NEWS RELEASE: Gallery commissions new photograph of This Is England and Skins actor Jack O'Connell






National Portrait Gallery London


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WEDNESDAY 26 JULY 2017

NATIONAL PORTRAIT
GALLERY COMMISSIONS NEW PHOTOGRAPH OF THIS
IS ENGLAND
AND SKINS ACTOR JACK
O’CONNELL AS PART OF THE JOHN KOBAL NEW
WORK AWARD 

Jack O’Connell by Tereza Červeňová, 2017 © National Portrait
Gallery, London

Download image here: https://we.tl/jnYXNashwv

A striking newly-commissioned photograph of actor Jack
O’Connell has been commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, it was
announced today, Wednesday 26 July 2017, coinciding with his West End starring
role in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Sienna
Miller opening this week.

The portrait, taken by photographer Tereza Červeňová,
was commissioned through the John Kobal New Work Award, a prize awarded annually to a photographer under thirty-five whose
work is selected for display in the Taylor Wessing Photographic
Portrait Prize
exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.

The London-based Slovakian
photographer Tereza Červeňová won the John Kobal New Work Award commission following her
selection as part of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize
2015 exhibition, and was invited to photograph the actor Jack
O’Connell in March 2017.

Červeňova’s
photograph of Jack O’Connell was taken at his family home in Derby, and
challenges the ‘angry youth’ image associated with acting roles such as his
film debut as the blue-collar teenager Pukey Nicholls in the 2006 coming-of-age
drama This is England, a young murderer
in the British horror Eden Lake, a drug
addict in Harry Brown and James Cook
in the teen drama Skins.

Shown with a hint of vulnerability
and wearing a tee-shirt in a garden, O’Connell is reflected through a window as Červeňova creates
a semi-abstracted composition playing with light and lines as the actor’s torso
apparently emerges intertwined with panels of a wooden fence.

Tereza Červeňová
says: ‘In portraiture my aim is always to manage to unveil what lies beneath the
surface and meet the real person behind it and thanks to Jack’s openness,
seeing through the ‘actor’s shield’ was both natural as well as effortless.
Jack was very generous not only with his time but also with his thoughts and
stories. It was great to have the full support and trust of the National Portrait
Gallery and the John Kobal Foundation when it came to the execution and choice
of the final portrait, which for me shows the juxtaposition of strength and
vulnerability in a setting where the boundaries between the interior and the
exterior are blurred and Jack emerges interlaced in both.’

Born in
Derby, England, Jack O’Connell, the half-English, half-Irish actor had his big
break when he was cast in 2006’s This is England, a part written for him by director Shane Meadows. His career has gone from strength to
strength, winning the EE BAFTA Rising Star Award and the New Hollywood Award in
2015.

Recent film
credits include Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken,
the critically acclaimed prison drama Starred
Up,
for which he was nominated for a British Independent Film Award for
Best Actor, Belfast thriller ’71 and
last year he co-starred with George Clooney and Julia Roberts in Money Monster, directed by Jodie Foster.

Other
credits include the successful British teen drama Skins, for which he won a British TV Choice award for Best Actor,
British horror film Eden Lake, crime
thriller Harry Brown opposite Sir
Michael Caine and 300: Rise of an Empire.

Jack
O’Connell is currently starring at the Apollo Theatre in London’s West End as
Brick in the Young Vic Production of Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, alongside Sienna Miller as Maggie. Upcoming later this year is the new Netflix
TV series Godless.

As winner of the John Kobal New Work Award in 2015 for her portrait of her friend Yngvild, taken the day before they attended a wedding together
at Holland’s Veluwe National Park, Tereza
Červeňová received a commission to photograph a sitter connected
with the UK film industry for the National Portrait Gallery Collection. Jack O’Connell
was chosen for his outstanding contribution to British cinema, theatre and
television.

