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17 September 2009 | PR 09/124

Loughborough graduate’s work to be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery

Ali Lomas photograph

Ali Lomas's photograph.

A photographic portrait by Ali Lomas, who graduated from Loughborough University just two months ago, is to be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

The image, which Ali created as part of her University portfolio, is among 60 photographs to have been selected for exhibition as part of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.

Around 6,300 submissions were made to the prestigious competition, which celebrates the very best in contemporary portrait photography and is open to amateur and professional photographers from around the world.

Ali’s portrait shows a young woman standing next to the wash basins in a white-tiled public toilet. In one of the basins lie the remnants of fish and chips wrapped in paper.

“I wanted to produce a tender and beautiful photograph that is also tinged with a negative atmosphere. The portrait has an essence of vulnerability, which gives the photograph a disquieting and uncomfortable air that makes the viewer feel as if they are intruding on a moment of drama which they shouldn’t be watching,” Ali explains.

Ali (22), who originates from Burton-upon-Trent, graduated from Loughborough University School of Art and Design in July with a First Class degree in Fine Art, specialising in photography.

Of her success, she says: “I really didn’t expect to be included in the exhibition.  It’s such a privilege and is very exciting to have been accepted.

It is the second time in two years that a Loughborough student’s work has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery. In May 2008, Ben Cohen, who also graduated in July from the Fine Art course, became the first-ever Loughborough student to have a portrait displayed at the Gallery. His work, entitled ‘John’, was shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award.

The winners of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize awards will be announced at a ceremony in London on 3 November.

Ali’s portrait, together with those of the other artists, will be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery from 5 November 2009 to 14 February 2010. The exhibition will then tour to The Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead from 27 March to 6 June 2010 and then to The New Art Gallery, Walsall from July to September 2010.


For all media enquiries contact:

Hannah Baldwin
Head of PR
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222239
E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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