Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Selected Artists for BP Portrait Award 2020 Exhibition

The portraits included in the BP Portrait Award Exhibition 2020 were selected from 1,981 entries from 69 countries.

I have to say from the images I've been sent and those I've found on social media (see below) the selection this year looks very interesting. The exhibition seems to have regained some of the sophistication in portraiture which I felt was lost last year.

Last week I posted about the artists shortlisted for the prizes - see BP Portrait Award 2020: Shortlist and Exhibition announcements

Today I must congratulate all those artists who have been selected for the exhibition.
  • LINKS TO THEIR WEBSITES (or Facebook Page or Instagram account) are embedded in their names in the list below (where available). 
  • Previous prizewinners and those previously selected are highlighted in red
  • Those previously selected for the BP have a link to previous portraits (unless they were in those years of the very irritating exhibitor listings where you have to go through all portraits one by one from the beginning and/or there were a lot!)
  • For those without a website see my blog post listed on my Major Art Competitions in the UK page......
The Websites of Contemporary Painters in the UK - Get your website sorted BEFORE you enter a juried art competition or miss out on the traffic when the names of selected artists are announced!

One of these portraits will win the BP Young Artist Award, which has a prize of £9,000 for a selected artist aged between 18 and 30.

BP Portrait Award 2020 Statistics

The Portrait Award is an annual event aimed at encouraging artists to focus on and develop the theme of portraiture in their work. The competition is open to everyone aged eighteen and over, in recognition of the outstanding and innovative work currently being produced by artists of all ages.

To enter, artists were invited to upload a photograph of their finished painting to the BP Portrait Award website, which were considered by the judges in the first round of the competition.

1,981 entries from 69 countries made up of
  • UK Entries: 917 (46%) 
  • International Entries:1,064 (54%)

265 entrants were successful in this first round and invited to hand-deliver or courier their work to a venue in London for the second round of judging.
From this 48 works were selected for the BP Portrait Award 2020 exhibition - representing just 2.4% if the portraits entered

A virtual version of the BP Portrait Award opens online on 5 May 2020

Links in the name of the artist BELOW are to their website (or Facebook Page or Instagram account).

The selected artists listed below have been listed according to the country they come from. This in part is guesswork on my part so if I've got anything wrong please use the comments or contact me to let me know and I will correct immediately.

UK (33 artists)


  • Thomas Arthurton - born in Norwich, Studied in Florence. Exhibited with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters (RP)
  • Tim Benson PROI, RP, NEAC - Previously selected for BP Portrait 2012. Current President of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Tim is also a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and the New English Art Club and regularly exhibits in solo and group exhibitions around the UK. Educated at Glasgow School of Art and Byam Shaw School of Art from 1998-2001. Between 2015 and 2017, he was the Director, Diploma in Portraiture, Heatherley School of Fine Art, Chelsea. He is committed to working with charities and NGOs to tell the stories of people throughout the world who don’t have a voice.
‘Daphne, Haringey resident’
by Tim Benson

oil on canvas, 39”x28”
  • Simon Thomas Braiden Previously selected in: 2018 when I interviewed him for BP Portrait Award 2018 - Artists with their paintings  and the 2019 Exhibition. A self taught artist born in Manchester in 1971. He is self-taught with his main influences being Early Flemish painting and 20th Century Modern Realist painting He has exhibited extensively throughout the UK in both private and public galleries. Member of Manchester Academy of Fine Art (MAFA) member 2011 – present
  • Martyn Burdon  Previously selected in 2017(see BP Portrait Award 2017: Artists with their paintings). Lives and works in Buckinghamshire. Graduated in product design from Brunel University in 2004. A self-taught painter who has been painting seriously since 2015. Shortlisted for the Artist and Illustrator Magazine ‘Artist of the Year Award’ in 2018 and again in 2019. Works in monochrome acrylic paint and graphite He is a member of the Contemporary British Portrait Painters group
  • John Burke
  • Steve Caldwell - He has exhibited with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters (2020/19/18/17/14), Sunday Times Watercolour (2019/15/14/12) and has previously exhibited in the BP Portrait in 2015 and 2014.  He is also a double prize winner in the RBSA Portrait Prize. His website appears to be offline.
Paterson Joseph (actor) by Steve Caldwell

  • Jamie Coreth -  Previously selected for BP Portrait Award 2016 and 2018 Graduated from Oxford (Arch. & Anth) in 2010. Trained with at various schools: the Florence Academy of Art, the London Atelier of Representational Art and Charles Cecil studios. Paints from either his studio in Wiltshire or in London. 

