Last year I was asked by the National Portrait Gallery of Australia to form part of the judging panel for the 2015 National Photographic Portrait Prize. Judges Dr Christopher Chapman, Senior Curator, Angus Trumble, Director, and myself selected 44 exhibition finalist portraits. I travelled up to the gallery in November for stage one of the process, selecting from 2,500 entries over 2 days. It was an in depth process, but we had alot of fun along the way and loved seeing so many amazing photographs. We found ourselves in agreement regarding the shortlist after much deliberation. Stage 2 of the process would take place at a later date when the images were framed and in the gallery space. It was a unanimous decision by all 3 of us, and we chose Portrait of Ali by Hoda Afshar. It was a clear beauty and so atmospheric.
The opening was so much fun and it was lovely to meet Hoda and the other prize winners on the night. Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton presented the prizes on the night and were great company, chatting to the winners. I have been a finalist 5 times in the past and it was a real insight to see it from the other side.