Series wins the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize
FOR THE first time in the competition’s history, a series has taken home the main prize in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2018. This year, 4,462 submissions were entered by 1,973 photographers from 70 countries.
South Africa’s Alice Mann won the award for her portrait series on the all-female teams of drum majorettes in South Africa’s Western Province, taking home £15,000 prize money.
Commenting on the winning work, the judges said, ‘Mann’s series is consistent in its evocation of a sustained and intriguing narrative. Each sitter is precisely framed within a carefully considered composition, and the girls confidently meet the camera’s gaze. Their pristine and vibrant outfits jar with the rundown surroundings, lending a surreal and enigmatic atmosphere to the portraits.’
The 27-year- old Alice Mann uses a medium-format analogue camera for the work; the four images entered into the competition come from a much larger body of work. Mann spent several months photographing different teams of drum majorettes, known as ‘drummies’, many of who come from South Africa’s most disadvantaged communities.
The £3,000 second prize was awarded to Ireland’s Enda Bowe, for her image Cybil McAddy with daughter Lulu, from the series Clapton Blossom. In another first, the third prize was awarded jointly to British photographer Max Barstow for Untitled from the series Londoners and Canadian Joey Lawrence for his image Portrait of ‘Strong’ Joe Smart from the series Tombo’s Wound.
All of the winning and shortlisted images are on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London until 27 January 2019.
Look out for an interview with Alice Mann about her award-winning work in our upcoming 24 November issue of AP.
All-female drum majorettes (drummies) are the subject of Alice Mann’s winning series