National Portrait Gallery hosts Road To 2012 exhibit

Art and sports lovers heading into London in September may be interested in visiting the National Portrait Gallery to take in the Road To 2012: Changing Pace photography exhibit.

Easily accessible from central London hotels, the exhibit features images of city youths preparing for the coming Olympic games.

Newly commissioned photographs of top athletes and their mentors, as well as key figures behind the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games were provided by Emma Hardy and Finlay MacKay.

Ms Hardy explained that she tries to capture fully the personality and lifestyle of the people she photographs.

She said that she gets a natural performance out of her subjects by photographing them in places special to them.

Mr MacKay added: "Athletes are great to shoot because they're at the top of their game and they look amazing as they are."

He continued: "Doing this stuff back-to-back has made me see things in a better way – my work has gotten better because of it."

Additionally, east London photographer Katherine Green has produced Road To 2012: A Local Story – a documentary designed to accompany the photography exhibit.

The film highlights east London perspectives on the changing landscape and the impact of the Olympics on the local environment.

Individuals and sporting groups represent boroughs across the region, including Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Newham and Greenwich.

Helen Whiteoak, head of participation at the gallery, commented: "Working with participants from east London community groups and capturing their perspectives on the impact of London 2012 to their local area is an extremely vital and exciting aspect of the Road To 2012 project."

The National Portrait Gallery also recently announced that it will be marking the 15th anniversary of the death of celebrated artist Augustus John, with a display of portraits and photographs.

Charting his early career, relationships and fascination with Romany culture, the exhibit will discuss his success and look at the vital people in his life.

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