The Portrait of Britain prize announces its winners ahead of nationwide exhibition

29 August 2019

Max Miechowski: Ebba & Eddie, Burgess Park

Winners of Portrait of Britain, one of the largest exhibitions of contemporary portrait photography, have been announced ahead of a nationwide exhibition due to open on 2 September. The exhibition, which is run by British Journal of Photography in collaboration with JCDecaux, will display 100 portraits across screens owned by the media company, in rail stations, malls, airports and on the high street nationwide.

Winners include It’s Nice That fave Max Miechowski, for his shot of a couple salsa dancing in London’s Burgess Park; Theo McInnes, for a portrait of Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder; and Sirli Raitma for her portrait of her mother, a series she began as a salve for depression.

Following an open call earlier in the year, judges shortlisted 200 images, which will be published on 5 September in Hoxton Mini Press’ Portrait of Britain Book. Judges then narrowed this number down to a further 100, which will be on display across the country from 2 September. This year the judging panel included Magnum Photo’s Shannon Ghannam; Shoair Mavlian, the director of Photoworks, photographer Sunil Gupta, Hoxton Mini Press co-founder Martin Usbourne and British Journal of Photography editorial director Simon Bainbridge,

Simon Bainbridge said in a statement to accompany the launch, “With the return of Portrait of Britain, the question of national identity has never seemed so loaded. Facing a divided nation, Portrait of Britain aims to frame these questions of identity differently, looking at who we are as a nation of individuals, apart from the politics of division. From Brighton to Glasgow, in train stations and shopping centres, the photographs come into view like an encounter with a stranger in the street. Collectively, they question the binary narrative we are constantly fed."


Sirli Raitma: Eha


Gavin Li: Yasodhara


Myah Jeffers: Babirye


Theo McInnes: Happy Mondays


Jack Joyce: William

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About the Author

Laura Snoad

Laura is a London-based arts journalist who has been working for It’s Nice That on a freelance basis since 2016.

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