A nude portrait of fellow artist, Emma Armstrong-Porter, by Shea Kirk has been named as the winner of the 2023 National Photographic Portrait Prize.

Shea Kirk with his winning work Ruby (left view) 2022. (Photograph by Mark Mohell.)

Announced today by the National Portrait Gallery, the portrait, titled Ruby (left view), is half of a stereoscopic pair from Kirk’s ongoing series Vantages.  Shea Kirk takes home $30,000 cash from the National Portrait Gallery and $20,000 worth of Canon equipment thanks to Imaging Partner Canon Australia.  The subject, Emma Armstrong-Porter, says Shea’s portrait reflects their changing attitude to their body and how it fits within society.  “I’ve always struggled with the size of my body, from being extremely underweight to now being overweight. Over the past few years working with other photographers, making portraits, I’ve been processing my feelings about the transformation. I’m starting to feel more at home in my big queer body.”

‘Bangardidjan 2022’, by Renae Saxby has received the Highly Commended prize in this year’s competition. © Renae Saxby.

Renae Saxby was awarded the Highly Commended prize, for her work Bangardidjan 2022, a photo of proud Kine, Rembarrnga, and Dalabon woman, Cindy Rostron, on the road in remote Central Arnhem Land.  Rostron is photographed in the family car with a buffalo skull painted by her father, Victor Rostron, strapped to the roof.  Renae’s prize is a ColorEdge CG2700S 27-inch monitor valued at almost $4,000 courtesy of EIZO.

This year, judges selected 47 finalists from a pool of almost 2400 entries.  One of the judges, Joanna Gilmour, said the idea of going below or beyond the surface was one of the themes that emerged most strongly for the 2023 judges. The finalists for NPPP 2023 are: Adam Ferguson, Anne Moffat, Bahram Mia, Ben McNamara, Brenda L. Croft, Bruce Agnew, Cassandra Scott-Finn, Charlie Bliss, Charlie Ford, Cindy Kavanagh, David Cossini, David Darcy, Dylan Le’Mon, Elliot Brown, Emma Armstrong-Porter, Forough Yavari, Franca Turrin, Francis Cloake, The Huxleys, Gerwyn Davies, Grace Costa, Isabella Melody Moore, Jacob Nash, Heidi Margocsy, Jacqueline Mitelman, James Bugg, Jay Hynes, Jimmy Widders Hunt, Jo Duck, Julian Kingma, Lily Hatten, Martine Perret, Meng-Yu Yan, Nathan Dyer, Renae Saxby, Renato Colangelo, Rohan Thomson, Sammaneh Pourshafighi, Sarah Depta, Sarah Enticknap, Sean Slattery, Shannon May Powell, Shea Kirk, Stuart Miller, Tajette O’Halloran and Teva Cosic.

The National Photographic Portrait Prize opens at the National Portrait Gallery on King Edward Terrace in Parkes (ACT) on Saturday 17 June. Click here for more information.