BJP welcomes entries for the third edition of Portrait of Britain, the UK’s biggest public art exhibition
“I was thrilled to be chosen as one of the photographers showing in Portrait of Britain,” says 2017 winner Brock Elbank, “I love the idea of the gallery being in a public space, and part of my portrait practice has always been to champion the complexities and beauty found in ‘ordinary’ people and everyday life.”
Portrait of Britain is an exhibition by the people, for the people. Each year, 100 winning photographs are exhibited on JCDecaux screens nationwide, which appear on high streets and roadsides, and in transport hubs. The accessibility of the exhibition goes hand in hand with its subject matter – as much a celebration of our country’s people as it is of photography, Portrait of Britain aims to reflect the many faces of modern Britain, and to show the unique culture and diversity of its people.
From casual snapshots and selfies to images from large-scale documentary projects, photographs from every corner of the country in any form are welcome, as long as they have been taken within the United Kingdom since 1 January 2012. Photographers may enter images featuring friends, family, themselves, or simply people they find interesting, as long as the subjects were living in the UK at the time the photograph was taken.
For the first time this year, 200 winning and shortlisted photographers will be featured in a Portrait of Britain book, published by Hoxton Mini Press and distributed worldwide. There will also be an opportunity to grace the pages of British Journal of Photography’s Portrait Issue in October 2018. Each week, our editorial team will choose their favourite entries to appear in the ‘Editor’s Pick’ galleries via BJP platforms, so make sure you enter your work early to benefit from extra exposure.
The winning images will be selected by a group of key industry leaders – BJP’s editorial director Simon Bainbridge, Magnum photographer Olivia Arthur, The Guardian Weekend Magazine picture editor Caroline Hunter, and Hoxton Mini Press founder Martin Usborne. “I’ll be looking for images that reflect the rich, complex and diverse experience of what it means to be British today,” says Hunter.
Portrait of Britain is an opportunity for photographers to show images to the wider public, not just the gallery-going world. Last year the photographs were seen by millions nationwide, as well as by BJP’s international audience online, in print, and through our social media channels, changing the lives and careers of participating photographers and capturing public imagination.
Portrait of Britain 2019 will launch on 12 February 2019. More details to be revealed soon.