  • Kevin M.A. Cunningham - Won Second Prize in BP Portrait Award 1997 with his painting of Phillip Knightley the Spywriter. Also selected for BP Portrait Awards in 1994, 1995, 1997 and 2003.  Graduated with a First Class Degree in Illustration at Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art, Dundee (1982-86). Worked as an illustrator for book publishers Pan, Faber & Faber and Penguin and other clients. In 1994 he became a full-time portrait painter after one of his paintings was chosen for the Royal Society of portrait painters exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London, 1994. Cunningham has since exhibited widely. He currently lives and works in Scotland. His sitters have included playwright Sir Tom Stoppard , Brian Sewell and Peter and Autumn Phillips.portraits
  • Parmen Daushvili - Previously selected for BP Portrait 2014Parmen Daushvili studied at the Technical University, Tbilisi, Georgia, but is a self-taught artist. His work has been seen in group exhibitions in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Greece.  His work has also been selected for the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts and also for the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters
  • Peter James Field - Previously selected for BP Portrait Award 2018 BA (Hons) degree in the world art history and anthropology at UEA Norwich and a BA (Hons) degree in illustration at the University of Brighton. He specialized in Japanese culture, and taught for three years at state schools in the mountains of rural Japan. An Illustrator with several prestigious clients who also paints portraits. He was selected for the annual exhibition of the royal Society of Portrait Painters in 2019.
Alexander Nilere by Peter James Field
Oil on panel, 2018
  • Mark Draisey - Worked as a professional cartoonist, caricaturist and illustrator for over 30 years - including designing puppet heads for Spitting Image. Currently works as a freelance illustrator for media companies. Took up portraiture 4 years ago. Selected for annual exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in 2017 and 2018. 
  • Vanessa Garwood - Previously selected for BP Portrait Award 2018. Born in Israel 1982, Vanessa studied painting and sculpture for three years at Charles Cecil Studios in Florence. Now she lives and works in west London. Facebook Page
  • Moses Hamborg - a fine artist based in London, England specializing in portraiture. Born in Huntington Beach, California in 1995. Moved to Italy to learn the techniques of the Old Masters. Graduated from the Florence Academy of Art - he completed the Advanced Painting program and was awarded the Artist in Residence position. Subsequently focused on portrait commissions in Europe and the US. Completed his classical training at Charles H. Cecil Studios. Awarded a Certificate of Excellence from the Portrait Society of America in 2019.

