My aim is to push my portrait photography another step forward, to push to hopefully create something in a way that's never been seen before. I aim to inspire young photographers – and photographers in general – with the images I'll produce.
It's most important to me that this particular photo project leaves a legacy – as well as being enlightening and informative to the general public in the context of the 2012 Games.
It's Anne Braybon, as Commissioning Editor of the NPG, who decided who the portraits were of.
I must say, I've found all the subjects I've taken until now most inspiring, extremely bright and interesting people. It's truly been a window into elements – and at times hidden elements – of British society. Some of my subjects will be new and fresh to the public. But they are obviously each in their own way vitally important in delivering the Games.
Each portrait took around two hours of concentrated effort because my photographic methods are very precise and - in the case of this project - sculptural. So it might lead to me even puppeteering my subjects at times and asking them to remain in a pose for a length of time.
This happens after arriving two hours prior to the sitting in order to set up our lighting and formulate our approach.
It's been a delight to experience the application of my sitters towards my demands and desires, having patience with the time and effort it takes to generate an interesting portrait.
As the project progresses I'm sure it will become abundantly clear that the inspirations behind the ideas for the individual portraits come from fine art and film, our national collections, including of course the NPG.
So, for example, the portrait of Jonathan Edwards and Denise Lewis. The colouration of this image, in the steel and glass environment of the building, echoes the feeling from a painting by the pre-Raphaelite Sir Edward Burne-Jones. The portrayal of Denise also leads me to the Edward Burra painting 'Harlem'.
In the case of Jason Prior and Alison Nimmo, one can see the inspirational effect of the William Blake painting 'The Ancient of Days'.
These are clear examples of the inspirational effects of British painting upon my photography.
However, in the case of the soil cleansers, this is far more fundamental – as you can see from the image they are all below ground level within the soil.
Another of my subjects were some of the Young Ambassadors who travelled to Singapore to bid for the Games. I approached them explaining that I'd photograph them all as one: a sculpture, one body with four heads. Why in this way? As I said to them, 'You are one. You helped as one body to deliver the Olympics to this country.'
It is so exciting to work for my country directly – for me the first time ever. Working alongside the NPG I find so many people so excited about being part of this project and they exude interest about what I'm doing.
The enthusiasm and excitement of the people I am portraying is also rubbing off on me. I feel like I'm being taken on a ride that's full of energy. I'm lucky I'm touching and experiencing what's happening for the Olympics in 2012. I'm energised from it, I'm inspired by it.
Although this is only the beginning of such a major photographic project, I can feel it will only advance and develop into becoming an even richer body of work. This will certainly form a legacy – not only my work but the photographers who'll follow me, who'll carry it forward until the Games themselves. I certainly intend to play my part and leave a legacy photographically for generations to come.
Portraits (c) Brian Griffin - National Portrait Gallery/BT Roadto 2012 Project
National Portrait Gallery/BT Roadto 2012 Project