Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2021 ★★★★ Cromwell Place | Nov 10, 2021 - Jan 2, 2022


The winner of this year's Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2021 is David Prichard for his series Tribute to Indigenous Stock Women. Part of the fun of this event is to choose one's personal winner. We found Prichard's series of four photographs of women who had spent many years working on cattle stations in Queensland wonderfully atmospheric, expressive and illuminating, but several other works also stood out. Black and white is always a favourite and the strikingly beautiful series by Alessandra Sanguinetti shows women in posed groups who seem to be from another age. Joseph Smith's compelling work presents two brothers in the twilight of their years who are still running their business and looking immaculate. Lauren Forster's study of the photographer's recently widowed father with her hands resting comfortingly on his shoulders wonderfully displays compassion and the contemplation of mortality. Polly Braden's shot of a mother and her daughters glancing back after her son has departed for school, seems to have exactly the imagination and great composition that sometimes seemed missing elsewhere. The photographs are certainly more than psychological portraits and also delve into deeper issues: a distraught man alongside a blood spattered stretcher and victims of a nuclear leakage trapped without hope of escape are examples. So who should have won? In the end, we have to agree with the judges. Prichard is a very deserving winner. His photographs of the four women fulfill every criteria for great portrait photography.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by D.S.J.
Image: Mildred Burns, Gkuthaarn Woman from the series Tribute to Indigenous Stock Women by David Prichard © David Prichard.

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