15 May 2023
In addition to first, second and third prizes, the National Portrait Gallery has launched a new £8,000 commission, which will be awarded as part of 2023's Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize.
Supported by Taylor Wessing, the commission will see a shortlisted photographer selected to create a work for the Gallery's Collection.
Those shortlisted for the exhibition will also see their photographs exhibited alongside portraits by 2023's In Focus Photographer, Hassan Hajjaj.
Three years of winning photographs (2020, 2021, 2022). L-R: Samuel from the series Lost Summer by Alys Tomlinson © Alys Tomlinson; Merna Beasiey, Kurtijar Woman from the series Tribute to indigenous Stock Women by David Prichard © David Prichard; Laundry Day #2 from the series Laundry Day by Clementine Schneidermann © Clementine Schneidermann.
Today, the National Portrait Gallery announce that its annual Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize will include an additional award - a brand new photographic commission to support the creation of a portrait, which will become part of the National Portrait Gallery's Collection. Entries to the Prize remain open until 10pm on 22 May 2023, with submissions welcome from all photographers - from amateurs to professionals - aged 18 and over from around the world.
Alongside the monetary prizes for first, second and third place, a commission to the value of £8,000 will be awarded to one photographer, selected from those shortlisted to exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in 2023. Supported Taylor Wessing, this new commission will give the photographer, whatever their experience, the opportunity to create an artwork that will form part of the world's largest collection of portraiture. The commissioned photographer will be announced at the Awards Ceremony at the Gallery, alongside the Prize winners, with the commission unveiled at the 2024 Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize exhibition.
Today, the Gallery also announce 2023's In Focus Photographer, Hassan Hajjaj. Living and working between London and Marrakesh, Hajjaj's vibrant portraits embrace diverse cultural influences - incorporating references to Western pop art and African studio portraiture, and mixing traditional Moroccan fabrics and motifs with contemporary streetwear and maximalist styling. His work resists stereotypes to fashion a unique representation of Hajjaj's own experience of living between British and North African cultures.
Hajjaj's work is held in the collections of some of the world's most prestigious museums globally, including the V&A, Brooklyn Museum, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, The Guggenheim in Abu Dhabi, and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. Hajjaj will exhibit a new series of never before seen works at the 2023 Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize exhibition.
"The Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize is one of the most respected photography awards in the world, so I'm delighted to be marking its return to the Gallery with this new commission. The National Portrait Gallery commissions a select number of portraits each year, which form the backbone of our contemporary displays. This inaugural photographic commission strengthens our commitment to collecting portraits of those who have made a major contribution to British history and culture, and importantly provides a further opportunity for the work of a fantastic photographer to join our Collection. I look forward to reviewing this year's submissions, alongside my fellow judges."
Nicholas Cullinan Director, National Portrait Gallery
"We are delighted to support the new Commission Prize as part of our longstanding partnership with the National Portrait Gallery and the Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize. This addition to that global prize provides another opportunity to champion emerging and exciting talent, and we look forward to seeing the winner showcased on the walls of the renovated gallery next year."
Shane Gleghorn, Managing Partner, Taylor Wessing
Entrants to the competition are encouraged to submit works as a series, either a group of individual portraits based on a particular theme, or two or more photographs that form a single portrait when shown together, in addition to stand-alone portraits. One series of photographs submitted to the competition may be chosen by the judges to be exhibited in its entirety. This year's judging panel will be chaired by the National Portrait Gallery's Director, Dr Nicholas Cullinan, who will be joined by Senior Curator at The Photographer's Gallery, Karen McQuaid; writer and photographer, Caleb Azumah Nelson; artist, Campbell Addy; and the National Portrait Gallery's Senior Curator of Photography, Sabina Jaskot-Gill.
To enter the 2023 competition, photographers are required to upload their image(s) via the National Portrait Gallery's competition platform. All images will be viewed anonymously by a panel of judges who will collectively select the prize winners and works for the exhibition. The digital platform can be access via www.competitions.npq.orq.uk. The entry fee for the competition is £21 per image. Photographers in receipt of Universal Credit or Pension Credit can enter this year's Prize for free, and a new discount is in place for photographers who receive Disability Benefits, who are students or are between the ages of 18 and 25. Full information about how to enter, including entry forms and rules, can be found online.
by Paul Lawrence and Shane Gleghorn