National Portrait Gallery Research

We recently visited the national portrait gallery in london to visit a very popular photography expedition which is a variety of different photographers work published and ranked to win the portrait prize.

During our visit we were asked to choose three different photographers work from the gallery that we really like and that we found really interesting. From these three photographers and their work we would eventually get it down to one person and their work that we really liked and we felt was our winner out of the whole expedition.

The photographer that I chose to study from this visit was by Viktorja Vaisvilate Skirtiene. The portrait that he created as his entry was called the neighbour. The image showed a young boy looking out of a window in his house holding a gun up to the window. The portrait showed a description which stated ‘ The portrait is of Dovidas a 4 year old boy from the town of Klaipeda in Lithuania, the photographer wanted to capture the boys daily routine of running through the house from the sofa to the table while always carrying his toy gun.’

Below is the image that the description is talking about.


As part of our research for this project we have been asked to link the picture to an issue that we think best represent the picture and the issue that it shows.

In many countries it is legal for a child or anyone to carry round a knife, gun or an offensive weapon with them as they believe highly in self defence and protection. This then clearly teaches children to do the same and it also teaches them that harming others for fun or protection is ok and it is the right thing to do. Even though in the picture it shows a toy gun, the child is still using it in the same way as an adult would to shoot or harm someone and they have taken this action from an adult and tried to recreate it themselves. A source that i have found about gun crime and violence in children shows that some parents may feel upset that their children are carrying round guns or offensive weapons. ‘It can be extremely worrying to think that your child is involved in something as dangerous as knife or gun crime. Maybe they’re not carrying a weapon themselves but are associated with people who are. The natural reaction is to panic – but this won’t resolve the situation and could push your child away.The consequences of taking no action, though, could be extremely serious for your child or someone else. You must do something about it.’ This shows that other people carrying round guns can have a real impact on children and some parents really feel that the are scared to take action towards their child and confront them about carrying an offensive weapon. Even the small thing maybe even like this image can have a big impact on children and the way they see the world. This is clearly a well known thing for the child as in the image description the photographer says that ‘He tried to capture the childs daily routine of running from the sofa with his toy gun’ This shows that even though the gun is a toy it still has a big impact on the child and this is the closest he can get to the real thing.

However from research I have found that gun and knife crime in lithuanina is very low and tho shows that the media and tv programmes from other countries may have had an influence in the childs life and the way they see crime is very much a good thing because they may have seen someone from a country where gun crime is very high and there is always a risk of it happening showing that it is good and very much a well known thing form where they are from.

The way that the photographer has taken the image also represents the issuer mainly in the lighting and the props that he uses in his picture.

The lighting in the image is very dark and black and  knife and gun crime is a very dark gloomy and this lighting in the image is a very good representation of what the issue in the image is.

The props in the image also best represent the issue that the image shows. As the image is set in a modern day house and has all the typical features of a modern home, the image shows that the issue represents that the gun crime doesn’t change the way you live or your environment.



One thought on “National Portrait Gallery Research

  1. Well done Emily it’s clear you have put a god deal of effort into exploring the ideas within this picture. Another interesting issue over the past year might also be the threat of potential Russian invasion feared in Lithuania – see this article in the times..

    Remember through your research you must reference (link) your quotes to sources listed in your bibliography. Each time you find a new source add it to the bibliography and reference to it where you use it in the text.Ask me if you need any help on how to do this.


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