Portrait of Britain is a fantastic annual photography exhibition featuring 100 of the best portraits taken by people throughout the UK. Curated by the British Journal of Photography from an open-call competition, the selected images are displayed on large-scale digital billboard screens nationwide – in public contexts including high streets, train stations and airports. Images include striking portraits of Helen Mary Stronge, an Irish sculptor who lives in Sussex, Jim Roberts, a wheelchair rugby Olympian, in Middlesex, Celia Paul, an artist who sat for Lucian Freud based in London, Helen Mary Stronge, an Irish sculptor who lives in Sussex, and members of the Scooter Club of Wirral, Merseyside.
The third edition of the exhibition will open on 1st September for a month but for the first time, these portraits are encapsulated in a book published by the independent publisher based in East London Hoxton Mini Press, in partnership with the British Journal of Photography. The project is an odyssey into humanity and an exploration of universalism.
Introduced by English novelist and political journalist Will Self, Portrait of Britain showcases 200 shortlisted portraits that celebrate the heritage and diversity of the British nation.
‘These magnificent photographs capture at once the great diversity and the inescapable identity of the British. Gay, straight, bisexual and non-normative; male, female and non-binary; old, young and in between — how can it be that these — every one a compelling identity in its own right — are nonetheless trumped by a Britishness as heavy and irresistible as a Dundee fruit cake?
The book also features essays by Martin Usborne, Co-founder of Hoxton Mini Press, and Simon Bainbridge, Editorial Director of British Journal of Photography. Founded in 1854, the print publication is hugely recognised an authority on photography.