THE NEW FACES OF FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY

THE JOHN KOBAL FOUNDATION PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT AWARD SPONSORED BY THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY, THE FINNEMORE & FIELD GROUP OF COMPANIES AND FUJI PHOTO FILM
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The Independent Culture
A BOLD portrait of a mother and her daughters. A family with the television as one of the family members. Bedouin girls and Cuban boys. Many entries to the third John Kobal Portrait Award, including that of the winner, Katrina Lithgow, were preoccupied with the state of the family unit - and the displacement of those within it when it breaks down. There were more entries this year than ever before: 2,500 photographs from 1,100 photographers. An exhibition of 74 photographs from the award will be at the National Portrait Gallery, London, from 6 October to 19 November; the Royal Photographic Society, Bath, from 25 November to 14 January 1996; the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, from 2 February to 30 March 1996; and the Djanogly Gallery, University Park, Nottingham, from 17 August to 29 September 1996.

OVERALL WINNER: pounds 2,500

KATRINA LITHGOW

Sarah, with daughters Izzy and Lily

Katrina Lithgow's winning portrait is part of an ongoing series on women started in 1991. "My intent was for the images to convey a sense of power in what's often regarded as a vulnerable situation," she says. "I hadn't originally intended to photograph children, it just happened that several friends - Sarah being one - have had children over the period that I've been taking pictures of them." Lithgow, 27, was born in Glasgow. She took her first degree at West Surrey College of Art and Design and followed it with the MA course in photography at the RCA

RUNNER-UP: pounds 425

EVA SICINSKA-TURRELL

Self-portrait in Chris's jacket

"When I photograph people," says Sicinska-Turrell, 40, "I concentrate on their eyes and hands, the parts that often give a person away." Her portrait was taken last year, when she was pregnant. "I had wanted to take a self-portrait, because it was the last baby I would have, and I couldn't get the right image. Then suddenly I slipped on my husband's jacket, and that felt right. I felt powerful about myself when I took it." Sicinska-Turrell was born in Poland but lives in London with her husband and children. She studied at Central St Martins College of Art

RUNNER-UP: pounds 425

JASON LOCK

The family portrait - the television as a family member

Jason Lock's portrait was "an attempt to bring the family portrait up to date". It was the result of a project he was set as part of his degree course in film and photography at the Gwent College of Higher Education. Lock, 25, says, "My dissertation looks at the way colour photography has affected black and white photojournalism. Obviously there's a dilemma now about which way photography is going on a commercial basis. There is so much new technology to play with." He has one more year to go in his degree course

RUNNER-UP: pounds 425

ANDREAS HEUMANN

Sunny

Andreas Heumann took this photo last summer. "I had this rather battered photo I'd taken of this girl, which I really liked, and I had a new plate camera I wanted to experiment with. I set it at an angle, threw a sheet in the background and took it. I like it because it accentuates the strange way the girl is looking into the camera, rather suspicious, as if she's wondering what I'm doing." Heumann, 49, was born in Munich, but moved to Britain in 1969, since when he has been working successfully as a freelance photographer in reportage, fashion and advertising

RUNNER-UP: pounds 425

METTE DAMGAARD

No 2. 1958 - Adam's Rib

Mette Damgaard's portrait came out of a study which looked at the way women used to be presented as icons. "I looked at old photographs of the time and I wanted to re-create the kind of intense colour film you got then. I chose bright colours for the clothes and she's obviously wearing a wig. So the picture looks plastic on purpose." Mette, 23, has just graduated from Westminster University with a BA in Film, Video and Photographic Arts

RUNNER-UP: pounds 425

HARIS PELLAPAISIOTIS

Portrait of ethnic elderly in Southwark

This portrait was commissioned as part of a series by Southwark Social Services Department. "I think some of the most common cliches are so often found in photographs of old people," says Haris Pellapaisiotis. "I was aware of the dangers of over-dramatising, or romanticising the pictures, but I wanted to emphasise each person's individuality and humanity as I came to them." Pellapaisiotis, 39, did a post-graduate degree in photography at Goldsmith's College, where he now lectures part-time. He also works as a freelance photographer

RUNNER-UP: pounds 425

ASHER FOYLE

Cosmetician (from the series Cosmeticians)

Asher Foyle's photograph is one of a series of 15 cosmeticians, photographed in the North and the Midlands. "I'm using photography as a cartographer might: I map natural and cultural landmarks on the human face, where conflict and harmony co-exist." Foyle, 28, left Nottingham Trent University last year with a BA in photography.

l The winner of the Fuji Award for Technical Achievement is 30-year-old Kate Butler (whose entry is shown on page 3)

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