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In between guilt-inducing charity ads and cringe-inducingly sexist billboards, even we in the industry often find ourselves ignoring the outdoor advertising around us, even if that means we miss occasional great work. However, ignore billboards in the coming months and you could miss the best of contemporary British photography thanks to Portrait of Britain, a collaboration between JCDecaux and the British Journal of Photography (BJP).

 

Above (left to right): Brock Elbank, Eva for Vitiligo Series; Jørn Tomter, Waiting for Mum; Thomas Morgan LRP, The Blacksmith.

 

From September 1 through 30, JCDecaux digital screens across the country will show a series of 100 images, chosen from 8000 entrants to a BJP call-out, highlighting the diversity of the country.

 

Above (left to right): Andy Lo Po, Mickaella - Candoco Dance Company; Charlie Gray, Warwick Davies; Greg Funnell, Mohammed Qasim Ashfaq.

 

Although figures featuring in the photographs include celebrities like Skepta, artist Tracey Emin, and the actor Warwick Davies (above centre), the majority of image are of everyday citizens who look and/or act extraordinary, have done extraordinary things (like Rebecca Bunce, co-founder of a domestic violence charity), or been caught up in extra-ordinary events (like Corinne Jones, photographed a week after surviving the Grenfell Tower tragedy.


Above: Thea Geldi, Roland; John Russell, Selfie; Andrea Zvadova, Pigment.


The campaign is a spiritual sequel to Art Everywhere, which saw the Art Fund team with the leading outdoor advertising space holders (including JCDecaux) to bring a public voted selection of the nation's favourite artworks to over 30,000 streets across the UK in 2013 and 2014. This too featured Emin alongside works by Lucian Freud, Antony Gormley and many more.

 

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