Red Instead

Promo and Prize at National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

As part of Canberra’s Human Brochure campaign (where I am one of 101 Local Humans sent on a series of amazing Discovery Events around Canberra so that we can spread the word via our social media channels) I attended a guided tour of two exhibitions currently on at the National Portrait GalleryPromo: Portraits from Prime Time and the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2014.

We were treated to some wonderful little nibblies and never-ending glasses of wine while we all mingled and chatted.  Then we all headed in to see the first exhibition, Promo: Portraits from Prime Time.  From the website:

PROMO: Portraits from prime time takes you behind-the-scenes and into the spotlight of the entertainment industry. Contemporary photographic portraiture shapes how we see the most recognisable Australians – comedians, musicians, presenters and actors. These images are usually absorbed in the split second between a page turn or a mouse click. Their creators reflect on the intense energy that generates an effortless and instantly satisfying portrait.

The exhibition was a lot of fun, with many well-known faces of Australian TV shows.

I loved the way the portraits were hung, in a really informal and engaging way, and scattered on the walls were quotes from the photographer or “talent” which gave an insight into the whole process.  Some images were even hung from a Hills Hoist (iconic Australian washing line) set on fake grass and with printed fence palings.  So fun!

Next we headed to see the other major exhibition, the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2014 which was a little more serious in nature:

We were looking for portraits that gave a strong sense of the person depicted. When it came down to the final judging, our top ten, then three, then two, showed us an increasingly subtle and real sense of the person in the portrait.

There were many very moving and striking images submitted for the prize, all of a very high standard.

Afterwards, we were treated to a question and answer session with a photographer whose work was showing in both exhibitions, Peter Brew-Bevan:

Peter has specialised in celebrity fashion portraiture photography for over twenty years. In 2007 Murdoch Books published his book Shoot: Studio Sessions, which won book of the year at the Galley Club Awards. Peter’s clients include major magazines, record labels and film companies.

Then it was time for some fun as we were shown to some background images that had been taped to the walls so that we could jump in front and have Peter direct us for an inpromptu iPhone photoshoot!

Of course, it quickly decsended into hilarity as people posed and primped for the cameras.

A fabulous night and two excellent photographic exhibitions.

Promo: Portraits from Prime Time / National Photographic Portrait Prize 2014
Until 9 June 2014 at the National Portrait Gallery Canberra

Tickets $10 or $8 members/concessions, under 18s free
Includes entry to both exhibitions.

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