‘Bewitching’ portrait wins National Photographic Portrait Prize Art Handlers

Victorian photographer Adam Haddrick’s portrait of aboriginal elder Cordy, titled Cordy in the clouds, won the 2022 National Photographic Portrait Prize Art Handlers’ Award.

NPG collection officers Jess Kemister and Jacob Potter say they are ‘hypnotized’ by Haddrick’s portrait of Cordy, whose name means ‘Spirit of the sunrise’ in the traditional language of the Tjungundji people of the far north of the queensland.

Haddrick says he was equally mesmerized when he first met Cordy at Charters Towers.

Cordy in the Clouds 2021, by Adam Haddrick

“He shared his story and told me about a visit to India for an archeology conference where the locals welcomed him like a holy man. I hadn’t seen clouds in the sky for weeks, but taking his portrait, they came behind like the right time,” he said.

For Jess and Jacob, the photo “captures a quiet, still moment, conveying a sense of calm and the peaceful energy of the subject. You can watch this work for a long time,” they said.

The winner of the Darling Portrait Prize Art Handler’s Award 2022 was also announced at the same time, which was awarded to Jane Allan, for a portrait of her carer, Warren, titled Weight of the peript of the spirit 2021.

The NPPP winner will be announced on July 1 and will take home $50,000 in prizes: $30,000 in cash from the National Portrait Gallery and $20,000 in Canon gear.

Judges for the 2022 competition include press photographer Nick Moir, National Portrait Gallery Director of Collections and Exhibitions Sandra Bruce and Associate Curator Rebecca Ray.

Michael E. Marquez