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Awards, Inspiration

National Portrait Prize: Four AIPP Members Finalists


27 March, 2020 by Katrina Ferguson

Congratulations to all finalists in the 13th National Photographic Portrait Prize (NPPP) including four of our members: Karen Waller, Kelly Champion. Nic Duncan and Lori Cicchini.

The National Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition is selected from a national field of entries, reflecting the distinctive vision of Australia’s aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects. 

– NPG website

More than 2,500 entries were submitted for the prize and 48 portraits selected as finalists (in other words fewer than 1.9 percent of submissions made it through!)

Nic Duncan

Nic Duncan had two successful submissions in that prestigious group. Nic is a portrait, commercial and travel photographer originally from Denmark now based in WA.

Paul's Smile. A portrait by NPPP finalist Nic Duncan
“Paul’s Smile.” A portrait by double NPPP 2020 finalist, Nic Duncan
Johnny. A portrait by NPPP finalist, Nic Duncan
“Johnny.” A portrait by double NPPP 2020 finalist, Nic Duncan

Karen Waller

Adelaide-based portrait and fine art photographer, Karen Waller, was selected as a finalist for her image of contract musterer, Lenny Willis. Karen was the 2017 AIPP South Australian Epson Portrait Photographer of the Year.

You can see Karen’s winning portfolio – along with all winners’ work from the 2017 AIPP SA Epson Professional Photography Awards – HERE.

Lenny. A portrait by NPPP finalist, Karen Waller
“Lenny.” A portrait by NPPP finalist, Karen Waller

Kelly Champion

Similarly, in the SA awards in 2017, fellow NPPP 2020 finalist, Kelly Champion, was named the overall 2017 AIPP SA Epson Professional Photographer of the Year for her black and white documentary portfolio.

Kelly’s 2020 NPPP submission, “The Saviour,” is another striking black and white portrait, this time of SIDS research pioneer, Susan Beal (OAM.)

Susan is credited as being the first person to publicly argue against babies sleeping on their stomachs, which resulted in a staggering 85 percent reduction in SIDS cases between 1989-2007.

Susan Beal. A portrait by 2020 NPPP finalist, Kelly Champion
“The Saviour.” A portrait by 2020 NPPP finalist, Kelly Champion

Kelly has a long line of AIPP award titles to her name including:

Lori Cicchini

Fashion and fine art photographer, Lori Cicchini, is our fourth AIPP member to be named a finalist for the 2020 NPPP with her submission commenting on consumerism: “Oxygen Thief.”

Oxygen Thief. By NPPP 2020 finalist, Lori Cicchini
“Oxygen Thief.” By NPPP 2020 finalist, Lori Cicchini

In 2019, Lori was the AIPP ACT Epson Illustrative Photographer of the Year and for four consecutive years (2015-2018) named the AIPP ACT Epson Illustrative Photographer of the Year.

For both 2017 and 2015, Lori won the AIPP ACT Epson Portrait Photographer of the Year title.

NPPP Exhibition & Winners

The portrait prize exhibition was scheduled to run 6-13 March but was closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the National Portrait Gallery has been closed to the public indefinitely at this stage.

The NPPP winner was instead announced (and congratulated with an elbow bump) at a closed-to-the-public event.

2020 NPPP Winner's Announcement
2020 NPPP winner, Rob Palmer, discusses his winning portrait, “The Mahi-Mahi”. SOURCE: Frame taken from video on NPG website

Sydney-based food and lifestyle photographer, Rob Palmer, was named the winner for his portrait of chef, Josh Niland. As a result, Rob receives some $50,000 in prizes, including $30,000 from the National Portrait Gallery.

Josh is reinventing what can be done with fish and – most importantly – with every part of the fish, in a huge effort to drastically reduce wastage.

– Rob Palmer. SOURCE: Photo Review

Hugh Stewart won the Highly Commended Award for his portrait of 105-year-old dancer, Eileen Kramer.

“Eileen Kramer Is A Dancer held on to us,” said the NPPP judges. “The colours and her gesture made us feel the warmth of the sitter’s presence even though her eyes are closed.” (Quote SOURCE: Photo Review.)

Stewart will receive an Eizo ColorEdge CG2730 27″ monitor valued at $3245.

Eileen Kramer by Hugh Stewart
Highly Commended awarded to “Eileen Kramer is a Dancer” by Hugh Stewart

The Art Handler’s Award went to Shea Kirk for “Gemma Baxter (Right View)” who was a return finalist from the 2019 NPPP.

<< Click to see all winning and finalist images for the 2020 NPPP >>

Vote for People’s Choice

You can place your vote for the 2020 NPPP People’s Choice Award by clicking on your favourite image and entering your details. The winner will be announced by Friday 1st May and receives $2200 of fine art printing thanks to Sun Studios.

NPPP People's Choice Submission Form
Click to place your vote for the People’s Choice Award

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