Selected from over 2,500 entries, the BP Portrait Award 2017 the competition features a variety of approaches to the genre, from ‘informal and personal studies of family members, to revealing images of famous faces’. Now in its 38th year, the portrait exhibition has been sponsored by BP for the last 28 years.
The prizes were awarded thus:-
- First Prize £30,000 – went to Grimsby-born artist Benjamin Sullivan. His piece entitled ‘Breech!’ featured his wife and their 8-month-old daughter Edith. The subject-matter illustrates a tender and peaceful family moment – his wife, Virginia, is breastfeeding – with realism and sensitivity.
- Second Prize £10,000 – went to ‘Double Portrait’ by Thomas Ehrestmann. Educated in France, his work has been featured in the New Yorker, Rolling Stone and Elle Magazine. The portrait depicts a moment when the artist was walking in the park with his wife.
- Third Prize £8,000 – went to ‘Emma’ by Antony Williams, who studied at Farnham College and Portsmouth University. He has been exhibited in solo shows in London and Madrid, as well as being included in the Royal Academy of Arts’ Summer Exhibition. The subject of the portrait – Emma Bruce – has been modelling for Williams for over 11 years at his studio in Chertsey.
- Travel Award 2017 £6,000 – awarded to ‘Jack’ by Casper White. This award enables the winner to ‘work in a different environment on a project related to portraiture’. The panel were attracted to White’s proposal to ‘create works about music fans in clubs and concert venues in Berlin and Mallorca that will represent an often youth-related subculture that is not traditionally recorded in portrait paintings…’. The piece is enigmatic and dynamic in its execution.
The Young Artist Award went to a stunning piece by Henry Christian-Slane, entitled ‘Gabi’. The prize is awarded to artists aged from 18 to 30, and must be a different artist to the BP Portrait Artist winner.
The judges felt that this ‘sensitive painting captures a moment in time and a casual, fleeting expression, rather than the ‘held’ pose more usual in formal portrait painting…’.
The painting features Henry’s partner Gabi, sitting at his parents’ house in Auckland, New Zealand. He chose this particular pose because of the ‘contemplative but slightly frowning expression that resulted’.
The exhibition will run until 24th September 2017 and has free entry. See #BPPortrait for details.