Photo of ‘Joey’ wins 2018 Art Handlers’ Award


Excerpt from ‘Joey’ 2017 by Stephanie Simcox, digital print

ARTIST Stephanie Simcox has received the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2018 Art Handlers’ Award for her portrait titled “Joey”, it has been announced by The National Portrait Gallery.

Simcox receives a $2000 cash prize and free return transport of her work at the conclusion of the exhibition’s tour, supported by International Art Services.

The Art Handlers, themselves mostly artists of high calibre, said collectively that they were impressed by the references in the photograph to classical masterpieces, saying, “We were drawn back to ‘Joey’ as the work invites the viewer into a closer observation. The figure has a beautiful relaxation at first glance but tension is also evident in the pose. The painterly aspect with the blue and deeper tones appealed to us and the composition bought to mind many figurative classical works, but in a modern context.”

Simcox has been a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize numerous times and when told, while overseas, of her selection, declared herself “surprised and thrilled” to be the recipient of this year’s Art Handlers’ Award.

“It is already such an honour to be hanging on the walls with so many incredible artists. To then be selected for the Art Handlers’ Award by peers who see and hang many, many works and who are constantly surrounded by talent feels very touching,” she said

She explained that “Joey” was photographed just on dusk after an incredibly long and hot day working in the central desert.

“We sought out some necessary calm in a local waterhole and took a moment to take in the vast and beautiful Australian landscape around us,” she said.

The National Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition for 2018 will open to the public at the National Portrait Gallery this Saturday, March 24 and can be seen 10am–5pm daily until Sunday, June 17 before touring to regional locations. The Winner and Highly Commended will be announced this Friday evening, March 23.

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