Thursday, May 10, 2018

Prizewinners at the 127th Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters

The annual exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters opened to the public today at the Mall Galleries and continues until 25th May. Those interested in commissioning artists exhibiting in the exhibition will want to know that a special commissions desk is open throughout the exhibition.

If you mention "Making A Mark" at the admission desk you can get Free Entry for Two (normal admission is £4, Concessions £3)

Below are the prizes, followed by the events - and then details of this year's 'how to enter' if you are interested in entering next year and past blog posts about this exhibition.

Unfortunately I was unable to attend yesterday's Private View due to problems with my feet (the sort that stop you being able to wear shoes!) and I'll be doing a blog post reviewing the exhibition generally just as soon as my feet stop being a problem and I can walk again!


The prizewinners are listed below together with the prize they won, what it was for and a brief bio.

Winner of The Ondaatje Prize for Portraiture

Prize: £10,000 + Gold Medal - awarded for the most distinguished portrait in the Society’s annual exhibition
Winner: James Hague for Mette

Mette by James Hague

Background to the Award

This year's winner of the Ondaatje Prize was born in 1970 and comes from Derbyshire. James Hague's art education comprised
  • National Diploma in Art and Design (1987-1988), 
  • ollowed by BA Hons Fine Art - University of Northumbria at Newcastle (1989-1993) and 
  • an MA Painting - Royal College of Art. London (2004-2006).
His MA at the RCA came only AFTER he had already won the BP Portrait Award in 1996 with a self-portrait. (one can only imagine his application!) His self-portrait was described by the Independent at the time as angular and morose (Check out the Getty Image of him with his self portrait 22 years ago) 

His portrait of Sir Michael Caine, that he was commissioned to paint by the National Portrait Gallery as part of that prize is now in the NPG's permanent collection and regularly on display.

You can see his approach to painting portraits in a speeded up timelapse video produced for the BP Portrait Award: Next Generation Summer School in 2014.

Winner of The £2,000 Prince of Wales’s Award

Prize: £2,000 and framed certificate for a portrait in any recognised drawing medium
Winner: Anna Pinkster for Em and Bruno

Em and Bruno by Anna Pinkster 
“In this charcoal portrait of Em and her beloved cat Bruno I have endeavoured to capture a quiet, reflective moment in time as Bruno neared the end of his life.”
In 1994, Anna Pinkster was awarded a first class BA degree in Fine Art by the West Surrey College of Art and Design. Since then she has exhibited largely in London , Bath and Somserset. She has been elected a member of the Bath Society of Artists

Winner of The £3,000 de Laszlo Foundation Award

Prize: £3,000 plus a Silver Medal for the most outstanding portrait by an artist aged 35 years or under
Winner: Emma Hopkins RP

Doreen Wallace by Emma Hopkins RP

Emma Hopkins RP was born in Brighton in 1989. She completed a degree at University of the Arts London, where she was trained in the special art of Prosthetics for Performance. In the past she has also been awarded the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award and the Bulldog Bursary. She is obsessed with the human form and anatomy amd there are echoes of Jenny Saville and Aleah Chapin in her approach to painting - which involves a lot more than achieving a likeness.
I only paint nude portraits as my work seeks to portray both mind and body in the most honest way possible. The portraits capture the memory of that person at that time, and they are works of art not objects of flattery.
I love the fact she was traced in all the pregnancy stretch marks on Doreen's abdomen.

Winner of The £1,000 Smallwood Architects Prize

Prize:  £1,000 for a portrait in which architectural or interior features play an important part
Winner: Michael Taylor RP for Alana - Figure with Box

Figure with Box by Michael Taylor RP

Michael Taylor describes himself as a contemporary figurative painter.  He was born in Sussex and studied at the Worthing School of Art (1969-70) and Goldsmiths School of Art (1970-73) . He has won a number of prizes - including the John Player Portrait Award (now known as the BP) in 1983 and has painted a number of notable people - including Baroness P.D.James, Julian Bream, Sir John Taverner and Lord Falconer.

Winner of The £2,000 Burke’s Peerage Foundation Award

Prize: £2,000 and framed certificate for the most classically inspired portrait in the exhibition
Winner: Paul Brason PPRP for Sarah Taylor, High Sheriff of Oxford

Sarah Taylor, High Sheriff of Oxford by Paul Brason
Born in 1954 in Kent, he studied art at Camberwell. He was elected to the RSPP in 1994 and became President in 1999. He exhibited in the The National Portrait Gallery’s Annual Portrait Awards from 1980 to 1993.

I always think of Paul Brason as being the sort of portrait painter who is very popular with corporate clients.

Winner of The £2,000 RP Award

Prize: £2,000 for work best represents the year’s chosen theme – which for the inaugural year, 2018, is ‘Friends’.
Winner: Saied Dai RP NEAC for  Sisters

Sisters by Saied Dai
The Royal Society of PortraitPainters is delighted to announce a new £2,000 prize for portraiture, The RP Award. All works shown in the Annual Exhibition will be eligible. The award will be made to the artist whose work best represents the year’s chosen theme - which for the inaugural year, 2018, is ‘Friends’. The judges will be looking for the most interesting and engaging interpretation of the idea of ‘Friends’ within the parameters of portraiture.
Born in Tehran (in what was then Persia) in 1958, Saied Dai came to England at the age of six. He trained at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design and was then awarded a place at the Royal Academy of Arts for his postgraduate studies. Subsequently he taught at the RA Schools during the time when Leonard McComb was Keeper and drawing was seen to be the cornerstone of all the disciplines. He now lives and works in Bath. He was elected to the RSPP in 2004 and won the Ondaatje Prize for Portraiture in 2006.

Saied Dai is one of a few artists whose work I consistently see in exhibitions on my travels.

Winner of The £1,000 Contemporary Arts Trust Award

Prize: £1,000 to the most deserving artist in the exhibition
Winner: Shawn McGovern for Jess and Hayden

Jess and Hayden by Shawn McGovern 

So that's two cats in the list of prizewinners!

Shawn McGovern was the 2017 winner of the Ondaatje award. His art education comprised Wimbledon College of Art, BA Fine Art Painting (First Class Honours) (2010 - 2013 ) followed by the The Drawing Year Postgraduate Programme , Royal Drawing School (2013 - 2014 ).

Artist Demonstrations

There are RSPP members demonstrating in the Mall galleries as follows

More about Past Annual Exhibitions



1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your post on this exhibition which I thoroughly enjoyed, even though my feet were sore and I had just been round the Monet and architecture exhibition at the National Gallery!
    I enjoyed reading the details of the awards and the winners and taking another look at the paintings with my feet up!


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