The Art Handlers’ Award for this year’s National Photographic Portrait Prize has been won by Perth photographer Elizabeth Looker.

A calm so deep 2018, Elizabeth Looker, Digital print

Artist statement: “Dorotea asked if she could participate in the photographic study I have been working on for exhibition, The Spirit and the Flesh, capturing the energy and spirit within my subjects. She was so ready to ‘see’ herself, and to show herself to me. Open and honest, adventurous in self-exploration, she was vulnerable with her words and free in her movement.”

Art Handlers Michelle and James from the National Portrait Gallery selected Elizabeth’s work ‘A calm so deep 2018’ from the 40 finalists announced last week. “This work is deeply sincere and open. The golden glow emitted from the fabric of the dress and skin of the subject seems to speak of the ethereal – the inexplicable ‘self’. The sitter’s stance is powerful, but her expression is suggestive of vulnerability. The overall effect is a strong connection to the sitter and a sense of her truth.”

The winner and highly commended photographers will be announced on Friday 22 February, after which voting will begin for a People’s Choice Award.

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2019 will tour around Australia following the National Portrait Gallery exhibition.

See further information on the National Portrait Gallery website.