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Black is the New Black: Portraits by Simon Frederick National Portrait Gallery, London

Black is the New Black: Portraits by Simon Frederick National Portrait Gallery, London

The National Portrait Gallery’s largest acquisition of portraits of Afro-Caribbean sitters has gone on public display for the first time in Black is the New Black: Portraits by Simon Frederick a new display at the National Portrait Gallery, London (on until 27 January 2019). The display brings together exceptional figures from the world of politics, business, culture, religion and science, photographed by artist and director Simon Frederick as part of his acclaimed BBC TWO documentary Black is the New Black, broadcast in 2016. With the support of Oath, Frederick gifted the entire portfolio of forty prints to the National Portrait Gallery in August 2017. Sitters range from model Naomi Campbell, newsreader and journalist Sir Trevor McDonald, actor Thandie Newton, musicians Jazzie B of Soul II Soul, Dizzee Rascal, Laura Mvula and Tinie Tempah, comedian and actor Sir Lenny Henry, footballer Les Ferdinand, Labour MP for Streatham Chuka Umunna, and Editor in Chief of British Vogue Edward Enninful.

Each of the thirty eight portraits featured in the display will be ‘brought to life’ through a bespoke augmented reality (AR) app, created by Oath’s in-house creative team, RYOT Studio, which will enable visitors to view video interview content from the BBC TWO Black is the New Black series on their mobile screens.  After downloading the app on iOS or Android, visitors can hold their phones up to the portraits, which will come to life with moving images and audio of the sitter. Users simply touch a portrait to watch the short video interviews.

The sitters are: architect and designer Sir David Adjaye; scientist and educator Maggie Aderin-Pocock; dancer and choreographer Ashley Banjo; children’s writer Malorie Blackman; fashion designer Ozwald Boateng; musician and music producer Jazzie B; model Naomi Campbell; menswear designer Charlie Casely-Hayford; film director Noel Clarke; musician, dancer and broadcaster Alesha Dixon; ballet dancer Shevelle Dynott; digital entrepreneur and founder of SB.TV Jamal Edwards; Editor in Chief of British Vogue Edward Enninful; writer and broadcaster Ekow Eshun; footballer and Director of Football at Queens Park Rangers Les Ferdinand; musician and DJ Goldie; actor David Harewood; comedian and actor Sir Lenny Henry; producer and director Terry Jervis; musician, radio presenter and actress Beverley Knight; heptathlete and Olympian Denise Lewis; physician and surgeon Christopher B. Lynch; journalist and broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald; trade unionist Bill Morris, Lord Morris of Handsworth; musician Laura Mvula; DJ and broadcaster Trevor Nelson; actress Thandie Newton; rapper and grime artist Dizzee Rascal; barrister and Attorney-General for England and Wales Patricia Scotland, Baroness Scotland of Asthal; Archbishop of York His Grace the Most Reverend and Right Honourable John Sentamu; artist Yinka Shonibare; musician Tinie Tempah; MP and Labour politician Chuka Umunna; civil servant and Chief Executive of Ofcom Sharon White; journalist and newsreader Charlene White; comedian Gina Yashere; DJ and broadcaster Reggie Yates; and journalist, author and broadcaster Gary Younge.

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