  • Christopher Hanson - the first person to complete the LARA drawing and painting programme. He spent two years at the Clapham studio before the school moved to Bermondsey, where he spent a further two years. 2019 QEST Howdens Scholar. (His website has been suspended) This is an interview with him.
  • Thomas Leveritt - Previously selected for the BP Portrait Award BP Award (1999, 2000, 2007) . Aan artist based in Suffolk, England. Raised in Texas, sent to boarding school in England, took a double first in history at Cambridge. He received an Army Scholarship into the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards and a Queen Mother Bar Scholarship to Middle Temple. He has received the Carroll Medal for Portraiture from the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. Also an author.
  • Mary Millner - Studied City & Guilds of London Art School 1970s; Royal Drawing School, Drawing Year 2004;  1980s worked as Press Officer for Thames and Hudson publishers and Press Officer for Anthony d’Offay Gallery.  Directs artists studios in Stockwell and Larkhall Art Club. Residency at Dumfries House with the Royal Drawing School, 2020. An extensive range of exhibitions and residencies.
  • Sarah Jane MoonPreviously selected for BP Portrait Award 2019 (see this post). Sarah Jane comes from New Zealand and is a painter and printmaker who specialises in portraiture and figurative painting and explores identity, sexuality and gender presentation. In New Zealand she graduated in 2003 with BA - Art History, English Literature, Japanese Victoria University of Wellington and in 2007 BA (Hons) Visual Arts Theory University of Western Australia, Perth. After coming to the UK she studied for Diploma in Portrait Painting at The Heatherley School of Fine Art, London, UK (where she now teaches regularly). She has exhibited extensively and regularly been selected for the annual exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. Her portrait is of Lola Flash - a well known photographer who has been working at the forefront of visual politics for over three decades. Her work challenges stereotypes and offers new ways of seeing that transcends and interrogates gender, sexual and racial norms.
'Lola Flash' (2020)
by Sarah Jane Moon
oil on canvas, 168 x 127 cm
‘I felt a huge amount of respect and admiration for Flash and her practice on meeting her at Autograph Gallery and instantly knew she was someone I would like to paint. In painting Flash, I had wanted to celebrate her as a working queer artist, her commitment to her own practice interrogating gender, race and sexual norms and her own particular personal aesthetic. My painting practice seeks deliberately to amplify diverse narratives and celebrate those who are living vibrant and fulfilling lives and proudly making a difference in their industries.’ Sarah Jane Moon 
Sarah Jane Moon painting Lola Flash
photo by Holly Falconer
  • Francis Mosley - a London-based illustrator who produces illustrations for books, magazines and newspapers
  • Charles Moxon Previously selected for BP Portrait 2016 - a portrait artist who is based in London and New York. Graduated from BA (Hons) Painting at Camberwell College of Art in 2013, he has exhibited in Europe and North America. In 2018 he was shortlisted for the Royal Society of British Art Rome Scholarship and the Sunny Art Prize. 
  • Laura Quinn Harris - Previously selected for BP Portrait 2017 - She lives in Lancashire. She graduated with a degree in Mathematics from University College London, followed by a degree in Scientific & Natural History Illustration from Blackpool and the Fylde School of Art and Design. She specialises in oil portraits of people and animals. In 2014, reached the grand final of Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2014.  She has exhibited in Birds in Art in the USA (2018) been shortlisted for David Shepherd's The Wildlife Artist of the Year (2016 and 2013) and BBC Wildife Artst of the Year (2010 and 2013) and A&I Artists of the Year Awards (2016 and 2017) and won a number of awards.
Pae Yun Sok
by Laura Quinn Harris

Oil on board 40 x 30 cm
Pae Yun Sok is a worker at the Hungnam Fertiliser Complex in Hamhung, North Korea (featured in the background). The painting is part of an ongoing series of portraits of North Koreans that I’m working on.
  • John Anthony RichardsonGraduate of Goldsmiths College London and the Royal Academy of Arts School, London. Mainly paints landscapes. Not a big believer in communicating anything about himself.
  • Jamie Routley Previously selected for and shortlisted for BP Portrait Award in 2012 - when he won the Young Artist Award 2012 for his triptych painting of Tony Lewis Jamie Routley was born in Newport, Wales. Currently lives and works in London. After completing a BA (Hons) in illustration at Swindon College he studied in Florence at the Charles H. Cecil Studios. His work has been very regularly exhibited at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition (2011, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020) but unaccountably had not been elected to membership. (Very odd!) He also exhibits at Flowers East Gallery.
"I do, I undo, I redo”, Nicola Hicks by Jamie Routley
oil on canvas, 170cm x 180cm (each canvas 170cm x 60cm)
  • Antony Williams RP PS NEACWon 3rd Prize in BP Portrait 2017. (See Interview with Antony Williams (BP Portrait Award 2017 3rd Prize) Previously selected for BP Portrait Award in 1995, 1998, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2017. He is a professional painter in egg tempera who is both very experienced and well regarded. Antony has won a number of prestigious prizes and awards (see Antony Williams wins Ondaatje Prize 2012 and Antony Williams wins Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2012). His portraits are in a number of collections, notably the Royal Collection, the House of Commons and the National Portrait Gallery. He has painted the Queen. Member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Pastel Society and New English Art Club.
  • Charles Williams - Artist, writer, lecturer, illustrator and Venice Biennale participant.  Graduated with BA from Maidstone School of Art, the Royal Academy Schools in 1992 and also has a PhD on drawing. Teaches in the Painting School of Canterbury Christchurch University Fine and Applied Art degree course in his native Canterbury. He has written two books about drawing and painting and been elected to be a member of both the New English Art Club (1996) and the Royal Watercolour Society (2010) and is a founding member of the Stuckist art group. Exhibitions include 23 solo exhibitions in London plus work in RA Summer Exhibition, Hunting Prize, Lynn Painter Stainers, Threadneedle Prize, The Marmite Prize, and Discerning Eye. (Instagram | Facebook). Featured/won in Episode 1 and also appeared in the Semi Finals of Portrait Artist of the Year 2020 on Sky Arts.
‘I Saw Will Self Riding Down John Islip Street’
by Charles Williams

