‘It has a mystical power’: moment of serenity in a Paris park wins Taylor Wessing pictures prize | Photography

Ora Sawyers

It is an graphic of stillness in an ever more chaotic earth: a young woman sits in a park, immersed in mother nature and music. And it has caught the mood of the times, getting to be the winner of the 2023 Taylor Wessing Picture Portrait prize.

Judges awarded Alexandre Silberman the prestigious £15,000 prize for his picture Diena, which was taken in Paris’s La Courneuve Park. The winning portrait varieties aspect of Silberman’s sequence Mother nature, which explores the intersection of human interventions and the normal globe. Judges praised the graphic for its mix of the regular and the contemporary, juxtaposing historical depictions of a Madonna with fashionable signifiers such as the sitter’s nose ring and headphones. The titular Diena, sitting for her initial at any time specialist photograph, is wearing a floral shirt which appears to blend in with the park’s bordering garden.

Born in Dortmund, Germany, Silberman is a director, cinematographer and photographer primarily based in Paris. He reported he initially noticed Diena sitting in the solar as he was going for walks by means of the park. “What I first observed, apart from the softness of her expression and the way her experience took the mild very perfectly, was a a lot more imposing factor close to her. Her suitcase, her substantial bouquet of crimson flowers, her substantial white veil slipping on the floor.”

Silberman was just about out of movie when he took his successful impression. “I determined to just take a shut-up of Diena, concentrating on her confront, but also on her blouse. The vegetation was no for a longer time what Diena was standing on, but Diena herself. This offers the portrait a mystical electric power, accentuated by her pretty inner expression and the dropping of the veil.”

A next prize of £3,000 was awarded to Gilleam Trapenberg, an Amsterdam-based mostly photographer born on the Dutch-Caribbean Island of Curaçao. His portrait Kisha and LaDarayon, taken from the collection Currents, demonstrates a heartfelt moment between mom and son, captured on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin.

Two 3rd prizes of £2,000 were also handed out. British photographer Jake Inexperienced impressed the judges with his portrait of Pleased Mondays singer Shaun Ryder, whose facial area is obscured by a plume of smoke the frontman has exhaled. Judges praised the way the sitter’s character comes across, irrespective of the reality his confront is not disclosed. Carl Francois van der Linde’s portrait Chotu Lal Upside-down was taken from the South African photographer’s sequence Our Chief. In the graphic a qualified wrestler from Punjab hangs upside down by his feet from a tree, sandwiched concerning two much larger sized wrestlers – a ritual humiliation that wrestlers sometimes go via in purchase to develop their model on social media platforms and attract interest from expertise brokers.

This year’s award ceremony also showcased the inaugural Taylor Wessing Photographic Commission, received by Serena Brown for her warm spouse and children portrait entitled me nana fie. Depicting the British photographer’s youthful sister, who was visiting Ghana for the very first time, it sorts element of a much larger task in which Brown captures the characters – from friends to road sellers – who take a look at her grandmother’s property in Accra.

The profitable portraits will go on show as component of the Taylor Wessing Image Portrait prize 2023 exhibition, which returns to the Countrywide Portrait Gallery for the initial time in a few yrs after renovation get the job done. The exhibition features 58 portraits from 51 photographers, selected for exhibit by a panel of judges including National Portrait Gallery’s director Dr Nicholas Cullinan, senior curator at the Photographer’s Gallery Karen McQuaid and artist Campbell Addy. The exhibition will operate from 9 November to 25 February.

Cullinan congratulated this year’s winners, indicating that the prize “represents the pretty most effective of present-day photographic expertise, showcasing the array of exceptional views and kinds at operate in the willpower nowadays. It is superb to see the prize and exhibition return to the Countrywide Portrait Gallery following three decades, and to share these wonderful portraits with our guests.”

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