Entertainment & Arts

Drummond's portrait of friend wins BP Portrait prize

Girl in a Liberty Dress Image copyright Clara Drummond
Image caption Drummond said when painting her friend Kirsty Buchanan "it feels more like a collaboration than a portrait sitting"

Clara Drummond has won the BP Portrait Award with a painting of friend and fellow artist, Kirsty Buchanan.

The Cambridgeshire-based artist won the prize for Girl in a Liberty Dress.

Two other portraits of Buchanan had previously been selected for the award's annual accompanying exhibition in 2013 and 2014.

Judges praised the portrait for "its subtle, enigmatic nature, and for the indelible impression the artist's skill makes on the viewer".

The 38-year-old artist also had portraits of different sitters selected for the BP Portrait Award exhibition in 2006 and 2009.

Buchanan wore a vintage Liberty dress for the portrait which was inspired by the fact both artists were working on an exhibition with the William Morris Society at the time.

Drummond has won £30,000 and a commission worth £5,000.

Image copyright Bo Wang
Image caption The judges called Bo Wang's painting "a moving and deeply affecting portrait"

The second prize of £10,000 went to Chinese artist Bo Wang for Silence, a portrait of his grandmother lying on her hospital bed a month before she died.

Bo Wang is a lecturer at Suzhou University of Science and Technology in Jiangsu.

His grandmother was in the terminal stages of cancer and losing her ability to speak when he painted her.

"There was too much emotion in her eyes to be expressed in words," said Wang.

"I almost forgot about painting techniques or any specific style, just trying to use my brushes to communicate silently with my grandma.

"I can strongly feel the state of a dying life when I think of her eyes."

The judges called his painting "a moving and deeply affecting portrait".

Image copyright Benjamin Sullivan
Image caption The judges said Hugo by Benjamin Sullivan gave them 'a strong sense of the presence of the sitter'

Suffolk-based artist Benjamin Sullivan's portrait of the poet Hugo Williams won the third prize of £8,000.

The judges said the portrait gave them "a strong sense of the presence of the sitter" and said the painting had an "ageless quality...subtly balanced by the appearance of the modern wrist-watch".

Sullivan had been an admirer of Williams's work and was introduced to him at a private view in 2014 by the poet Stephen Romer, when Williams agreed to be painted in the study of his Islington home.

Sullivan has been selected for display for the BP Portrait Award 12 times and has been artist-in-residence at All Soul's College, Oxford, and the Reform Club in Pall Mall.

Image copyright Jamie Coreth
Image caption The judges said Dad Sculpting Me by Jamie Coreth had a 'timeless quality'

The BP Young Artist Award was won by British artist Jamie Coreth for Dad Sculpting Me, a portrait of his father, the sculptor Mark Coreth. He was awarded £7,000.

Coreth said his father has influenced him greatly in his work.

"Given that it is a relatively strange thing for a sculptor to raise a painter, I thought it could be an interesting father son project to make portraits of one another at the same time."

The judges said they were "drawn to the timeless quality of the painting and its treatment of a father and son relationship through art.

"It is a generational painting of the artist's father sculpting a portrait of the artist."

The portraits will go on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London from 23 June when the BP Portrait Award 2016 exhibition opens to the public.

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