Judging School Students Portraiture at TBHS …

The years fly by … it seems almost yesterday that I was asked for the first time to judge the work of Trinity Bay High Schools photography class students. It was actually seven years ago in 2016 … and the students whose work was displayed in that years exhibition will now be well into their twenties.

This year I once again had the distinct pleasure of being asked to judge the schools annual photographic portrait prize … for the seventh year in a row.

Last week that judging took place followed by the announcement of winners and presentations …

There were a whole host of great portraits adorning the walls of the schools gallery that could have made it into the winners circle including (but not only) works by Axil Austin, Marie Johnson, Naomi Rubambo, Patrick Munguyiko and Prince Mashengo.

A very challenging decision this year … but after circling the gallery works on the wall many times …  with several breaks for rumination … i came up with these results (images below, counter clockwise from top) … Winner – ‘Bridezilla’ by Ali Talty , Second Place – ‘Mutesi’ by Angelique Iradukanda, Third Place – ‘Muslim Girl’ by Samita Khadka and Highly Commended – ‘The Deadly Clown’ by Mamta Bista. At bottom below is the work that was voted Peoples Choice by visitors to the exhibition … ‘Island Eyes’ by Peiwa Wamala  … and personally I’m glad they did :-).

Ali’s Winning work ‘Bridezilla’ was unmissable on the wall … a highly detailed image from a great quality file. It’s one of those images that you can’t stop looking around and searching for little details and making your own ‘interpretations’. (Still not one hundred percent about the title tho’ 😉 ). For her excellent wining work Ali was presented with a DSLR camera courtesy of sponsor Garricks Camera House, Cairns by teacher Ian Whittaker.

Angelique’s Second Place ‘Mutesi’ is a nicely put together classy, sophisticated work … nice interesting pose by the subject, displaying her to best effect.

An excellent quality image file and the use of great quality of the light and careful pose and composition used in Samita’s ‘Muslim Girl’ made it an exceptional work and a well deserved Third.

Some may feel that the selection of Mamta’s ‘The Deadly Clown’ may have been a ‘controversial’ decision. My take is that the almost abstract work is totally unmissable and unforgettable … some viewers remarked it was ‘very scary’. Great … if an image evokes emotion I’m all for it. I’ve seen the body of work that Mamta selected this image from … and it’s great creative work that deserved recognition.

The Trinity Bay teachers excelled this year with more entries in the ‘Staff Award’ than previous years … and my selection for best staff entry was a clever black and white work ‘Infinite Gambit’ by Kelly Nottle.

Over the years I’ve been constantly amazed by the work that these grade 12, 11 and younger students produce … and the work that that the teachers of the Visual Arts Faculty … this year Luke Madsen, Caroline Mudge and Clair Lloyd … nurture their students to produce.

Can’t wait for my eighth TBHS Photographic Portrait Prize next year …

You can find the previous winning images from the last six years of the TBHS portrait prize here …20212020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.

Images © the students … (top four – counter clockwise from top) … ‘Bridezilla’ by Ali Talty, ‘Mutesi’ by Angelique Iradukanda, ‘Muslim Girl’ by Samita Khadka and ‘The Deadly Clown’ by Mamta Bista … (bottom) … ‘Island Eyes’ by Peiwa Wamala

Trinity Bay High School Portrait Prize 2022 - winner by Ali Talty - judge Brian Cassey

Trinity Bay High School Portrait Prize 2022 - 3rd and 2nd Place - Muslim Girl Samita Khadka_ Mutesi by Angelique - judge Brian Cassey

Trinity Bay High School Portrait Prize - Honourable - The Deadly Clown by Mamta Bista - judge Brian Cassey

Trinity Bay High School Portrait Prize - People's Choice - Island Eyes - Peiwa Wamala