In the summer of 2011 I visited the National Portrait Gallery to see the BP Portrait Award. Like all portrait competition exhibitions I frequent, there was the usual lineup of inspired work, derivative work and work I simply didn’t understand. And then there was this…





















This is “Despertar – Awakening” by Manuel Ferrer Perea , a painting of the artists daughter, Neus, and I have not been able to get it out of my head since. It is subtle, serene and beautiful; all things I adore in a portrait. And the girl’s gaze… I struggle to find the words. Knowing, innocent and inquisitive and yet somehow more than that. It feels like the moment of precious thought before a warm smile. This painting moved me.

And so, with this image ingrained in my mind and with my new artistic direction, I created a set of photos with the loverly Sophie, which I have called “Dear Bobbie”, inspired by the song of the same name by Yellowcard that we created the mood of our shoot with.





















Oh, and by the way, I have looked up Manuel Ferrer Perea but as I am loathe to go past the second page of a Google search, don’t speak Spanish and generally lack the patience for sustained research, all I have really found out about the artist is that he is from Alicante and “Despertar – Awakening” is, in my opinion, by far his best and most affecting work. You can however, and begrudgingly, make up your own mind on this…