120 x 80 cm, oil on canvas
  • Barry Wilson - Trained at the Camberwell School of Art. Used to work in worked in film and television painting scenery. Works in acrylic on canvas. Usually paints landscapes. His work is exhibited extensively at Affordable Art Fairs around the world
  • Richard Wilson - After finally finding a way past the many references to the 19th century painter and the contemporary sculptor I finally located Richard Wilson online. He's a taught street artist who started with painting graffitu and then started painting in oil on canvas in 2017. Do read his very long caption to his portrait below.

‘Songbook’ Oil painting of my friend @obi_franky Are you ready for a super long caption? Well, this painting is somewhat bittersweet for me at this moment in time. It brought me an actual dream come true that maybe has been taken away. Who knows? Of course my dream of having a painting of mine hanging in the National Portrait Gallery in London might not happen now, and of course it’s an irrelevance compared to what’s going on in the world right now but we all got our own things and situations of how we have been affected. I totally comprehend the irrelevance of a painting, whilst lives are being lost and far greater disruptions. Above possibly knowing this won’t ever actually make it on display in the flesh I’m just filled with gratitude, and being open to how the universe wants things to unfold in all situations. Trusting in the process of all things. I remember clearly when I got the email from the National Portrait Gallery informing me they have chosen this painting to be included in this years BP awards. I cried. I couldn’t remember having an actual dream and vision come true on that level. The idea of being able to walk in that building and see something I did was and is really just something of actual dreams for me. I did my first oil painting in 2017, self taught and 3 years later had a piece selected to be in the same building as paintings by all the Masters of this craft. I mean 🤯🤯🤯 Visible to your eyes in the flesh or not, it’s my masterpiece so far. I’m grateful to Obi for posing for me and opening her songbook. It’s a sacred place, words from her heart, private thoughts. This painting speaks about the power of words and particularly songwriting. Gods plan might not take you in the direction you hope but try to have faith and remain on track. I’m sure so many of us aside from the sadness of losing people and all that surrounds this time have had plans snatched right out from underneath them. 2020 was maybe gonna be your year. It still can be. We mustn’t let it derail us. I’m grateful for the path that led to this painting. And grateful for where it can still go. The bitter part of the taste has gone already, I’m just tasting the sweetness ☺️
A post shared by Richard Wilson (@richardwilsonartwork) on


  • Steven Higginson -  Previously selected for BP Portrait Award in 2019 (see this post) and Scottish Portrait Awards 2017 - 18 & 19.  He is a full-time, self-employed artist based in Broughty Ferry, Dundee, Scotland and working from a home studio. In 2014, he graduated with BA (Hons) in Fine Art (Painting and Drawing) from Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art, Dundee. His work spans landscapes, city scenes, portraiture and still life, all painted in his distinctive photo-realistic style. He has sold and exhibited his paintings and prints for over ten years and has collectors all over the world. He is a prolific exhibitor in Scotland and is also a member of Contemporary British Portrait Painters CBPP
My brother Ronnie by Steven Higginson

