Portrait exhibition tour is hung in the Redlands Art gallery at Cleveland

The touring exhibition of the Living Memory: National Photographic Portrait Prize is hung in the Redland Art Gallery, Cleveland remaining until June 19.

National Portrait gallery director Karen Quinlan opened the exhibition on May 13, hailing 40 of 79 finalist entries, notably that of the finalist which depicts a farmer in a dust storm.

Ms Quinlan said the competition drew more than 3000 entries, and depicted recent significant world events.

Speaking at the opening, Ms Quinlan said the exhbition marked the times.

"It acknowledges the seismic events that have happened in recent times - the catastrophic droughts, bush fires and the lockdown. The feeling behind the works is palpable and spans the traumatic to the joyous," she said.

She said that more finalists had been included in the 2021 National Photographic Portrait Prize as a way of acknowledging the impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the creative community.

"While we see the bright celebration of identity we expect from works selected for the NPPP, the portraits also reflect the maelstrom that was late 2019 and 2020, and the darkness of a period that included wide-spread fires and a pandemic. Fittingly, we wanted to mark this exhibition by naming it Living Memory."

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said it was a major coup for Redlands Coast to host such an esteemed exhibition.

"The National Photographic Portrait Prize (NPPP), now in its 14th year, is a stalwart of the National Portrait Gallery's annual calendar. The quality of this exhibition is underscored by the fact that 79 works were selected as finalists, almost double the usual amount," Cr Williams said.

All works from the Living Memory: National Photographic Portrait Prize are included on the National Portrait Gallery website https://portrait.gov.au/exhibitions/living-memory-2021