Portrait of Islington mayor wins national competition

The winning portrait of Cllr Rakhia Ismail. Picture: Rosalind Furlong

The winning portrait of Cllr Rakhia Ismail. Picture: Rosalind Furlong - Credit: Archant

A portrait of Islington’s mayor has won a national competition.


Cllr Rakhia Ismail is seen in her full mayoral garb, striking a pose and laughing in the picture taken by Rosalind Furlong, which is one of 100 winners of 1854 Media’s and the British Journal of Photography’s Portrait of Britain 2020 competition.

For a month from today (September 1), it will be exhibited in train stations, shopping centres, high streets and bus stops on a network of digital outdoor screens owned by advertising company JCDecaux UK.

Cllr Ismail, who is believed to be the first London mayor to wear a hijab, tweeted that she was “delighted” with the news: “Proud to embody both modern and traditional Britain in one outfit.”

READ MORE: Mayor Cllr Rakhia Ismail calls out Islington Council over failure to provide any Eid celebrationsThis is the second time Wandsworth-based specialist portrait photographer Rosalind has won this competition - the first time in 2017.

She told the Gazette: “I was really excited, I was more excited than the first time because that felt like a fluke, but the second time you think ‘maybe I am a good photographer after all!’

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“I wanted a formal one (initially), so it looked like an older set up painting but with Rakhia wearing a hijab so it had a modern twist.

“But then I got that moment of her laughing and when I looked through them that was my favourite.

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“She’s such a lovely woman and it shows her personality.”

The competition was judged by Simon Bainbridge, editorial director of the British Journal of Photography; Parveen Narowalia, digital picture editor of British Vogue; and Martin Usborne, co-founder of Hoxton Mini Press.

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