Redland Art Gallery exhibition captures a “year like no other”

Redland Art Gallery, Cleveland will offer an intriguing insight into the work of some of Australia’s best portrait photographers with a crowd-pleasing exhibition from the National Portrait Gallery opening on Sunday 15 May.

Living Memory: National Photographic Portrait Prize, which will run until Sunday 19 June, has been hailed as an exceptional reflection of a “year like no other”.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said it was a major coup for Redlands Coast to host such an esteemed exhibition.

“The National Photographic Portrait Prize (NPPP), now in its 14th year, is a stalwart of the National Portrait Gallery’s annual calendar and the 2021 prize drew more than 3000 entries from many of Australia best portrait photographers,” Cr Williams said.

“The quality of this exhibition is underscored by the fact that 79 works were selected as finalists, almost double the usual amount.

“Our gallery will have more than 40 works on display including Sydney photographer Joel B. Pratley’s overall prize winning photograph of a lone farmer immersed in a dust storm, titled Drought story.”

Julian Kingma, Tom at the drain 2020, digital image. Courtesy of the artist.

National Portrait Gallery director Karen Quinlan, who will open the exhibition on Friday 13 May, said the judges were moved and humbled by the number and quality of work received.

“The nature of an annual photography prize means the works presented often reflect significant events from the preceding year and 2020 was, of course, a year like no other and, for many of us, one we will never forget,” Ms Quinlan said.

“More finalists have been included in the 2021 National Photographic Portrait Prize as a way of acknowledging the impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the creative community.

“While we see the bright celebration of identity we expect from works selected for the NPPP, the portraits also reflect the maelstrom that was late 2019 and 2020, and the darkness of a period that included wide-spread fires and a pandemic. Fittingly, we wanted to mark this exhibition by naming it Living Memory.”

Living Memory is a National Portrait Gallery Exhibition supported by the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program, an Australian Government program aiming to improve access to the national collections for all Australians.

All works from the Living Memory: National Photographic Portrait Prize are included on the National Portrait Gallery website

There will be a floor talk and morning tea with Living Memory finalist Agi Davis from 10am on Sunday 15 May. Bookings are essential for both the official opening and floor talk.

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