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National Portrait Gallery Announces Winner of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2010

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2010 has been won by David Chancellor, 49, for his portrait, Huntress with Buck, of 14 year old Josie Slaughter from Alabama on her first hunting trip to South Africa. He says: ‘Josie had hunted her buck earlier in the day and was returning to camp. As we arrived, the sun set below the cloud cover and I had almost unreal light for around a minute. The contrast between the peace and tranquillity of the location, plus Josie’s ethereal beauty and the dead buck, was what I wanted to explore. Here was a vulnerability and yet also a strength.’

© David Chancellor

The £12,000 award was presented to Chancellor at the National Portrait Gallery, London, on Tuesday 9 November. The portrait is from his project documenting hunters, the hunted and spaces associated with hunting. He says: ‘As a child I was fascinated by the tales of Colonel Jim Corbett hunting man-eating tigers in India. As an art student it was Peter Beard’s seminal work The End of the Game that fascinated and inspired. This work will seek to explore the intricate and complex relationship between man and animals and how both struggle to adapt to their changing environments.’

Chancellor spent two days with the 14 year old and her family, shooting Kodak 160VC 120 film on a Mamiya 7 II camera. The painterly quality of light is a striking component of Chancellor’s winning entry. ‘I’ve always been interested in Africa; it’s impossible not to be inspired by the place,’ he says. ‘Once you are bitten by the continent you never recover. And for an artist or photographer, the light is indescribable.’ While Chancellor acknowledges that hunting is an emotive subject, he stresses the importance of remaining objective in his reportage. ‘The aim is always to be detached’, he says. ‘In reality that’s rarely possible, but I do hope I can observe without an agenda and without the necessity to shout.’

Born in Solihull in 1961, Chancellor inherited his interest in photography from his father, a keen amateur photographer, and started taking photographs of his boyhood passions: wildlife and motorsport. After an unfulfilling early career in banking, he studied photography at Kent Institute of Art and Design. Now based in both London and Cape Town, he shoots documentary reportage and portraiture for a range of clients, and regularly works on projects for Non-Governmental Organisations. Named Nikon Press Photographer of the Year three times, he also received a World Press Photo Award earlier this year, and a study of his wife and son was exhibited in last year’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.
The following artists have also been commended in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2010 and receive the following prizes:

£3,000 Second Prize: Panayiotis Lamprou for Portrait of my British wife from the series Human Presence

Born in Athens in 1975, Panayiotis Lamprou, was introduced to photography at the ‘Photography Circle’ in Athens in 1998, where he studied under Platon Rivellis. He went on to study further at the Centro di Ricerca e Archiviazione della Fotografia in Spilimbergo, Italy. His shortlisted portrait of his wife was not originally intended for public display, and was taken at the couple’s summerhouse on the small island of Schinousa in the Aegean Sea on a hot summer’s day. Lamprou says: ‘I never showed it to anyone. Only she knew about it. When she saw it she said that even if it wasn’t a nude the photograph has the same power to express. I can describe the portrait as Independence and Love, Devotion and Freedom.’ His work has been included in numerous publications and sixteen exhibitions throughout Europe, and this will be the first time that his work has been on display in the UK.

£2,000 Third Prize: Jeffrey Stockbridge for Tic Tac and Tootsie (twin sisters Carroll and Shelly McKean) from the series Nowhere but Here

Jeffrey Stockbridge, born 1982 in Woodbine, Maryland, moved to Philadelphia to study photography at Drexel University in 2002. Stockbridge’s shortlisted photograph is of Tic Tac and Tootsie, 20-year-old twin sisters Carroll and Shelly McKean taken in Kensington, North Philadelphia. The twin sisters, who live on the street and suffer from insomnia, are both addicted to Xanex and have resorted to prostitution to supply their habit. Stockbridge says: ‘Enduring unthinkable pain on a daily basis, the sisters are both incredibly strong and weak at the same time. Caught in the grip of their addiction, they do whatever it takes to survive, except for getting clean.’ Upon graduating in 2005, Stockbridge was placed as runner-up in the New York Times Magazine’s ‘Capture the Times’ photography competition for his series on abandoned houses in Philadelphia, titled Occupied. He has exhibited widely in the US since graduation, and received many grants and awards for his projects documenting urban blight in Philadelphia.

£1,000 Fourth Prize Abbie Trayler-Smith for Untitled 2 from the series Childhood Obesity

Born in South Wales in 1977, Abbie Trayler-Smith studied law at Kings College, London while taking photographs for the student newspaper. Self-trained, she went on to work as a photographer for The Daily Telegraph. Her shortlisted portrait was taken on the second meeting with a girl called Chelsea, from Shine, a group in Sheffield which helps teenagers deal with obesity. Trayler-Smith says: ‘WAbbie Trayler-Smithhilst talking about how it feels to live with the prejudices that come with being overweight, I looked away to change the film in my camera. When I looked back the picture was suddenly there. I shot one frame.’ Trayler-Smith has worked for Time Magazine, GEO, Marie Claire, Tatler, Guardian Weekend, Oxfam, UNICEF and BBC Worldwide among others. Her project on asylum seekers in the UK, Still Human, Still Here, was exhibited at HOST Gallery, London, in 2009 with an accompanying film which won both the Nikon Award 2009 and the PPY Best Multimedia Piece 2009. She joined Panos Pictures in 2007, and became a member of Panos Profile in 2010.

The winner of the ELLE Commission 2010 is Clare Shilland, 36, for her portrait Merel. Shilland will be given the opportunity to shoot a feature story for ELLE magazine. Now in its second year, the ELLE Commission was judged by the fashion magazine’s editor-in-chief, Lorraine Candy, together with the art director, Tom Meredith, and picture editor, Hannah Ridley.

Shilland, from South London, met Merel in Milan when she shot her for an Italian magazine and later asked her if she could photograph her for her exhibition Girls! Girls! Girls! She says: ‘The concept was that it would be a combination of female nudes and female drummers. I asked Merel if I could photograph her for it and she agreed. I travelled to Antwerp where she lives and we spent a few days there taking pictures. One day we rode bicycles out of the city to some woods and fields – that is where I took this picture.’

Shilland studied at Camberwell College of Arts and the Royal College of Art. She has shot for clients including Marni, Hardy Amies, Warner Music, Lyle & Scott and H&M, and her photographs have been published in i-D, Italian Rolling Stone, GQ Style and Teen Vogue amongst others.

This is the third year that the law firm, Taylor Wessing LLP, have sponsored the Prize.

The judges selected 60 portraits for the exhibition from nearly 6000 submissions entered by 2,401 photographers from around the world.
Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, says: ‘David Chancellor’s Huntress with Buck is a powerful and beautiful portrait; a worthy winner amidst a strong international submission.’
Tim Eyles, Managing Partner of international law firm Taylor Wessing says: ‘As ever, Taylor Wessing is immensely proud to be associated with the Photographic Portrait Prize. Congratulations to all whose images feature in this year’s exhibition and particularly to this year’s winner David Chancellor.’

Lorraine Candy, Editor-in-Chief of ELLE magazine says: ‘Whether it’s new designers, models or photographers, discovering and supporting emerging talent is part of ELLE’s heritage. So it has been an honour for us to work with the National Portrait Gallery on this prestigious photography competition. Entries were strong but we decided on Claire Shilland’s portrait because of her evident ability to capture a striking scene with remarkable technical skill. The lighting captured is wonderful and is of the same calibre of photography that you would find in our magazine.’

The exhibition will run at the National Portrait Gallery, London, from 11 November 2010 until 20 February 2011, admission £2, before touring to The Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens from 16 April until 26 June 2011.

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