100 Portraits Celebrate the UK’s Unique Heritage and Diversity on Digital Out-of-Home Screens Nationwide
UNITED KINGDOM — Portrait of Britain, an exhibition ‘by the people, of the people, for the people’, is art featuring the public on an unprecedented scale. The exhibition, which places the nation’s citizens at center stage, was initiated as an open call for photographs that celebrate the country’s unique heritage and diversity. Selected from nearly 4000 entries, the winning 100 portraits capture young and old, reflecting not just the multiformity of British people, but also the myriad of styles and approaches to contemporary photographic portraiture.
Organized by the British Journal of Photography, in conjunction with JCDecaux, the exhibition is now on display across digital out-of-home screens in rail, retail, and roadside locations nationwide in shopping malls, train stations and high streets throughout the month of September
“Public art works well when it engages with its surroundings and local population,” says Simon Bainbridge, editorial director of the British Journal of Photography. “That’s what we wanted to do with Portrait of Britain. We wanted to show diversity in terms of who is being photographed, but we also wanted to see different ways of photographing. These are pictures that we all take in everyday life, but raised to a higher level by selecting, editing and presenting them in such a wide-ranging public exhibition.”
The majority of subjects are everyday people, given noble status on the screens usually reserved for models and celebrities. However, there are some familiar names among the images such as Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussein, Faithless singer Maxi Jazz, Grime artist Stormzy, and photographer Don McCullin, as well some home-grown heroes such as Mick Ellis, who was watch manager at the London Fire Brigade. The images represent the varying styles of photography, some posed, some moments captured at random, some formal, others showing humanity at play. ‘Home’ is a common theme running throughout many of the images, as are the stories of migration and integration, picking up the mood of the country in post-Brexit times.
“We are delighted to be working with the British Journal of Photography to bring this powerful exhibition to a national audience, celebrating the power of the photographic portrait across our portrait network. The project will turn our digital channel into a national portrait gallery throughout September, reaching people when they are out and about, commuting, shopping and socializing,” said Russell Gower, Creative Director of JCDecaux.
Portrait of Britain can be seen at all major rail hubs including: Euston, King’s Cross, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, St. Pancras, Victoria and Waterloo in London as well as Brighton, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool Lime Street. Manchester Piccadilly, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield, and York. It will also be showcased across retail screens UK-wide including major shopping destinations. The winning images from this ground-breaking exhibition can be seen at portraitofbritain.uk
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