Photography: Personal Best, By Paul Floyd Blake
Sunday 10 June 2012
A welcome corrective to the triumphalist narratives about action, glory and physical perfection, more usually found in sports photography, Paul Floyd Blake's unvarnished portraits of 16 teenaged British Olympic hopefuls – taken over five years and artlessly posed – have a contemplative, even forlorn quality.
As she writes in her introduction, the curator Pippa Oldfield sees in these pictures "the repetition and banality of training: the 5am sessions squeezed in before school, the chilly British mornings .... These images pay tribute to the long slog towards glory that is not usually seen or celebrated." Shown left, in 2011, and above, in 2008, is judo player Brandon Tutthill
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