Beautiful Britain: Heathrow showcases winning photography from across the nation


Winners of the GREAT Britain & Northern Ireland campaign’s Great Exposure Photography Competition have been announced.

The competition received over 600 hundred high-quality entrants from across the UK, who were asked to capture visually stunning images that represent their perspective of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. 

Today (Tuesday 29 March) the campaign has revealed the photographers who have won the ‘Great Exposure Photography Competition’ and will have their pictures displayed across all terminals, on the Heathrow Express train running from the airport to London Paddington train station, and on digital screens within the terminals. 

Launched in partnership with the Royal Photographic Society, the GREAT campaign’s project was designed to show passengers a fresh view of the UK, as seen through the eyes and lenses of the public.

The display of 40 photos captures the spirit of all four corners of the nation. People and places from across the UK such as Bow Fiddle Rock in Scotland, Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire, Pentre Ifan in Pembrokeshire, Wales and Gortin Glen Forest Park in Omagh, County Tyrone in Northern Ireland are included. 

The government say this project forms part of their ongoing work to promote the UK around the world to drive trade, tourism and international students, with the images due to be seen by tens of millions of people passing through the airport each year.

The winning entries will be displayed for at least a year across spaces throughout Heathrow Airport.

The images were judged by an expert panel, comprising photographer Simon Roberts, Mariama Attah; curator of the Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool, photographer Alistair Morrison, and Heathrow’s Chief Operating Officer, Emma Gilthorpe. 

Emma Gilthorpe, Chief Operating Officer at Heathrow Airport and one of the competition judges said:

“It is fantastic to see the UK’s rich cultural diversity on show through this brilliant new photography exhibition. I am delighted that passengers arriving at Heathrow will be greeted by these photos, celebrating diverse perspectives and our innovative, welcoming spirit. 

“We’re gearing up for a busy summer travel season and I hope this exhibition will encourage visitors to see new perspectives when they visit the amazing places the UK has to offer.”

Competition judge Alistair Morrison added:

“It was refreshing to see so many entries that truly reflected the idea of ‘Seeing Things Differently’. Having to choose from such an outstanding collection of diverse photographs was tough – congratulations to everybody who contributed.”

Competition winner Jacob McDonald said:

“I am extremely happy and proud to be chosen as one of the winners. It is a massive moment for me. I had only owned a camera for three months when I took this photo and I couldn’t be happier.”

Competition winner Alex Ward added:

“When I started capturing wild swimmers as part of my MA at Falmouth University, I had no idea it would lead me to such a variety of people, places and rituals. Swimmers represent the true nature of our nation; beautifully diverse, stoic and connected with the land.”

Competition winner Aga McPherson concluded:

“I am also proud that I could create and share something that is not just an aesthetically pleasing photograph but a personal representation of my own experience of the UK. 

“I would love to inspire others to see the UK in this way. I hope that people arriving at Heathrow from all over the world will instantly feel a warm welcome and connection to the UK upon viewing my photograph.”

Photo credits: UK Government’s GREAT Britain & Northern Ireland campaign


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