Work from two Middlesex University student photographers is to feature in a National Portrait Gallery exhibition of a prestigious international
Steve Barritt and Inzajeano Latif will have their work shown in the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize, opening in November. The pair both finished their BA in Photography at Middlesex this year and have gone on to the MA Photography programme at the University.
The news represents a major coup for the University’s Arts and Education School, as two lecturers in photography have been exhibited in the competition before but never students. More than 6,400 pictures were submitted to the competition but only 60 made the exhibition, making the fact that two students from the same University are among those chosen, even more remarkable.
Inzajeano Latif, 34, entered three prints from his series called Female Boxers, which featured in his final degree show for his BA. He got in touch with the All Stars Boxing Gym, on Harrow Road in North West London and spent every Sunday there for three months, photographing the women boxers. He said of the project: "It’s about how women are looked at, how men look
at women and how women look at themselves."
He was away in Turkey on a commission when he found out his work would be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery. He said: "I had an email and I was just over the moon. I think it’s the largest prize for portraits in Europe if not the world. Then I heard Steve was chosen too, it’s just unbelievable."
Steve Barritt, 33, entered a piece that also featured in his final degree show in June. The project, Anachronisms, is a series of portraits of young men, artists and musicians, dressed
in smart clothing from another age. Steve said the style of Anachronisms was inspired by Rembrandt, after a trip to Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath. He said: "It’s pretty good just to be exhibited in the national portrait gallery, it’s amazing exposure just coming out of University."
Both of the Middlesex students came to photography after being involved in something else. Steve was a computer programmer and Inzajeano was in the fashion industry. Inzajeano said: "Photography for me is a more powerful way of allowing people to see what I see in the world. I’m all about really honest work. I want people to walk away from my work thinking about where they stand in this world."
He added lecturers at Middlesex had encouraged him to look at both traditional and new digital aspects of photography and their advice during the course had proved invaluable.
David Simmonds, programme leader for BA Photography said: "This fantastic news demonstrates the wealth of talent we have here in the photography department at the University. It is an endorsement of both the work we do here with our students at Middlesex and the work of Steve and Inzajeano themselves. "They are very talented photographers and we are delighted that they chose to continue their studies with us by moving onto the Masters course this year. This prestigious exhibition will provide them with some excellent exposure as developing talent in the field."