This Brilliant Set Of Pandemic Portraits Captures Brits To An Absolute Tee

·2-min read
David - All Dressed Up & Nowhere To Go by Joe Short (Photo: Joe Short)
David - All Dressed Up & Nowhere To Go by Joe Short (Photo: Joe Short)

The past two years have changed our lives in more ways than we could have imagined, and this is certainly reflected in the entires for the Portrait of Britain awards.

This 2021 shortlist features Brits like David, who worked as an acrobat before the pandemic hit. When performances were cancelled, he pivoted to paining and decorating. Photographer Joe Short is nominated for his striking shot of David’s two world’s colliding.

“Everybody has been fixing up their homes so I was able to find work painting and decorating homes, so the money has kept coming in, but I’ve desperately missed performing,” says David. “I’ve learned I’m resilient, I can always find purpose, so my mental health has been ok through this time.”

Another one of the shortlisted portraits shows an unnamed woman dressed to the nines in Dior outside Tesco. And why not? An outing to the supermarket did become the event of the week during lockdown, after all.

LADY IN DIOR by Brock Stanley (Photo: Brock Stanley)
LADY IN DIOR by Brock Stanley (Photo: Brock Stanley)

“I was shopping in Tesco when I noticed her walking by, through the glass at the
checkout. I was in awe,” says photographer Brock Stanley, who snapped the image.

“I ran out the shop and asked for a photo, she was completely prepared and ready to be photographed, as you would be in an outfit like that! I love how much effort went in to every little detail of her look, and the way she peers just above the line of the camera like she’s done it 1000 times before. And maybe she has.”

The Portrait of Britain – run by the British Journal of Photography in partnership with JCDecaux – is designed to celebrate “the rich tapestry of people that make up Great Britain, by turning their stories into public art.”

The 200 shortlisted images also feature some famous faces, including footballer and campaigner Marcus Rashford waiting patiently in his garden between filming takes, and an outtake of Miriam Margoyles having a whale of a time in her kitchen during a shoot for Radio Times magazine.

Hope, by Ross Cooke (Photo: Ross Cooke)
Hope, by Ross Cooke (Photo: Ross Cooke)
Miriam Margoyles, by Mark Harrison (Photo: Mark Harrison)
Miriam Margoyles, by Mark Harrison (Photo: Mark Harrison)

The shortlisted images will be published in the Portrait of Britain book, vol. 4, published by Hoxton Mini Press and available to buy from February 3.

You’ll also spot the 100 winning images on digital screens in rail stations, shopping centres, high streets and bus stops nationwide throughout January.

Check out more of the shortlisted entries and the stories behind them below.

Sam & James' Wedding Renewal, by Natalia Poniatowska (Photo: Natalia Poniatowska)
Sam & James' Wedding Renewal, by Natalia Poniatowska (Photo: Natalia Poniatowska)
Airy, 2021, by Anna Louise Brooks.<br /><br />
Airy, 2021, by Anna Louise Brooks.

Sasha at 10, by Antonina Mamzenko. <br /><br />
Sasha at 10, by Antonina Mamzenko.

Most Worshipful Christine Chapman, by Caitlin Chescoe<br /><br />
Most Worshipful Christine Chapman, by Caitlin Chescoe

Airsoft player, Invicta Battlefield (2021), by Danny Burrows<br /><br />
Airsoft player, Invicta Battlefield (2021), by Danny Burrows

Seyon Amosu, by Fran Gomez de Villaboa<br /><br />
Seyon Amosu, by Fran Gomez de Villaboa

Jack, by Harry George Hall<br /><br />Jack:
Jack, by Harry George Hall

Jack:
Wonder boy, by Marksteen Adamson<br /><br />
Wonder boy, by Marksteen Adamson

Intimacy, by Ryan Edy<br /><br />
Intimacy, by Ryan Edy

See the full 100 shortlisted images online here.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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