Kate Middleton is due to visit the National Portrait Gallery this week (Thursday July 19) for a private viewing of their latest exhibition. She will be the guest of honour at the launch of a new Olympics photography exhibition titled, “Road to 2012: Aiming High”, which features portraits documenting the three years of preparation for the London Games, which kick off on July 27. The visit combines two of Kate’s key public roles – Patron of the National Portrait Gallery and Olympic Ambassador, a position she holds alongside Princes William and Harry. The three young royals will be on centre-stage at this summer’s Olympics, attending many events supporting from the sidelines.
The National Portrait Gallery/BT Road to 2012 project captures the journey towards the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by working with internationally renowned photographers. It creates a lasting record of the people who contribute to these exciting events. From world-class athletes and those working behind the scenes, to people living and working in the host boroughs for the 2012 Games, the project celebrates stories of inspirational achievement.
Road to 2012: Setting Out, the first year of the project, saw photographers Brian Griffin and Bettina von Zwehl capture athletes and inspirational figures involved at the start of the journey towards London 2012. For Road to 2012: Changing Pace, the second year of the project, photographic portraits were created by Emma Hardy and Finlay MacKay. Hardy’s intimate depictions of the men and women involved in the preparations for staging the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games show them in locations and pursuits where they might reflect or find inspiration. MacKay’s complex scenarios capture world-class UK athletes where they train, alongside the people who are supporting their ambition.
For Road to 2012: Aiming High, the third year of the project, photographers Anderson & Low, Jillian Edelstein and Nadav Kander are following the final stages on the journey to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games looking at teams and those creating a lasting legacy. Jonathan Anderson and Edwin Low have worked together since 1990. They are widely respected for their highly crafted images of athletes’ physical perfection and endurance. Edelstein’s award-winning work crosses a range of approaches to portraiture from documentary to studio. Nadav Kander has been invited to make a series of portraits for the final Road to 2012 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in 2012.
All of the commissioned images can be seen alongside films of the sitters and photographers, behind-the-scenes images of the photo-shoots and audio giving an insider’s view of the project. An exhibition showcasing selected images from all the project photographers is at the National Portrait Gallery, London, from 19 July to 23 September 2012.
Kate made a spectacular solo debut at London’s National Portrait Gallery,in February, where she attended the private view of the Lucian Freud portrait exhibition. She was greeted by the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt as well as by Sandy Nairne, the gallery’s director. She was escorted around the exhibition by Nairne as well as the co-curators of the exhibition. In the gallery she mingled with well known art world personalities, including the photographer Mary McCartney (Linda and Paul’s daughter) and Bella Freud, the artist’s daughter, who was also the subject of a 1996 oil on canvas, featured in the show.
Kate, a former History of Art student at St Andrew’s University is expected to spend an hour looking around the exhibition.