Awards, BJP

Own Part of Portrait of Britain, the UK’s Biggest Public Art Exhibition

Main image: Peter © Dylan Collard, from the series Forever Boys

Portrait of Britain, a new exhibition by and for the public, curated by British Journal of Photography and now visible all across Great Britain, is also available in a limited-edition print sale. So, in this most public of art exhibitions, if you like something you see, you can buy a part of it for yourself.

The BJP team envisaged an exhibition by the people, of the people and for the people. Now, in our new portraiture issue, we reveal the selected images which, for the month of September, will be displayed nationwide on JCDecaux digital screens in an unprecedented outdoor exhibition examining the face of modern Britain.

Of nearly 4000 entries, we have selected the portraits that capture the young and the old, reflecting not just the multiformity of British people, but also the myriad of styles and approaches to contemporary photographic portraiture.

Simon Bainbridge, editor of BJP, says of the exhibition: “We hope that, collectively, the 100 selected portraits would present an alternative to the mainstream rhetoric, and that, taken on their own, they would add some nuance to the picture of who we are as a country, and celebrate our unique heritage and diversity.”

We’ve now launched a limited edition, museum quality print sale for almost all of the Portrait of Britain images. Many of the photographs are available to buy, priced from £75 for an A4 print and £120 for a limited edition A3 print. Each photographer will directly receive a percentage of each print purchased. Click the images to buy.

Amongst the selected images was Jenny Lewis’ image of Nicola and Jemima is part of One Day Young, an ongoing photography series, spanning seven years, of new mothers and their freshly born babies, taken in their homes in the London borough of Hackney within 24 hours of birth.

First published as a photobook by the London-based independent publishing company Hoxton Mini Press, One Day Young is a celebration of women’s “rite of passage into motherhood,” Lewis says.

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Nicola and Jemima © Jenny Lewis, from One Day Young

“I wanted to tell a story about the strength and resilience of women, post-childbirth,” she says, “that I feel goes largely unacknowledged in today’s world.”

“I wanted to concentrate on the first twenty-four hours,” Lewis says. “When a woman’s body is still engulfed by hormones, to capture the unrelenting physicality of the moment, straight from the battlefield.

”Sweat still glistening on the mothers’ skin, the translucent umbilical cord freshly severed, and wide-eyed as the women come to terms with the magnitude of what they have achieved and survived.”

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Adam © Adama Jollah

Adama Jollah, the 24-year-old Londoner, is featured with her beautiful image of Adam, a young black boy from London. Jolly has won plaudits for her series You Fit The Description, a series highlight racial prejudice in ‘stop and search’ police profiling in London, which, recent research has found, makes black boys 28 times more likely to be targeted by the law.

On what she looks for when taking a portrait, Jollah says:

“It’s a mixture of things – from the subject’s expression or mannerisms, the tones, the space, how the light might hit the subject. Its always interesting looking back at the results of an image, whether you’ve had 10 seconds of interaction with someone or spent a longer period of time with them. From time to time you get a sense of nervousness from strangers when you ask for their portrait, so being able to capture an unexpected emotion during brief encounters can be interesting.

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Sunday Football © Chris Baker

Also featured is an image from Chris Baker’s series Sunday Football, a love letter to the amateur football games that populate the vast Hackney Marshes in North East London, a game that has “consumed him” for so many years.

Baker calls his series: “An ode to those players that turn up late, hungover and discussing last night’s conquest. Those who light a cigarette at half time whilst sucking an orange quarter for the supposed energy it gives you.

“Those that repeatedly call the referee, their team mates and the opposing team a ‘cunt’. Those that get lost in the emotion of the game and start the occasional brawl on the pitch, and those that round off the weekend with a quick pint of beer with their teammates post-game before heading back to the missus and kids for a roast dinner.

British Sunday league football at it’s best, every week of the season come rain or shine, at Hackney Marshes, the spiritual home of amateur football.”

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Rebecca © Francesca Allen

Another of the selected images was Francesca Allen with her image Rebecca, part of a larger body of work entitled ‘GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS’. The series focuses on “the delicate period between adolescence and womanhood” as Francesca turns her gaze adoringly on her friends, harnessing their energy and revealing their strength and fragility that comes with the transition.”

You can buy each of these images, and many more, by clicking on the image, or here.