An image of a weathered beachgoer has won the National Portrait Gallery’s People’s Choice award in the 2015 National Photographic Portrait Prize.
New South Wales photographer Natalie Grono has won the National Portrait Gallery People’s Choice award for this year’s National Photographic Portrait Prize with her photo ‘Feather and the Goddess Pool 2014’. The organisers said this was the fourth and the most popular People’s Choice award in the prize’s history.
A total of 10,000 votes were cast during the exhibition, both at the exhibition space and through the gallery’s website. Natalie Grono, from Byron Bay, said, “I’m thrilled to be chosen from this field of remarkable photographers. I’m excited that the portrait of Feather resonated with so many people and I thank Feather for her confidence and wisdom!”
The final 46 portraits in the exhibition were chosen from 2500 entries from around Australia. Organisers said this was the most entries ever received. This year’s judges, Angus Trumble, Portrait Gallery Director, Dr Christopher Chapman, Senior Curator, National Portrait Gallery and invited guest judge, professional photographer Nikki Toole, had previously awarded the $25,000 cash prize to Hoda Afshar for ‘Portrait of Ali 2014’.
Dr Christopher Chapman said the portrait of Feather was a popular favourite with exhibition visitors. “It conveys a strong sense of her bold character and her connection to the natural environment of Byron Bay. The photograph uses black-and-white tones to create a dynamic layering of surfaces with ruffled water, crinkled rocks, and the texture of Feather’s own skin.”
The National Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 exhibition will soon go on a North Queensland tour, beginning at Artspace Mackay on July 10 and running through to August 30; then Cairns Regional Gallery from September 11 to October 18; followed by Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery December 9 to January 31, 2016, and finishing at Rockhampton Art Gallery from February 20 to April 2 2016. Sponsoring the People’s Choice award, Sun Studios provided the winner with a day’s studio hire in either Melbourne or Sydney valued at $2,000.
One voter will also win a weekend to Canberra, including two nights at Crowne Plaza Canberra and a private tour of the Portrait Gallery.
The full list of finalists is at http://www.portrait.gov.au/exhibitions/national-photographicportrait-prize-2015.