News Release: NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY COMMISSIONS NEW PHOTOGRAPH OF STAR WARS ACTRESS FELICITY JONES AS PART OF THE JOHN KOBAL NEW WORK AWARD

Wednesday 21 December 2016

A striking newly- commissioned photograph of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story actress Felicity Jones has been commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, it was announced today Wednesday 21 December 2016.

The portrait, taken by photographer Laura Pannack, was commissioned through the John Kobal New Work Award, a prize awarded annually to a photographer under thirty-five whose work is selected for display in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.

The London-based photographer Laura Pannack won the John Kobal New Work Award commission following her selection as part of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014 exhibition, and was invited to photograph the actress Felicity Jones in February 2016. 

Felicity Jones decided on a casual and relaxed style for her photograph taken on a reed bed in Walthamstow Marshes, which are close to the photographer's home in north-east London, on a particularly cold day. The actress did not once complain, but, says Pannack, ‘soldiered through to make the most of the limited time we had'.   Pannack chose the Marshes over other park-based locations because, she says, ‘the Marshes felt more unusual and emotive. We both agreed it felt wildly atmospheric'.

Laura Pannack says: ‘Felicity was incredibly enthusiastic and really keen to contribute ideas to ensure the portrait was a creative collaboration.' 

As winner of the John Kobal New Work Award in 2014 for her portrait Chayla in Shul, Laura Pannack received a commission to photograph a sitter connected with the UK film industry for the National Portrait Gallery Collection. Jones was chosen for her outstanding contribution to British cinema, theatre and television.

Born in 1983 in Birmingham, England, Felicity Jones started her acting career during her childhood with TV roles in The Treasure Seekers and The Worst Witch. She went on to star in films that included Like Crazy, Hysteria, Invisible Woman, Amazing Spider-Man 2, Northanger Abbey, Brideshead Revisited, Chéri , The Tempest, A Monster Calls and Inferno. Her stage work includes the Donmar Warehouse production of The Chalk Garden. Jones won wide acclaim for her portrayal of Jane Hawking, wife of Stephen Hawking, in the biopic The Theory of Everything for which she was nominated for a BAFTA, Golden Globe and an Academy Award.  She is currently starring in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Laura Pannack is a London based Photographer. She was educated at the University of Brighton Central Saint Martins College of Art and LCC. Her work has been extensively exhibited and published both in the UK and internationally, including the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014 at The National Portrait Gallery, the Houses of Parliament, Somerset House, and the Royal Festival Hall in London. In 2010 Laura received first prize in the Portrait Singles category of the World Press Photo awards. She has also won and been shortlisted for several other awards including The Sony World Photography Awards, The Magenta foundation and Lucies IPA. She was recently awarded the Vic Odden by The Royal Photographic Society award for a notable achievement in the art of photography by a British photographer aged 35 or under. As well as pursuing her own practice, she often lectures , critiques and teaches at universities, festivals and workshops worldwide. In 2015 she judged the World Photo Press awards portraits category over three days in Amsterdam.

The John Kobal New Work Award Commission was launched in 2012 by the John Kobal Foundation and represents a significant achievement for young photographers, particularly as each commissioned portrait becomes part of the Gallery's Collection. The first commission saw the American photographer Matthew Niederhauser take a striking portrait of Andrea Riseborough, who had recently portrayed Wallis Simpson in the film W.E. (2011). The 2013 Award recipient, the Czech photographer Hana Knizova, photographed Olivia Colman reclining in an elegant tuxedo in a disused Victorian house in Stoke Newington.

Simon Crocker, Chairman of the John Kobal Foundation, and judge of the John Kobal New Work Award, says:

‘When you get perfect harmony between a captivating sitter like Felicity and a talented photographer like Laura you get a wonderful portrait like this - thoughtful, fresh and intriguing. We could not be more pleased with it.' 

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, says: ‘The  John Kobal Foundation possesses an outstanding collection of iconic portraits of Hollywood movie stars, so it is fitting that by sponsoring this Award the Foundation offers a young artist a great opportunity to photograph a sitter connected with the UK film industry. We are delighted that Felicity Jones now joins Olivia Colman and Andrea Riseborough in this exciting series of portraits commissioned from selected photographers in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.'

Felicity Jones by Laura Pannack will go on display in the National Portrait Gallery in 2017. 

NPG x199584: Felicity Jones
by Laura Pannack, 2016
C-type colour print
© National Portrait Gallery, London

IMAGE CAPTION: Felicity Jones by Laura Pannack, 2016 © National Portrait Gallery, London

TAYLOR WESSING PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT PRIZE 2016   

Until 26 February 2016, National Portrait Gallery, London, Admission £4, Concessions £3

For further Press information and image requests please contact: Neil Evans, Press Office, National Portrait Gallery Tel: 020 7312 2452 (not for publication). Email: nevans@npg.org.uk   Press images: www.npg.org.uk/press

National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, London, WC2H 0HE. Opening hours Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday: 10am - 6pm (Gallery closure commences at 5.50pm) Late Opening: Thursday, Friday: 10am - 9pm (Gallery closure commences at 8.50pm) Nearest Underground: Leicester Square/Charing Cross Recorded information: 020 7312 2463 General information: 020 7306 0055 Website: www.npg.org.uk 

NOTES TO EDITORS: 

Felicity Jones by Laura Pannack is the The John Kobal New Work Award Commission awarded as part of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014

  • 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 First Prize winner received £10,000; Second Prize £3,000; Third Prize £2,000, Fourth Prize, £1,000. The winner of the John Kobal New Work Award received a cash prize of £4,000 to include undertaking a commission to photograph a sitter connected with the UK film industry for the National Portrait Gallery Collection. The John Kobal New Work Award was judged by Simon Crocker, Chairman of the John Kobal Foundation and Terence Pepper, former Senior Special Advisor on Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery.

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