  • Jennifer Mcrae - Previously selected for the BP Travel Award in 1999. She also has 4 portrait in the National Portrait Gallery. b. 1959 in Scotland, she lives and works in Scotland. Studied painting at Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen from 1987-1992 and received a First Class degree in Fine Art. Over the years McRae has received numerous awards as either the Winner or Runner-Up including the BP Portrait Award, the Hunting Art Prizes, the Singer Friedlander and Kaupthing Watercolour prizes, the Morrison Scottish Portrait award and the Honorary Society of Painter Stainers Award.
  • Michael Youds - SHORTLISTED for BP Portrait Award 2020 - see this post for more about him and an image of his portrait painting

Australia (1 artist)

  • Fiona White - Previously selected for BP Portrait Award  2019.  She is a self taught portrait artist with a very unique style who has sold works around the globe. Born in Melbourne and based in Sydney. Her work tackles issues at the forefront of international political discourse. She has been has been a finalist in various exhibitions and awards within Australia and internationally. She has exhibited at the RA Summer Exhibition (2016 and 2018) and been a finalist in the Mossman Prize - Australia's oldest and most prestigious local government art award

Belgium (1 artist)

  • Stefan Nandancee - born 1972, Braine-Le-Comte, Belgium. Studied at Royal Academy Of Arts, Brussels. Has one of those artist statements which makes me lose the will to read further.

China (2 artists)

  • Haiyu Yuan - BA in Fine Art from Jiangnan University (CHINA); MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art. Has historically worked in egg tempera for his portraits. Latterly has also been working in oil.
  • YangYu Wang

Denmark (1 artist)

  • Britta Westhausen - trained at the Copenhagen Academy of Arts and Crafts (1965-69). Undertaken various work with on an artistic theme from being an Art Director with advertising agencies to teaching designers and art therapy. Member of various art organisations in Denmark. She has exhibited widely and internationally.

France (1 artist)

  • Jiab Prachakul SHORTLISTED for BP Portrait Award 2020 - see this post for more about him and an image of his portrait painting. Born in Thailand, now lives in Lyon France

Italy (2 artists)

  • Robert Bosisio born in Trodena , Italy
  • Gonzalo Orquín - Born in Seville (Spain) in 1982. Currently lives in Italy and exhibits extensively in Rome as well as internationally with a focus on LGBTQ matters.

Netherlands (1 artist)

  • Egbert Vincent Modderman - born, lives and works in Groningen. He grew up in a reformed-liberated family. From 2007 to 2012 he studied Design Spatial Design at the Academy Minerva. From 2013 he took painting lessons at the Classical Academy of Painting in Groningen and in 2015 at the Florence Academy of Art. he became the permanent painter of the Martini Church in Groningen from 2015

Norway (1 artist)

  • Kristian Hagerup - an artist based in Oslo, Norway, working predominantly in oil paint.

Russia (1 artist)

  • Sergey SvetlakovSHORTLISTED for BP Portrait Award 2020 - see this post for more about him and an image of his portrait painting.  

United States (4 artists)

  • Hongshu Lei - born in Shangdong Province, China. Graduated from Xiamen University, in Southeast China. Master of Fine Art degree in Painting, at the Academy of Art University, in San Francisco.
  • Sara Pedigo - grew up in the American South. MFA in Painting (2007) from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Currently a Professor and Department Chair of Visual and Performing Arts at Flagler College located in Saint Augustine, Florida. Has had a number of solo exhibitions in the USA. In 2006, she was selected for Outwin Boochever Portrait Exhibition at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.

