to use the learning resource
We have selected eleven portraits of a diverse range of subjects to explore in more depth. The resource is designed primarily for secondary school teachers and students of Visual Arts. The education resource can be used either in the classroom or in small groups; to encourage contemplation and visual analysis of photographic portraits and to facilitate thoughtful conversations by including relevant questions and activities based on the selected images.  
National Photographic Portrait Prize 2018
A perennial favourite amongst Gallery visitors, the National Photographic Portrait Prize (NPPP) reflects the distinctive vision of Australia’s aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of subjects. The judging panel this year included Dr Christopher Chapman, Senior Curator, National Portrait Gallery; Robert Cook, Curator of Contemporary Design and International Art, Art Gallery of Western Australia; and Petrina Hicks, contemporary artist who works with photography. The three judges selected 41 finalists for the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2018.

The winner for 2018 is...Charlie, 2017 by Lee Grant.

With the Highly Commended prize going to My Olivia, 2017 by Filomena Rizzo.

Look through this year’s finalists:

NPPP 2018 finalists

Working in small groups, choose a winner – you need to all agree on the same one so get ready to justify your choice!

What was your judging criteria in choosing a winner?

Share your ideas with other groups.

We are always looking at photos of people. Photos describe the world to us. Photos invent idealised bodies. Photos reveal trauma, despair and horror. Photos mark achievements and milestones. Can we breach the surface? Can we really look at a person in a photograph and feel something almost authentic?

Dr Christopher Chapman (NPPP2018 judge), ‘Coming into being.’

Want to read more?

Find the essay here.

The arrival, 2017 by Renée Stamatova
One theme in the NPPP 2018 is migration and several portraits explore multicultural identity in relation to the world. 

This pared back portrait centres on a moment of self-awareness as the subject relaxes in a place that is simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar.

Describe the subject’s expression and body language.

How do you think he feels in this place?

The Migrant, 2017 by Jacqui Stockdale
This portrait also explores identity, place and migration.

Compare and contrast the two portraits, consider pose, expression, background and costume.

Read the artist statements:

Renée Stamatova's artist statement.

Jacqui Stockdale's artist statement.

With this additional information, what further observations can you make about the portraits?

Distracted, 2017 by Lara Del Arte
This portrait is of the photographer’s daughter.

Consider the different relationships in this portrait, the relationship between subject and photographer, as well as between subject and those sharing her physical and virtual space.

How do you think your parents would describe what is going on in this picture?

Would it differ from the way you would describe it?

The girls, 2017 by Tamara Dean
This is another portrait about companionship. 

Compare the relationships represented in these portraits, including their relationships to place.

Can you find other portraits from NPPP 2018 that look at relationships?

NPPP 2018 finalists

Tracey Moffatt dreaming, 2017 by James Horan
Notice the horizontal lines that make up the composition.

How has the photographer used colour and design to layer the space?

The context of the photograph (in the subject’s studio) provides a personal insight.

Describe the subject’s body language.

How does the mood of the portrait make you feel as a viewer?

Joey, 2017 by Stephanie Simcox
Joey takes a moment to relax at the local waterhole after a long day working in a remote community in the Central Desert Region, Australia.

Describe the atmosphere and tone of the photograph.

What are the elements that contribute to your reading of the portrait?

The composition of Stephanie Simcox’s portrait of Joey is reminiscent of this famous painting of 'Ophelia' by Sir John Everett Millais.

However, the mood and context of the two portraits is very different.

Compare and contrast these two portraits.

This portrait won the Art Handler’s Award, which is selected as the photographs arrive in preparation for display by the Art Handlers at the National Portrait Gallery.

Untitled, 2016 by Emma Phillips
I was thinking of Sandro Botticelli and I was thinking of Rineke Dijkstra. But mostly I was thinking of this girl on the beach in Frankston, and how she’s beautiful and radiant.

Describe the subject’s pose and body language.

In her statement, Emma Phillips refers to the work of contemporary Dutch photographer, Rineke Dijkstra.

The twist of the contrapposto pose emphasises curves and is often employed as a short hand for quintessential female beauty in reference to Sandro Botticelli’s 'The birth of Venus'.

Discuss ideas of ‘beauty’ in relation to this portrait.

Lyu with orchid, 2017 by David Rosetzky
In the NPPP 2018, photographers have employed a range of different digital and analogue techniques to achieve their desired effect.

This photograph was produced by superimposing two images to create one multidimensional composition, a process called double-exposure.

Look at the different layers and the elements that are in or out of focus.

David Rosetzky's artist statement:

This portrait of champion Australian ballroom dancer Lyu Masuda is from my ongoing series of analogue, black and white, double-exposure photographs taken with a 35mm film camera. Working with this technique enables me to combine one image with another in a way that I cannot completely anticipate. It is precisely the random nature of this process that holds particular interest for me – with its inherent misalignments and compositions created through chance. I have worked with portraiture for many years, and have recently made a number of photographs that incorporate images of flowers with individuals from the LGBTQI community.

Reflecting on this statement;

What does the photographer mean by the random nature of this process?

How would you approach making a double-exposed photograph?

Yassmin Abdel-Magied, 2017 by Adrian Cook
Here is an early photographic technique called tintype. 

Can you find examples of other photographic techniques from NPPP 2018?

NPPP 2018 finalists

Self-portrait of a girl I used to know, 2016 by Holly Granville-Edge
Portraits can capture a range of emotions that the subject is experiencing and projecting to viewers.

In this self-portrait the photographer is looking at herself. The subject appears both strong and vulnerable.

Which aspects of her pose and expression suggest each of these conditions?

Scarred, 2017 by Nicole Wells
This portrait is also about vulnerability and strength. 

How is this expressed?

Find out more about the exhibition by heading over to our website.

Interested in learning more?

Book into one of our virtual excursions and spend some time with one of our Learning Facilitators. Chat, draw and be taken on a virtual tour through the exhibition and Collection.

After its conclusion at the National Portrait Gallery on 17 June, the NPPP 2018 will embark on a tour around Australia!

Take a look at the tour venues and schedule.

More finalist images...
Select the portraits you find compelling and reflect on what aspects you connect with.
National Photographic Portrait Prize 2018 - Learning Resource
Credits: Story

This exhibit was written by Emily Casey, Program Coordinator at the National Portrait Gallery.

This exhibit was edited and produced by Alana Sivell, Digital Learning Coordinator at the National Portrait Gallery.

Thanks to the NPPP 2018 finalists for allowing us to include their works.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Translate with Google