Picture Perfect

Jul 31 2015

Exhibition & Display Curator Alison Morton talks about her work on an exhibition currently on show at the Millennium Gallery- The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014:

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is an annual open submission competition organised by the National Portrait Gallery- a prestigious annual fixture in the Gallery’s calendar. For the 2014 competition the NPG received around 4,000 entries from photographers, both amateur and professional, in over 60 countries. We are thrilled to be the only venue outside London for this show- one of the country’s leading photography exhibitions. The exhibition of 59 shortlisted photographs features some of today’s most exciting contemporary photographers, including winner David Titlow.

Skate Girl by Jessica Fulford-Dobson Working with the National Portrait Gallery is always a great experience. They support our team and allow us to adapt an exhibition to suit our galleries and audiences. I went down to the National Portrait Gallery to see the exhibition in February which helped me decide the layout and picture groupings you see in our gallery. I also chose the blue wall colour – I hope you like it!

Thanks to the breadth of submissions, there is no single overarching theme to the exhibition, however the connection of family and intergenerational relationships is a story that reoccurs. The link is not always obvious in the picture but is often present in the photographer/sitter relationship, for example the photograph of Arvi was taken by his father, and the winning portrait by David Titlow; Konrad Lars Hastings Titlow, depicts his baby son.

Many of the images seem very familiar; Dog and Boy depicts a scene from a family holiday and Untitled shows a family picnic by a river in Devon, whilst others such as Euromaidan Protesters in Kyiv, Ukraine and Mwasaru, a sugar cane cutter from Kenya can seem very far removed from our lives.

All the pictures provide an insight in to the lives of others – some are reassuring, others unsettling. It’s this remarkable diversity of the photographers and their subject matter that will really connect with our visitors.

Find out more about the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014 exhibition at the Millennium Gallery here.


Top: Konrad Lars Hastings Titlow by David Titlow, 2014 © David Titlow
Bottom: Skate Girl by Jessica Fulford-Dobson, 2014 © Jessica Fulford-Dobson



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