Shea Kirk has won the 2023 National Photographic Portrait Prize

Congratulations to Shea Kirk, who has won the 2023 National Photographic Portrait Prize for his portrait Ruby (left view), of friend and fellow-artist Emma Armstrong-Porter.

Ruby (left view) is part of an ongoing series, Vantages, in which Kirk invites people to be photographed in the setting of his home studio. Of the piece, he says, “I wanted to create the idea of the body as a record. We are our faces as much as we are our limbs, extremities, our nooks and crannies. The self and sense of a person in a portrait for me is often thought of more than just a face and hands, it’s an essence of the whole.”

The prize, which was created in 2007, was this year judged by: Australian photographer Tamara Dean; Director of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Photography, Daniel Boetker-Smith;  and National Portrait Gallery Senior Curator Joanna Gilmour. 

The winning entry was chosen amongst 47 finalists from over 2,300 entries, with the judges saying, “While Shea makes the portrait look effortless, this is a masterful and technically complex work where the sitter has no self-consciousness. It is as if the artist and sitter are participating equally in the transaction.”

Kirk has won $30,000 cash from the National Portrait Gallery, and $20,000 worth of photography equipment from Canon Australia.

The award-winning work, and all finalist works, are now showing at the National Portrait Gallery.

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2023
National Portrait Gallery
17 June—2 October

News Words by Art Guide Australia