PSC is delighted to announce that Bachelor of Photography teacher Hoda Afshar has won the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2015.
The National Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition held at the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) is selected from a national field of entries that reflect the distinctive vision of Australia’s aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects. From 2500 entries the judges shortlisted 44 images to be exhibited at the NPG in Canberra. The exhibition opened last Friday and will be on display until the 8th June and will then travel to galleries all over Australia.
The winning image is from a series called ‘The Smell of Narenj’ that Hoda made during a recent trip to her country of birth, Iran. The photographs in this series reflect her personal view on contemporary Iranian society—a country whose reality is often either misrepresented, or hidden behind a heavy curtain. Hoda’s photographs do not claim to expose this reality; they are merely an attempt to capture the Iran that she knows — a knowledge that has been affected by the sense of nostalgia created through the distance caused by her migration to Australia. Her work deals with the impact of Iran’s complex history in the uncertain contemporary conditions of political life in Iran.
Hoda moved to Australia in 2007 and pursued her passion for photography. In 2010 she started a Masters in Fine Art at Curtin University and expanded her research into a PhD programme. Her work investigates the discourses around contemporary social issues including globalization, imperialism and power relations, displacement and post-identity politics. Her artwork also attempts to open lines of communication in a world both homogenized by global economy and unsettled by mass migration.
We are very proud of Hoda, a valued member of the PSC family, this is a great achievement that situates her at the forefront of contemporary photography in Australia.
‘Portrait of Ali’ by Hoda Afshar (2014) – Winner of National Photographic Portrait Prize 2015