37 sitters represented in the group, 33 were sitters who had never been admitted to the ‘primary’ collection previously. These are so-called ‘Rule 3’ sitters, meaning that the Galleries trustees must not only weigh the success of the art work but the significance of the sitter’s contributions to British society and culture, since it is still considered by many an honour to be added to the primary collection, and the criteria are quite strict. Nevertheless, every single one of the sitters was enthusiastically endorsed, representing one of the biggest single influxes of African-Caribbean sitters into the primary collection in the National Portrait Gallery’s history.
Naomi Campbell, Thandie Newton and Laura Mvula are among 37 black Britons whose portraits will go on show in a major exhibition.
The trio, with other familiar faces including Sir Trevor McDonald and Tinie Tempah, were all photographed by Simon Frederick for a BBC documentary, Black Is The New Black. In it, they discuss their experiences in the UK.more
For the first time, an outstanding group of black Britons, who are some of the most influential and exceptional figures in British culture, face the camera to tell us what it is like to be black and British today. Beautifully shot by artist and director Simon Frederick, these familiar faces share intimate, heartfelt and inspirational stories about what it means to be black and British – stories that are told powerfully, filled with passion and humour. And from these intimate interviews, the series begins to paint a portrait of the nation – its past, its present and where it may be heading.
Daily Mail “Naomi Campbell speaks for the first time about what it means to be black and British and joins other famous stars who were told to limit their ambitions due to their skin colour”:
With migrant stories under attack, the BBC’s Black is the New Black has come at the right time