Annabelle McEwen, BIO-IDENTIFIER_1, 2023, dye sublimation print on aluminium, 35.5cm x 27.9cm x 1.5cm, The National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

National Portrait Gallery

Established in 2007, the National Photographic Portrait Prize recognises the vitality and diversity of photographic portraiture. Our 2024 judges - José Da Silva, Director of Sydney's UNSW Galleries and curator of the 18th Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art; Pippa Milne, Curator at PHOTO Australia; and the National Portrait Gallery's Director Curatorial and Collection, Isobel Parker Philip -
have selected 34 portraits from over 1800 entries
This year's prize affirms the myriad ways in which photographic portraits can tell stories, challenge stereotypes, interrogate identity and expand the wavs we think about ourselves, each other and the world we live in. An exploration of relationships - particularly family, community and intimacy - is a powerful force within the exhibition, as is honouring the strength, beauty and resilience photographers encounter in their sitters.
Reflecting the fluidity of global contemporary photographic practice, finalists have embraced the ever-changing medium, deftly using digital technologies and image-making software; analogue, in-camera and film-based processes; approaches which move between image and object; 19th-century techniques such as the tintype and cyanotype; and even a portrait made by moonlight.

As content circulates and technology extracts resources, the body has become a data asset. Interrogating the surveilled and commodified body, I speculate on how its extraction is shaping epistemological shifts in our technological-milieu and future. As reality is flattened into semiotic data-streams, I question how the definition of the self is distorted via the power of images. This portrait uses photogrammetry software, synthesising several photos to construct a biometric copy of myself. Employing methods of intervention, I mimic the mediation individuals face via our data-powered virtual identities.

Annabelle McEwen is an artist based on Gadigal Land in Sydney who uses photography, printmaking and digital technologies to examine the impact of digitally mediated experiences on users and the virtual gaze on the body.