Express Yourself In Black'n'White

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


  1. Oh my, that view sure makes up for the shuffling old man in beige overcoat :-)

  2. Beware of shuffling old men in overcoats...
    It's kind of coincidental that my post today was all black and white photos. Here's to a good week!

  3. What an amazing way to find inspiration! Sounds like the absolute perfect Sunday to me!

  4. That is a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon and a bonus that you received inspiration to boot!

  5. Sounds like a neat exhibit! Thank you for sharing...I wish I could see the pictures you described!

  6. Oh you lucky! I agree, the look on the Ethiopian boy's face is...intense. He could be angry, in pain, terribly sad.

  7. I think you are the most fabulous and cultured blogger I know! What fantastic life you have.

  8. Agnes, it really did! ;)

    Pat, I'll be over to check those BWs out. Happy Week to you too!

    Carol, jump on a plane, will you! I'll have a jug of margaritas waiting!

    Meredith, twas perfect my friend. Definitely recommend.

    Danette, art is another passion of mine - I'd be content to wander through galleries for weeks. *clink clink* Hope you are well my dear! x

    Liza, you're welcome. Some of the pictures are on the website link to the gallery.

    Bish, its a great image, I found myself drawn to it across the room. Really intense!

    Jessie, OH! You're so sweet. I try my best, life is too short!!! You've got to grab it and enjoy as many moments as you can. Thank you so much for you lovely compliments! xx

  9. A time of decompression and inspiration. My kind of day. Glad to hear you enjoyed yourself. National Geographic is worth the subscritption just on the images alone.

  10. I love the way you described portraits! It's so amazing the stories they can spark.


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