A Middlesex University student has been selected by the National Portrait Gallery as part of a prestigious photography exhibition, continuing the institution’s unrivalled success in the competition.
Bernat Millet will be amongst 60 photographers to have their work on show at the central London gallery as part of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition, a competition open to top industry professionals from around the globe. He is the sixth Middlesex student in three years to be included.
Bernat submitted an image taken for his final year project of amputee Sidiajmed Embarj Brick, a member of the Sahrawi people from Algeria. Millet was inspired to visit the area to promote awareness of the poverty, war and homelessness which are prevalent in the region.
The Taylor Wessing prize celebrates excellence in portrait photography through a three-month exhibition at the central London gallery. The portraits exhibited were selected by a panel of judges from some 6,000 submissions from worldwide established and emerging photographic talent.
Bernat, who lives in Tottenham Hale, said: “At 25 to have a picture displayed in the National Portrait Gallery is very special – especially as I was competing against industry professionals. But the best thing is that so many people are going to see my picture and it will raise awareness of the Sahrawi people.”
Originally from a small village near Barcelona, Bernat flew out to Algeria to take the images using a heavy old style plate camera with a hood. The picture, which will be in the National Portrait Gallery, took Bernat around half an hour planning the shoot and another 20 minutes setting up lighting, equipment and getting the shot ready.
Middlesex University photography programme leader David Simmonds has called Bernat’s image, “one of the most accomplished bodies of work ever produced by an undergraduate photography student.”
Middlesex runs courses at foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate levels, with the students now able to take advantage of a whole host of new equipment and learning spaces in Middlesex University’s new purpose built £80m art, design and media building.
Photography facilities in the Grove include fully equipped colour, and black and white darkrooms, dedicated mac workstations, high specification printers and scanners, and a comprehensive range of professional standard digital and analogue cameras.
Bernat added: “Middlesex is special for photography - it’s a very creative environment to learn in. The tutors really supported me and pushed me on to take better images. They have shown me how to take startling portrait shots.”
David Simmonds added: “Leading industry professionals from around the world compete for the Taylor Wessing prize. For a Middlesex student to once again appear in the final exhibition demonstrates our commitment to excellence in photography education”
Bernat’s image will be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery until 12 February.
You can view his portfolio at www.bernatmilletphotography.com