The Broader Picture: Portraits of a Sexual Nature: The John Kobal Foundation Photographic Portrait Award

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The Independent Culture
Joint Winners


Adrianna, Transvestite, Brazil 1994

Polly Borland came across Adrianna, a Sao Paulo bank clerk, while shooting a story about prostitutes who use silicone to improve their bodies. Many of the 'girls' have pumped themselves up to page three proportions; Adrianna, however, is a gently pubertal figure. Since arriving in this country from Australia in 1989, Borland, 34, has become known for strong, confrontational portraits in harsh colour. She particularly seeks out strange human stories. 'The more extreme the situation a person's in, the more I'm drawn to photographing it. But it's a visual, not a prurient thing.'


Self as heterosexual relationship, 1993

'I see myself as a fine artist who uses a camera,' says Suky Best, whose prize-winning photograph (above) is a 'portrait of miscommunication' between men and women. Best, 31, is doing an MA in photography at the Royal College of Art in London. She turns her 'self' into different characters with costume and make-up (firmly acknowledging similarities with Cindy Sherman's work). This portrait was made by sandwiching two negatives together in the enlarger, but she has started using digital imaging equipment. 'I'm not interested in reportage. I always use myself. But I build up an image from several pictures - I suppose it's nearer making a sculpture than photography.'



Notting Hill, London, August 1993

No shrinking violets for Richard Braine, 26, who photographed this woman with matching knitted suit and hair. 'I like people who aren't shy.' He studied physics and philosophy, but became a freelance photographer. 'I've not had access to any digital imaging equipment yet, but I've discovered there's no limit to what you can do without it.'

Highly Commended


Mrs Vita Lloyd, triptych, 1993 Mrs Lloyd runs a guest house in Anguilla, in the Caribbean, where Clive Frost stayed last year. 'Every night she would come out on to the veranda wearing a different dress. One night she posed for me in three dresses, and I photographed them in sequence; later I put the frames together to make a triptych.' Frost, 40, is a professional photographer known for his interiors and travel pictures.


Le Sophiste, February 1994

'I've always liked photographs that look like old paintings,' says Tim Dry. 'Most of the work I do after the print has been made, staining and scratching it. This picture is of a singer-songwriter friend who dreams of a 1930s Paris cafe existence, so I created one for him in my living-room.' Dry, 42, was an actor until he took up photography last year.

(Photographs omitted)