Wayne Quilliam wins the 2022 National Photographic Portrait Award

Indigenous photographer, Wayne Quilliam, won this year’s National Portrait Photographic Award for his photograph of Aurukun man, Eric Yunkaporta, wearing a ceremonial headgear.

‘Silent Force, 2021’; © Wayne Quilliam. the winning image for this year’s National Portrait Photographic Award. (Courtesy of the artist.)

In reaching their decision, the jury – award-winning press photographer Nick Moir and Sandra Bruce, the National Portrait Gallery’s Director of Collections and Exhibitions and Associate Curator Rebecca Ray – declared Quilliam’s portrait to be a work of immense power and beauty. “Everything in this portrait is exceptional. The composition, the contrast, the richness of color in the ochres and feathers, as well as the sense of pride the subject represents – all of these layers and details have such power to connect the subject and its story with the audience.

The Highly Commended Award went to Adam Ferguson for his portrayal of Guatemalan migrant, Carlos Soyos, and his eight-year-old son, Enderson, taken from the migrant shelter on the Mexico-US border. The Art Handlers’ Award went to ‘Cordy in the clouds’ by Adam Hadrick.

Running concurrently, the Darling Portrait Prize is a national prize for Australian portrait painting honoring the legacy of Mr L Gordon Darling AC CMG, who was instrumental in the establishment of the National Portrait Gallery of Australia. This year, Jaq Grantford won the top prize with a self-portrait capturing the Melbourne artist’s ‘mixed feelings’ during the pandemic-enforced shutdowns.

Both exhibitions are open daily at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra from June 25 to Sunday October 9, 2022.

Also currently on view at the National Portrait Gallery is Shakespeare at Winehouse: Icons from the National Portrait Gallery, London, which closes on July 17. The exhibition presents some of the best-known faces in British and international history, art and popular culture, from Queen Elizabeth I to Nelson Mandela, the Brontë sisters, Charles Dickens and Beatrix Potter to David Bowie, Mick Jagger and the Beatles, as well as major works by acclaimed artists such as Peter Paul Rubens, Lucian Freud, Tracey Emin, Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Shirin Neshat.

Michael E. Marquez