|Postcards with an edge|
Yesterday, I ventured into London's National Portrait Gallery to view the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize for 2011. Ignoring the shuffling old man in beige overcoat who seemed to be lurking at my side for most of the afternoon, I think for the princely sum of £2, yes that was the entrance fee, it was well worth the visit. Did I mention the wannabe-model-lookalike and her stage mother who also lingered longer than necessary in front every single portrait I wanted to view? The sheer cheek of some folks...what do you mean it's a public gallery? Oh... I see. Moving right along...
I love photography, like writing, -it's another creative medium to build stories, paint colourful landscapes and whole other worlds. To escape, or indeed, or run away from. Portraits are so personal though, the expressions of the subjects captured for all eternity. I'll be honest, I wasn't enamoured with this year's prize-winning portrait, which incidentally is a young girl holding a guinea pig. For me, though, there were several incredible images of people from gritty backgrounds which easily provided inspiration for characters and stories. Oh yes, I left with at least two ideas under my peacoat.
My favourites? I was drawn to the Malega, the Ethiopian boy photographed by Mario Marina, something about his expression really haunted me. Masayo Ito's portrait of a Japanese family in a cemetery took me back to Tokyo; Maja Daniel's identical twins 'Monette and Mady' bought a smile to my lips - elderly sisters living in Paris, who still wear synchronised outfits and their hair? Bright red. Quirky always does it for me. If you live in the city or are visiting London soon, you should pop along for a browse. And afterwards, do check out perhaps the best view in the gallery on level three - afternoon tea at the bar with a stunning rooftop vista of London? A perfect sunday.
|London's rooftops, perhaps the best view in the gallery|