The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2010 has been won by David Chancellor, 49, for his portrait, Huntress with Buck, of 14 year old Josie Slaughter from Alabama on her first hunting trip to South Africa. He says: ‘Josie had hunted her buck earlier in the day and was returning to camp. As we arrived, the sun set below the cloud cover and I had almost unreal light for around a minute. The contrast between the peace and tranquillity of the location, plus Josie’s ethereal beauty and the dead buck, was what I wanted to explore. Here was a vulnerability and yet also a strength.’
The £12,000 award was presented to Chancellor at the National Portrait Gallery, London. The portrait is from his project documenting hunters, the hunted and spaces associated with hunting. He says: ‘As a child I was fascinated by the tales of Colonel Jim Corbett hunting man-eating tigers in India. As an art student it was Peter Beard’s seminal work The End of the Game that fascinated and inspired. This work will seek to explore the intricate and complex relationship between man and animals and how both struggle to adapt to their changing environments.’
Chancellor spent two days with the 14 year old and her family, shooting Kodak 160VC 120 film on a Mamiya 7 II camera. The painterly quality of light is a striking component of Chancellor’s winning entry. ‘I’ve always been interested in Africa; it’s impossible not to be inspired by the place,’ he says. ‘Once you are bitten by the continent you never recover. And for an artist or photographer, the light is indescribable.’ While Chancellor acknowledges that hunting is an emotive subject, he stresses the importance of remaining objective in his reportage. ‘The aim is always to be detached’, he says. ‘In reality that’s rarely possible, but I do hope I can observe without an agenda and without the necessity to shout.’
Born in Solihull in 1961, Chancellor inherited his interest in photography from his father, a keen amateur photographer, and started taking photographs of his boyhood passions: wildlife and motorsport. After an unfulfilling early career in banking, he studied photography at Kent Institute of Art and Design. Now based in both London and Cape Town, he shoots documentary reportage and portraiture for a range of clients, and regularly works on projects for Non-Governmental Organisations. Named Nikon Press Photographer of the Year three times, he also received a World Press Photo Award earlier this year, and a study of his wife and son was exhibited in last year’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.
Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, says: ‘David Chancellor’s Huntress with Buck is a powerful and beautiful portrait; a worthy winner amidst a strong international submission.’
The ELLE COMMISSION
The winner of the ELLE Commission 2010 is Clare Shilland, 36, for her portrait Merel. Shilland will be given the opportunity to shoot a feature story for ELLE magazine. Now in its second year, the ELLE Commission was judged by the fashion magazine’s editor-in-chief, Lorraine Candy, together with the art director, Tom Meredith, and picture editor, Hannah Ridley.
Shilland, from South London, met Merel in Milan when she shot her for an Italian magazine and later asked her if she could photograph her for her exhibition Girls! Girls! Girls! She says: ‘The concept was that it would be a combination of female nudes and female drummers. I asked Merel if I could photograph her for it and she agreed. I travelled to Antwerp where she lives and we spent a few days there taking pictures. One day we rode bicycles out of the city to some woods and fields – that is where I took this picture.’
Shilland studied at Camberwell College of Arts and the Royal College of Art. She has shot for clients including Marni, Hardy Amies, Warner Music, Lyle & Scott and H&M, and her photographs have been published in i-D, Italian Rolling Stone, GQ Style and Teen Vogue amongst others.
Lorraine Candy, Editor-in-Chief of ELLE magazine says: ‘Whether it’s new designers, models or photographers, discovering and supporting emerging talent is part of ELLE’s heritage. So it has been an honour for us to work with the National Portrait Gallery on this prestigious photography competition. Entries were strong but we decided on Claire Shilland’s portrait because of her evident ability to capture a striking scene with remarkable technical skill. The lighting captured is wonderful and is of the same calibre of photography that you would find in our magazine.’
Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2010
11 November 2010 – 20 February 2011
Supported by Taylor Wessing
National Portrait Gallery
St Martin’s Place
London WC2H 0HE
Opening hours Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday: 10am – 6pm (Gallery closure commences at 5.50pm)
Late Opening: Thursday, Friday: 10am – 9pm (Gallery closure commences at 8.50pm)
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