PEOPLE! I finally get to share that this painting is in the 2020 BP Portrait Award Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery! 48 works were selected from 1,981 entries by artists from 69 countries around the world. Due to coronavirus, the exhibition will be ONLINE this year, starting on May 5th. Congrats to Jiab Prachakul @jiab_prachakul, Sergey Svetlakov, and Michael Youds @michaelyouds, for being shortlisted for the prize and to my fellow exhibiting painters! Edge of Evening (chronology of disunion), Oil on Panel, 20” x 16”, 2019 This painting records the reflection of my studio window, located on the second floor of a house overlooking an electrical power plant and pine forest. I was interested in replicating the visual merging of the interior reflections with the exterior nightscape. In particular, I am fascinated by the simplification of forms, especially within the figure, and how those relate to the complex double vision of looking out and back through the window panes. Painting on top of an existing interior, as I worked, moments of the original work visually merged with the new image. This layering records perceptual information collected and combined over several spans of time and physical locations. The painting becomes a by-product of the intense activity of looking. The final self-portrait is the accumulation of multiple evenings in the studio over three months. It is ultimately a personal visual reckoning of recording the end of a decade of marriage. #bpportraitaward2020 #bpportraitaward @nationalportraitgallery
A post shared by Sara Pedigo (@spedigo) on

  • Papay Solomon - He describes himself as an Americanised Liberian who tells African stories with paint. a Liberian artist conceived in Gueckedou, Guinea due to the Liberian Civil Wars that lasted for approximately 14 years. in 2008, at the age of five, he was relocated to a refugee camp in Guinea where he discovered his passion for the arts. Graduated from Arizona University with a degree in Fine Art. His work has been shown at Phoenix Art Museum and the Moniker International Art Fair in New York City. I think he'll be a strong contender for the Young Artist Award even though I don't have a clue which portrait he has in the exhibition. 
I am a Phoenix-based painter who utilizes the language of portraiture to expand African narratives beyond common misperceptions and dominant discourses.
Heavy(weight), Portrait of Benjamin Gasinga Gaspard — Rwanda, (2019) by Papay Solomon
oil on Belgian Linen, 45"x80"

Images from the Instagram account of Papay Solomon

Country / details not known

  • Patricia Buckley
  • Clare Ceprynski Ciekawy
  • Gary Craig - there are two artists - one in Scotland and one in the USA
  • Liu Shuang

BP Portrait Award 2020 Exhibition Catalogue

A fully illustrated catalogue featuring all 48 selected works will accompany the exhibition. The catalogue also includes interviews with all the prize winners, an essay by Madeline Ward, Lead Curator, Art at Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums and an illustrated interview with the BP Travel Award 2019 winner. The catalogue, priced at £9.99, will be published on 5 May and available from Waterstones and all good online booksellers.

BP Travel Award 2019

The winner of the BP Travel Award 2019 was Manu Saluja for her proposal to create portraits of volunteers working in the vast communal kitchen at The Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. The resulting work will be displayed online in the BP Portrait Award 2020 exhibition.

Manu Salaja studied with John Frederick Murray privately and at the School of Visual Arts, receiving her BFA in 1997. She has an MFA in Painting from the New York Academy of Art. Currently adjunct faculty in their Continuing Studies Department. She also teaches drawing and painting at the Long Island Academy of Fine Art.

BELOW are links to previous posts about the BP Portrait Award 

- AND I've been writing about it since 2007!  

Past prizewinners read my posts before they entered!


and receive every post from Making A Mark via email. 
Your subscription is only activated after you verify the link in the email you will receive


My Blog Posts about Previous BP Portrait Exhibitions

The exhibition review blog posts below contains lots of views of the exhibition in the galleries where they were held plus images of portraits (and the artist who had painted them) in the exhibitions.

BP Portrait Award 2020

BP Portrait Award 2019

BP Portrait Award 2018

BP Portrait Award 2017


BP Portrait Award 2016

BP Portrait Award 2015

BP Portrait Award 2014

BP Portrait Award 2013

BP Portrait Award 2012

BP Portrait Award 2011

BP Portrait Award 2010

BP Portrait Award 2009

BP Portrait Award 2008

BP Portrait Award 2007

    No comments:

    Post a comment

    COMMENTS HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED AGAIN due to very silly ignorant people who leave spam comments without realising they have no benefit for them.

    Please feel free to comment on my Facebook Page as my blog posts are always posted there (but please note anonymous comments are not published and I block and report spammers to Google and on Facebook)

    Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.