Alys Tomlinson Wins National Portrait Gallery Prize

Alys Tomlinson has won first prize in the prestigious Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2020. She was awarded for Lost Summer, her series of black and white portraits of London school leavers dressed up for their proms, which were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tomlinson says about the series via an official statement: “I wanted to photograph each teenager framed by nature, merging their inner and outer worlds. There is a quietness to the images and they represent a loss and longing, but also celebrate each teenager as an individual, navigating this extraordinary time.”

London’s National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is the leading international competition, open to all, which celebrates and promotes the very best in contemporary portrait photography from around the world.

Winners were announced on November 24. The second prize was awarded to Lydia Goldblatt for Eden, a portrait of her young daughter alone in her garden during the lockdown. The third prize was awarded to Yolanda Y. Liou for her portrait of the model, plus-size advocate and Instagram influencer, Enam Ewura Adjoa Asiama.

The winning portraits are now on display in a new online exhibition on the National Portrait Gallery’s website.

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