Enda Bowe, Garrod Kirkwood and Pat Martin have been shortlisted for this year's Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, the international photography award organised by the National Portrait Gallery.
The prize-winning portraits include a thoughtful sitter from the Belfast Conway estate; a family ready for their day out on Whitley Bay beach in England; and works from a series depicting the photographer’s late mother in Los Angeles.
Enda Bowe is an Irish photographer based in London. His shortlisted work portrays Neil, a young man photographed as part of a series on the Belfast Conway estate. Bowe says, "l concentrated on the ordinary, the everyday. The photographs use a saturated colour palette with only subtle symbolisms, and without reference to the specific locations they were taken. Free from political and geographical context, the photographs speak of longing, yearning, aspirations and vulnerabilities of young people in Belfast today."
Garrod Kirkwood, meanwhile, is a British photographer based on the North East coast of England. His work is driven by the environment and the people that inhabit it. Kirkwood’s shortlisted photograph shows a family of individual personalities, on the cusp of a holiday adventure. Kirkwood says, "This is a magical moment and portrait of a family and group of individuals that we all can relate to.’ Kirkwood describes the photograph, taken in Whitley Bay, England as ‘a cinematic scene from real life."
Also in the running is Pat Martin, an American photographer from Los Angeles whose photography is connected with personal memories. He sees the present as an opportunity to build upon an empty family album, while also finding new connections through portraiture.
Martin’s shortlisted works intimately document his late mother who struggled with addiction issues throughout her life. Martin says, "For most of my life, I misunderstood my mother and witnessed how the world misunderstood her. Photographing her became a way of looking into a mirror and finding details never noticed. There were always new ones to discover, and something new to hide."
The prizes for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2019 will be announced on Tuesday 5 November 2019 at 19.00.
All work will go on display at the National Portrait Gallery from 7 November until 16 February 2020. Find out more at npg.org.uk/photoprize.