SW based photographer returns to National Portrait Gallery for third time this year as Taylor Wessing includes image in top 60
A contemporary portrait on show at the National Portrait Gallery from 11 November and photographed by Anita Corbin of Somerset based Corbin O’Grady Studio has been selected as one of 60 portraits out of 6000 images submitted for the prestigious international Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2010. With its substantial prize fund and a high profile exhibition and tour, the Prize continues the National Portrait Gallery’s long tradition of championing the work of the best portrait photographers. The colour portrait is entitled: ‘Golfing sisters in the ladies’ locker room, Royal Mid-Surrey, April 2010’ Anita explains how she came to choose the subject and photograph the sisters in what was an “unexpected” setting. “I met the octogenarian sisters at my best friend’s father’s funeral at the beginning of this year, they were so full of life and vitality, I just knew I wanted to photograph them for the documentary section of my ongoing project ’First Women ’. I was inspired by their independence and wanted to capture their zest for life. “The sisters, who are very private individuals and do not want their names revealed, have been members of their golf club for over 40 years, and in their words they ‘love the game’ so we decided that ‘The Mid-Surrey’ should be the venue. I had anticipated that I would make the portrait out on the golf course, it was a beautiful spring evening, but we needed to collect their clubs and shoes, so they took me into the impressive ladies locker room first.” Anita continues, “As they changed shoes we chatted and I realised that they were more relaxed inside the club, so I asked them if they would pose in front of the mirror. A little unsure at first, they soon agreed and stood confidently next to each other, totally at home in their environment. I have been a photographer for over 30 years and I had a very strong feeling that this set up would be the one – and it was!” The sisters described the sitting as ‘A beautiful interlude after tea’. Although not chosen as one of the final four shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing £12,000 prize, Anita’s portrait has been selected as the image on the press invite that is being sent to more than 2000 national and international media contacts. The ‘sisters’ will join the other 59 portraits to form part of the exhibition which will run from 11th November 2010 – 20th February 2011 at the National Portrait Gallery, London. It is the third occasion that Anita’s work has featured at the National Portrait Gallery in the past year. Between August 2009 and January 2010 eleven portraits of prominent British scientists taken by Anita and her partner John O’Grady were featured in a Science in Focus display at the Gallery. Following on from this show in the same gallery, the spotlight then shifted to mark 20 years of Format Photographers, featuring portraits by Anita on a poster from the agency’s launch at The Photographer’s Gallery in 1984. Anita was a founder member Format Photographers, UK’s first and only women’s photo agency. Footnote: In the years leading up to 2018 Anita Corbin will photograph 100 iconic portraits of 21st century women who have achieved the landmark title “First Woman” across a range of fields. In 2018 Anita plans to launch ‘First Women’ a travelling exhibition, book and website in celebration of 20th and 21st century women, creating a magnificent archive for our daughters and their future children. Visit: www.1stwomenuk.co.uk or email Anita Corbin at firstname.lastname@example.org .