The winner of the BP Portrait Award 2010 was announced at the National Portrait Gallery
. In a record-breaking year for entries, the prestigious first prize was won by 63-year-old artist Daphne Todd. Her winning portrait, Last Portrait of Mother, is a devotional study of her dead mother.
Daphne Todd wins £25,000 and a commission, at the National Portrait Gallery Trustees' discretion, worth £4,000. The portrait can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery from Thursday 24 June when the BP Portrait Award 2010 exhibition opens to the public.
The second prize of £8,000 went to Michael Gaskell for Harry and the third prize of £6,000 to David Eichenberg for Tim II.
There was, also for the third time, the BP Young Artist Award of £5,000 for the work of an entrant aged between 18 and 30. This has been won by Elizabeth McDonald for Don't Be Too Serious (Camillo Paravicini).
First Prize: Daphne Todd (27.03.47) for Last portrait of Mother (oil on wooden panels, 650mm x 920mm)
Daphne Todd, from East Sussex, has been selected for the BP Portrait Award exhibition for the third time. This is her first BP shortlisted portrait (though she won second prize in the Gallery's Portrait Award in 1984.) She attended the Slade School of Fine Art and was the first woman president of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. She has chosen to portray her mother Annie Mary Todd on her death bed and thereby to create a devotional study. Daphne says her mother, who had just celebrated her 100th birthday having lived with the artist for her last 14 years, had given permission for her daughter to paint her.
Second Prize: Michael Gaskell (18.08.63) for Harry (egg tempura on wooden board, 290mm x 205mm)
Gaskell, who has exhibited throughout Britain and was second prize winner at last year's BP Portrait Award is an artist from Sheffield, recently relocated to Leicester, who only got to know his sitter, Harry, when he agreed to sit for him. Having seen the sitter whilst he was out shopping with his family, Michael was persuaded to approach him by his wife. In the resulting portrait which was completed in a short burst of intense work over the winter of 2009-10, Gaskell tried to evoke a sense of what had drawn him to Harry, but he hopes that the image is also informed by what he gained from hearing about the sitter's experiences and aspirations.
Third Prize: David Eichenberg (21.03.72) for Tim II (oil on 337 mm x 324mm)
David Eichenberg studied art at the University of Toledo in his home town. While he has exhibited throughout the United States, this is his first BP exhibited work. His portrait shows his friend, the sculptor Timothy A. Stover, seated at a metal bandsaw in the fabrication shop in which he works, located directly below the artist's studio in an old warehouse in Toledo, Ohio. The artist wanted the painting to read like a work by Holbein, where every item in the portrait represents an aspect of the sitter such as the highlighted shape on the wall representing a map of Ohio, where Tim was born and living at the time of the sitting.
Young Artist Award: Elizabeth McDonald (12.03.85) for Don't Be Too Serious (Camillo Paravicini) (oil on canvas, 635mm x 432mm)
Elizabeth McDonald painted her portrait of her friend and fellow artist, Camillo Paravicini, in his studio in her home city of Glasgow. While they worked in the same building, in neighbouring studios, the two artists hardly knew each other. She says while the clothing Camillo wears in the portrait - a black jacket and tie and black rimmed glasses - is similar to that which he would normally wear, his posture was staged to accentuate the tension between youth and maturity. Through the sittings, and getting to know Camillo,' she says, I not only found myself examining his personal style but looking closer at other aspects of his personality. Perhaps most intriguingly, I began to see simultaneously the boy in the young man and the older professional gentleman the young man could become.'
BP TRAVEL AWARD 2010 AND 2009
In addition, The BP Travel Award 2010 winner was also announced last night. The BP Travel Award is an annual award of £5,000, to allow artists to experience working in a different environment on a project related to portraiture. It is open to applications from any of the BP Portrait Award-exhibited artists.
This year Paul Beel wins for his proposal to paint a large-scale, plein-air group portrait of figures on a secluded Corfu nudist beach. American artist Paul Beel, who now lives in Florence, Italy, has always wanted to return to the beach since he visited it eleven years ago with his wife on their honeymoon. He receives a bursary of £5,000 to travel to Corfu and paint the 2 x 4 metre canvas (or canvas triptych) portrait for display in next year's BP Portrait Award exhibition.
The work of the BP Travel Award 2009 winner Isobel Peachey is on display at this year's exhibition. She won for her proposal to travel to Belgium and Switzerland to sketch and paint portraits of those taking part in historical re-enactments. She visited The Company of Saynt George, a Swiss group re-enacting the history of a small artillery company from the 15th Century at the Castle of Lenzburg, near Zurich, and The Napoleonic Association who portray the life of a military encampment near Antwerp in Belgium.