Digital Portrait Prize – NPG

The Digital Portraiture Award 2017 is at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra,  till 18 February 2018. Recommended.

My comments?

Interesting and curious that it is about moving digital/video.

I observed in the 20 Minutes I was there that very few people stopped to look at the winning entry. Most people observed the videos (the winning entry was the only non-video) and only a few people put on the earphones to listen to whatever the audio was.

The winning work was the height of the room and occupied some floor space. All the rest were videos attached to the wall.

I would have given the prize to another entry – Treading Water.

click here for the NPG’s page on this work.

The winning entry was interesting – but despite its appeal as something connected online for people to upload images – it did not maintain any interest for me beyond the initial curiosity. It is more like a community art piece with links to people’s own online portraits – and the portraits being produced are not good quality.

I would prefer something that you contemplate and allows your thoughts to be taken elsewhere. The concept behind ‘Treading Water’ would make for a good set of photographs and be just as powerful.

Curious about the criteria for this prize? Here they are

  • dynamic – moving-image, audiovisual, animated, generative, interactive, etc. (Digital still images will not be accepted).
  • original – your own work. If your portrait was created collaboratively, the names of all collaborating artists must be specified, along with the role of each collaborator.
  • submitted online (or delivered on a USB, DVD or hard drive if you’re having trouble submitting; please note we’re unable to return entries submitted by this method)
  • presentable within a space no larger than 1m x 1m.

Here’s a few pics:





As you may gather – it is not a large exhibition. But well worth the look – recommended.

Here’s the online link to the NPG page and there’s link there to all the exhibition videos.

BUT when you have seen this – remember the National Portrait Gallery has some really wonderful works on exhibition in their permanent collection galleries and there is also the photography exhibition on Film Stills.



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