David Stewart has won this year's Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 for his group portrait of his daughter and her friends. The National Portrait Gallery presented the £12,000 award to the London-based photographer last night at the awards ceremony.
The winning portrait Five Girls 2014 depicts the distance between a seemingly close group of friends, and mirrors a photograph he took of them seven years ago, which was also displayed in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize in 2008.
About the photograph, David said: “I have always had a fascination with the way people interact – or, in this case, fail to interact, which inspired the photograph of this group of girls.
"While the girls are physically very close and their style and clothing highlight their membership of the same peer group, there is an element of distance between them.”
Second prize has been awarded to Hector, Anoush Abrar’s photograph of a young boy, inspired by Caravaggio’s painting Sleeping Cupid, while third prize has gone to Nyaueth, Peter Zelewski’s photograph of a woman he spotted on Oxford Street whilst working on his series Beautiful Strangers.
Fourth prize was awarded to Amira and her Children, Ivor Prickett’s photograph of a displaced Iraqi family who had fled their village near Mosul after Isis took control of the area.
The John Kobal New Work Award, worth £5,000, was won by Tereza Červeňová for her portrait of her friend Yngvild.
Beginning in 1993, the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize has become the National Portrait Gallery’s signature exhibition, attracting contemporary photographers around the globe and offering extensive exposure to seasoned photographers and talented amateurs.
In the words of Dr. Nicholas Cullinan, director of the National Portrait Gallery, “this compelling exhibition is, essentially, a dynamic photographic portrait of the world today.”
The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 exhibition runs from 12 November 2015 to 21 February 2016 at the National Portrait Gallery, London. Admission is £4. For more information, visit the website.