Ahead of the launch of the Portrait of Britain exhibition tomorrow, Marc Hartog, CEO of 1854 Media, appeared on Sky News with one of the 100 winning photographers Tom Oldham, to discuss the largest display of contemporary portrait photography ever held. “Competitions like these are great opportunities for exposure,” says Tom, “And they offer the chance to be featured among the greatest photographers in the country.”
As a platform, Portrait of Britain is unprecedented, exposing photographers’ work both to the public and the media. And this year, we have expanded that platform to the new Portrait of Britain book and online gallery, allowing people to see all of the photographers’ images in one place. The book, published by Hoxton Mini Press gives our audience the opportunity to really see this amazing tapestry of Britain, to delve in to the rich kaleidoscope of images, and to read the fascinating stories behind each of the faces.
Portrait of Britain is a celebration of our country’s unique heritage and diversity. It’s also public art on an unprecedented scale, shown to millions of people as they go about their everyday lives, shopping, travelling, socializing, on JCDecaux’s network of screens. Portrait of Britain was envisaged as an exhibition of the people, by the people and for the people. It’s an unashamed celebration of our countries unique heritage and diversity.
‘Who are we?’ is a complex enough question at any point in time, but right now it’s also a very loaded question. We are a country divided, and with Portrait of Britain, we are able to unashamedly showcase our differences, celebrating both the beauty and diversity of the extraordinary ordinary people of Britain, and their inescapable identity as Britons.
Portrait of Britain has now become the most viewed exhibition in history, seen by tens of millions of people and inspiring many of them to feel prouder to be British. Our mission now is to do this on a global scale.
Next week, 1854 Media, together with Magnum Photos, is launching Portrait of Humanity celebrating our diversity and individuality in what will be the most ambitious photographic project ever attempted. We will be asking photographers to show us what humanity means through their eyes, and to show what unites us, not just as one nation but as human beings.
Portrait of Britain 2019 will launch on 12 February 2019. More details to be revealed soon