London – National Portrait Gallery (Taylor Wessing Photography Prize)

The National Portrait Gallery (NPG) was always going to be closed this year as it is undergoing a restoration project and their timing is perhaps fortunate. But, one thing they share with other galleries is the opportunity to place artworks on-line so that interested people stuck at home can still engage with their collections.

In this case, the NPG has created a virtual exhibition at https://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/taylor-wessing-photographic-portrait-prize-2020/virtual-exhibition where anyone can view all of the photographs and then vote for their favourite as part of their “Peoples’ Pick”. There’s information about each artwork and you can sort of stroll through the gallery, albeit with quite a lot of imagination.

This was my favourite and the one I voted for. The gallery notes say:

“This image was taken by Francis as part of his ‘lockdown journal’, something that was so familiar becomes distant.”

I don’t want to show the image in full as I’m sure it’s under copyright restrictions, but there’s something about the colourful dress of the lady in the photo combined with her blue facemask that make this very much a photo of 2020, but yet still familiar.

The winning artist will be revealed on Monday 16 March 2021.