Clémentine Schneidermann has been awarded one of the most esteemed prizes in photography, the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, for 2022.
The photographer is known for her delightful, collaborative images made with children and teenagers in south Wales, where she is largely based. It’s also where her newly crowned series, Laundry Day, was made.
The series features her neighbour, Pauline, partially obscured as she performs daily chores in her garden during lockdown. The images give an intimate glimpse at a person’s daily activities, though from afar – echoing the distancing requirements in place when the work was made, and asking whether an image needs to show someone’s face for it to constitute portraiture.
According to Schneidermann, the images “document micro events which deal with the passage of time through the small moments of our daily lives”.
This year’s runners-up include South African visual poet and activist Haneem Christian, who was awarded second place for works from two separate series. Mother and Daughter is a powerful portrait of two transfeminine activists, while Rooted features a person lying down against a tree trunk. Clothing is absent from both images, which were applauded for the sense of trust present in their works.
Third place went to Polish-Canadian documentary photographer Alexander Komenda for his photograph Zahid’s Son, taken from his ongoing series The Lost Enchiridion of the Fergana Valley – referring to a region spread across Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The image responds to the oppression faced by Uzbek people in southern Kyrgyzstan, where the portrait of a young boy clutching a rabbit was photographed.
The prize was judged by National Portrait Gallery director Nicholas Cullinan, photographer Siân Davey, curator Eva Eicker, Photoworks director Shoair Mavlian, who will be joining The Photographers’ Gallery as director in January, and Christina Lamb, chief foreign correspondent at the Sunday Times.
This winning images are being presented in an exhibition alongside all of the shortlisted entries, and a special display of previously unseen work by imagemaker Jeano Edwards. The exhibition is being held at the National Portrait Gallery’s temporary home in Cromwell Place, London, while the main gallery near Trafalgar Square undergoes redevelopment.
The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2022 exhibition runs until December 18; npg.org.uk