Jooney Woodward wins Taylor Wessing photographic portrait prize 2011



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The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011 has been won by Jooney Woodward (London, 1979) for her portrait named Harriet and Gentleman Jack.

Gentleman Jack 
The portrait of 13-year-old Harriet Power was taken in the guinea pig judging area at the Royal Welsh Show. Woodward says: ‘I found her image immediately striking with her long, red hair and white stewarding coat. She is holding her own guinea pig called Gentleman Jack, named after the Jack Daniel’s whisky box in which he was given to her. Using natural light from a skylight above, I took just three frames and this image was the first.’

No Photoshop
The £12,000 award was presented to Woodward at the National Portrait Gallery, London, last night (Tuesday 8 November 2011). She found her sitter whilst scouting for potential subject matter amongst the sheepdog trials, livestock competitions and regimental bands at the agricultural show in Builth Wells, Powys. The portrait was shot on film with a Mamiya RZ medium format camera. Woodward says:

‘I prefer the quality and depth you get from using film; unfortunately it’s a dying art. I don’t mess around with Photoshop so what you see is what you get. Enhanced images can portray a false sense of reality, whereas my work celebrates the people and places as they appear every day.’

Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, says:

Jooney Woodward offers a brilliant, empathetic study of young woman – a great winning photograph for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011. As ever, I am very grateful to all the photographers who entered and to our partner, Taylor Wessing.’

More prizes
The following artists have also been commended in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011 and receive the following prizes: £2,500 Second Prize: Jill Wooster (Connecticut, 1977) for her portrait Of Lili, £1,500 Third Prize: Dona Schwartz (United States, 1955) for Christina and Mark, 14 months from the series On the Nest, £1,000 Fourth Prize: Jasper Clarke (United Kingdom, 1978) for Wen and  £500 Fifth Prize: David Knight (Oxford, 1971) for Andie. For the third year running, ELLE magazine will commission a photographer selected for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition to shoot a feature story. The winner of the ELLE Commission 2011 is Jasper Clarke, for his portrait Wen. 

Exhibition and book
The exhibition will run at the National Portrait Gallery, London, from 10 November 2011 until 12 February 2012. A fully illustrated book including photographs from this year’s exhibition features an essay by Michael Bracewell, writer and novelist, and interviews with the prize winners by Richard McClure. Price £15, 72 pages paperback. (Available from November 10, 2011).