National Photographic Portrait Prize finalists revealed, with two works from Canberra Times photographer Dion Georgopoulos

The works that make up this year's National Photographic Portrait Prize have been revealed, including two works from The Canberra Times photographer Dion Georgopoulos.

The National Portrait Gallery revealed the works for what is the prize's 14th iteration, and - with the cataclysmic events of late 2019 and 2020 in its orbit - conceivably its most significant.

Among the works are images of the 2020 bushfires - including Georgopoulos' two works - and an insight into what life in lockdown was like for people across the country.

"The National Photographic Portrait Prize serves up its own rich tableau of humanity every year, and is engrossing as a result," National Portrait Gallery director Karen Quinlan said.

"This 2021 version, incorporating photographs from the maelstrom that was late 2019 and 2020, brings particular significance. Accordingly, we've called it Living Memory, to properly mark the times.

"Perhaps its essence is best described as bittersweet: there's the bright celebration of identity the National Photographic Portrait Prize always brings, infused with the darkness of the period it draws from, and every shade in between. It's your full gamut, writ large in this catalogue."

The prize and accompanying exhibition, Living Memory: National Photographic Portrait Prize, was conceived and named to acknowledge the starkest of times, the gallery expanded this year's prize to support the artistic community.

It features significantly more finalist works than usual; a new artist support payment paid to every finalist; an extended exhibition season at the gallery (July 31 to November 7); and, supplementing the usual suite of winners' prizes, mentorship opportunities awarded to selected finalists to support photographic career aspirations.

This is not the first time that Georgopoulos has been recognised for his photography. In 2020 the photographer was a finalist in the prestigious Walkley mid-year awards. The Young Journalist of the Year Awards recognises the work by the nation's leading young journalists and photographers. In these awards, Georgopoulos was selected a finalist in the visual storytelling category for his coverage of the 2020 bushfires.

The trio of judges - esteemed photographer Bill Henson, Ms Quinlan and National Gallery of Australia director Nick Mitzevich - started with the mammoth task of having to work through more than three thousand entries. The result is 79 photographs all vying for the top prize.

The winner will be announced on July 30.

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This story National Photographic Portrait Prize finalists revealed first appeared on The Canberra Times.