Slovakian
born Červeňová moved to London in 2011 to study Photography at Middlesex
University. After graduating with a BA Hons 1st, she embarked on a MA at the
Royal College of Art (completing 2018). Her work now focuses on portraiture and
fine art photography. She is the recipient of numerous awards including this
year’s Bloomberg New Contemporaries, D&AD Yellow Pencil (2014) and Daniel
Blau Gallery’s 5 UNDER 30 Award (2013) as well as nominations for MACK First
Book Awards. Her work has appeared in
publications including The New Yorker,
Telegraph Magazine
and PORT Magazine
as well as international exhibitions.

The John Kobal New Work Award Commission was launched in
2012 by the John Kobal Foundation and represents a significant
achievement for young photographers, particularly as each commissioned portrait
becomes part of the Gallery’s Collection. The first commission saw the American
photographer Matthew Niederhauser take a striking portrait of Andrea
Riseborough, who had recently portrayed Wallis Simpson in the film W.E.
(2011). The 2013 Award recipient, the Czech photographer Hana Knizova,
photographed Olivia Colman reclining in an elegant tuxedo in a disused
Victorian house in Stoke Newington. The 2014 Award recipient Laura Pannack
photographed Star Wars actress Felicity Jones for her commission.

Dr Nicholas
Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, says: ‘In
sponsoring this award the John Kobal Foundation offers a young artist a great
opportunity to photograph a sitter connected with the UK film industry. We are
delighted that in an innovatively composed photograph by Tereza Červeňová, Jack O’Connell now joins Felicity Jones, Olivia
Colman and Andrea Riseborough in this exciting series of portraits commissioned
from selected photographers in the Taylor
Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.’

Simon Crocker, Chairman
of the John Kobal Foundation, and a judge of the John Kobal New Work Award,
says: ‘Jack
O’Connell, one of the most talented actors to have emerged in the UK in the
past few years, is a fitting subject for Tereza’s painterly eye and she
delivers a terrific portrait to mark the fifth year of our award.'

The John Kobal New Work Award is awarded to
a photographer under the age of 35 selected for the exhibition. The winning
photographer receives a cash prize of £5,000 to include undertaking a
commission from the Gallery to photograph a sitter connected with the UK film
industry.

Jack O’Connell by Tereza Červeňová will go on display in the National Portrait
Gallery in 2018.
NPG x199780: Jack O’Connell
by Tereza Červeňová,
2017
C-type print
© National Portrait
Gallery, London

IMAGE CAPTION: Jack O’Connell by Tereza Červeňová,
2017 © National Portrait Gallery, London

TAYLOR WESSING PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT PRIZE 2017

16 November 2017 – 4 February 2018

Admission £6 with donation (concessions £4.50)
Supported by Taylor Wessing

For further Press information and image requests please contact: Neil Evans, Press Office, National Portrait Gallery

Tel: 020 7312 2452 (not for publication) Email: nevans@npg.org.uk

To download Press images visit: www.npg.org.uk/press

National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place WC2H 0HE, opening hours Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday: 10.00 – 18.00 (Gallery closure commences at 17.50) Late Opening: Thursday, Friday: 10.00 – 21.00 (Gallery closure commences at 8.50pm) Nearest Underground: Leicester Square/Charing Cross General information: 0207 306 0055 Recorded information: 020 7312 2463 Website www.npg.org.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Jack O’Connell by Tereza Červeňová is the John
Kobal New Work Award Commission awarded as part of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015

· The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize
2015
was judged from original prints by Dr Nicholas Cullinan,
Director, National Portrait Gallery; Dr Phillip Prodger, Head of
Photographs, National Portrait Gallery; Hannah Starkey, Photographer; Anne
Lyden,
International Photography Curator, Scottish National Portrait
Gallery; David Drake, Director, Ffotogallery, Cardiff; and Tim Eyles,
Managing Partner, Taylor Wessing LLP.

· The First Prize winner received £12,000;
Second Prize £3,000; Third Prize £2,000, Fourth Prize, £1,000. The winner of
the John Kobal New Work Award received
a cash prize of £5,000 to include undertaking a commission to photograph a
sitter connected with the UK film industry for the National Portrait Gallery
Collection. The John Kobal New Work Award
was judged by Simon Crocker, Chairman of the John Kobal Foundation and Joanna
Pitman, Trustee of the John Kobal Foundation.


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