Exhibition 2011

Prize Winners

The prize winners for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize were announced at an award ceremony on 8 November 2011 at the Natioal Portrait Gallery.


First prize

First prize was awarded to Jooney Woodward for Harriet and Gentleman Jack

Born in London in 1979, Woodward grew up in Dorset and returned to the capital to study Graphic Design at Camberwell College of Arts, specialising in photography in her final year. Her portrait is of 13 year old Harriet Power, a steward at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show, photographed in the guinea pig judging enclosure. Woodward says:

‘I found her image immediately striking with her long red hair and white stewarding coat. She is holding her own guinea pig called Gentleman Jack, named after the Jack Daniel’s whisky box in which he was given to her. Using natural light from a skylight above, I took just three frames and this image was the first. There is something unsettling about the austere background and the scratch on her hand.’

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Second prize

The Second Prize was awarded to Jill Wooster for Of Lili

Born in 1977 in New Haven, Connecticut, Jill Wooster has lived in New York, San Francisco and currently lives in London. Her portrait is of her friend, Lili Ledbetter and was taken at Wooster’s flat in Peckham. She says:

‘Lili is a complicated character. I like the way her androgyny makes her appearance seem both guarded and relaxed at the same time, capturing both her confidence and vulnerability.’

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Third Prize

The Third Prize was awarded to Dona Schwartz for Christina and Mark, 14 months

Born in the US in 1955, Dona Schwartz is an Associate Professor specialising in Visual Communication at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. Her portrait is of Christina and Mark Bigelow from Minnesota in their son’s vacated bedroom. The image is from her current series, On the Nest, documenting moments of change in parents’ lives, and this photograph explores the emotions experienced by parents as their children leave home. She says:

’The transition to life as an empty nester lacks formal ritual observance. In this case there is no finite gestation period and the new beginning it heralds may be more sobering.’

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Fourth Prize

The Fourth Prize was awarded to Jasper Clarke for Wen

Born in the UK in 1978, Jasper Clarke studied at Edinburgh’s Napier University before moving to London to assist many high profile photographers including Nadav Kander and Liz Collins. His portrait taken in Hackney is of Wen Wu, a Chinese artist, and is from a personal project depicting artists, musicians and other creatives who live in their work spaces. Clarke says:

‘The portraits are not intended to elicit sympathy for the cash-strapped artist; they are more a celebration of people’s dedication in following a path no matter what the obstacles.’

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Fifth prize

The Fifth Prize was awarded to David Knight for Andie

David Knight was born in Oxford in 1971 and currently lives in Australia with his wife and twin sons. His portrait of 15-year-old Andiee Poetschka, was commissioned by Loud for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance to raise awareness of the condition throughout Australia. He says:

‘I wanted the portraits to be positive and to convey the kids in an uplifting way. You don’t immediately notice Andiee is in a wheelchair; you just see a beautiful young woman. The image doesn’t demand you look at it, but gently draws you in.’

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ELLE Commission

The winner of the ELLE Commission 2011 is Jasper Clarke for Wen (see above). Clarke will be given the opportunity to shoot a feature story for ELLE magazine.

Now in its third year, the ELLE Commission was judged by the fashion magazine’s creative director, Marissa Bourke, together with the art director, Tom Meredith, and picture editor, Flora Bathurst.


The Judges

The competition was judged on an equal and anonymous basis from original prints by:
Monica Allende, Picture Editor, The Sunday Times Magazine
Michael Bracewell, Writer and Novelist
Venetia Dearden, Photographer
Clare Ferguson, Senior Consultant, Taylor Wessing
Sandy Nairne, Director, The National Portrait Gallery (Chair)
Terence Pepper, Curator of Photographs, National Portrait Gallery

Harriet and Gentleman Jack
by Jooney Woodward © the artist