Tuesday, July 09, 2024

Selected Artists - HSF Portrait Award 2024 at the National Portrait Gallery

This is the list of the artists whose portraits have been selected for the HSF Portraits Award 2024 Exhibition which opens to the public at the National Portrait Gallery on Thursday 11th July 2024.

I'll be at the Awards Ceremony this evening and the Press View tomorrow morning and will be aiming to do as many photos of artists with their paintings as possible. Artists in the exhibition can feel free to ask me for a photo! You never know it may turn up in the future in a selected artists list like this one if you get in again - as some of the ones below have done!!

Previously, the winner's prize included a large cash prize and the opportunity to undertake a commission. 
  • This has now changed and....
  • ALL the artists chosen to exhibit in 2024 and 2025’s HSF Portrait Award exhibitions will be considered for a new commission which has an increased value of £14,000. This will be announced at the award ceremony in 2025.
I'm guessing this gives those commissioning future portraits more choice as to the most suitable person for whoever is next in line for a portrait painting! I do know what not all those who have won First Prize in the past have completed a commission. I know that for some prizewinners this has been because they don't live in the UK.

The Selected Artists

This is the list of the selected artists - with a mini profile. The link embedded in their name is to their website.

Initial impressions from the websites reviewed in compiling this list is that the selection for this exhibition has become more contemporary. 

  • Jackie Anderson - based in Glasgow, MFA from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee.
  • Wendy Barratt - Winner of Portrait Artist of the Year 2023, her commission painting of Dr Jane Goodall currently hangs in the contemporary portrait gallery of the National Portrait Gallery (see PAOTY 2023: Commission Painting of Dr Jane Goodall. Her self portrait which got her into Series 10 of PAOTY also got her selected for this exhibition too!
It's not often that one self-portrait gets an artist into two important portrait competitions!
Self in Jumper by Wendy Barratt
Oil on stretched canvas 55cm x 40cm
  • Caroline Bays - BA - Painting and Printmaking; Member of the Pastel Society; has exhibited from the late 90s until now
  • Dawn Beckles - a still life artist; unclear why she has been selected for this exhibition
  • Oliver Bedeman - Previously shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award in 2018 (I remember the portrait) - BP Portrait Award 2018 - Artists with their paintings) Postgraduate Drawing Year, Royal Drawing School 2007-08 ; B.A (Hons) Fine Art Painting, University of Brighton 2004-07;
Oliver Bedeman in the BP Portrait Award 2018
Tom Bedeman reverse oil on glass © Oliver Bedeman
  • Tim Benson RP PPROI - an oil painter specializing in figurative and landscape work. Former President of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (2018-2023). Director, Diploma in Portraiture, Heatherley School of Fine Art (2015-2017). Currently a Portraiture Tutor at the Royal Academy Schools and various other art schools in London. Exhibits with national art societies
  • Shane Keisuke Berkery - graduating from the National College of Art and Design (Ireland). Currently doing an MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art. Has
    been honoured with the prestigious Hennessy-Craig Award from the Royal Hibernian Academy and has his work included in the Irish state collection.
  • Jane Brodie - a figurative artist based in London and the Peak District. She graduated in Architecture in 2009 and has since worked in the Art Department for film. Her selected portrait can be seen on her website and is titled Breakfast with Banana
Late for school with things on the mind by Morag Caister
120x180cm, Oil on Linen, 2024
© Morag Caister
  • Morag Caister - graduated in 2019 from the University of Brighton. She won Sky Art’s Portrait Artist of the Year 2022. Her commissioned painting of British icon Sir Lenny Henry hangs in the National Portrait Gallery - see PAOTY Commission - Painting Sir Lenny Henry (aka Len). Her selected portrait can be seen at the top of this post. 
  • Laura Carey - MA Fine Art from City and Guilds of London Art School (2023). Her practice is regularly based around conceptualism and portraiture, exploring 2D and 3D elements, installation, text and performance.
Self Portrait as a Cyclist by Comhghall Casey
BP Portrait Award Exhibition 2013
  • Comhghall Casey ARUA - from Omagh, Co Tyrone and based in Dublin since 2000. Previous Portrait Award exhibitor (2002, 2013 - see above - and 2015). In 2017 he was elected an Associate Member of the Royal Ulster Academy. Also a regular exhibitor at the RA Summer Exhibition.
  • Catherine Chambers - Shortlisted for an award. See Shortlist for The Portrait Award 2024
Lying by Catherine Chambers
oil on canvas
765 x 1130mm (30 inches x 44inches)
© Catherine Chambers
  • Alan Coulson - exhibits regularly in both the UK and US, notably as part of the prestigious BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery London, where in 2012 he was awarded third prize for his portrait of Richie Culver.
BP Portrait Award 3rd Prize (2012): Richie Culver by Alan Coulson
Oil on wooden board 850 x 950 mm
Alan Coulson (left) with Richie Culver (right)
  • Laura Critchlow RSM- a self-taught artist who works full time as a still life and portrait painter, specialising in miniature painting. Member of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters. Sculptors and Gravers. Her painting of her Mum (titled The Artists Mother) has been selected.
  • Peter Davis - He is an elected member of the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts (MAFA), the Contemporary British Portrait Painters (CBPP). He exhibits widely and regularly and has previously been selected for the John Moores Painting Prize 2020.
  • Estelle Day SWA - foundation diploma at Chelsea College of Art & Design; graduated in Fine Art from Oxford Brookes University. She became a full member of the Society of Women Artists in 2021.
  • Peter James Field - a degree in world art history and anthropology, specializing in Japanese culture. Taught for three years at state schools in the mountains of rural Japan.He has previously exhibited with BP Portrait Award (2018/20) and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters (2019/2021). He is an illustrator with a number of prestigious clients.
  • Ruth Fitton - Recent awards include the People's Choice Award in the Portrait Society of America International Competition (2023), a Purchase Award from the Art Renewal Center (2021) and 1st Place Young Artist award with the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (2020). In 2023 Ruth was elected a Member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, and awarded Signature Status by the Portrait Society of America.
  • Nathan Ford - I've seen Nathan's portraits in various exhibitions. They are always memorable. He has previously exhibited in BP Portrait Awards in 2000, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2018. He was awarded the visitors choice 2nd prize in 2011
  • Jack Freeman - graduated in Fine Art at Falmouth University (2016). In 2020, he began working full time as a portrait painter. He previously exhibited in the BP Portrait Award 2018.
  • Dan Gaasch - no info on his website
  • Kyle Hackett - American artist. MFA (LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA); BFA in Fine Arts as a McNair Scholar (University of Delaware). His paintings explore race, class, and social standing through approaches to self-representation and the constructed image.
  • Lewis Hazelwood-Horner - I like Lewis's portraits because he's in no way averse to painting people in a working context or in painting groups of people. He exhibits widely and has won various awards. In 2016 won the Columbia Threadneedle Prize & Visitors Choice Award - see Lewis Hazelwood-Horner wins £20,000 Threadneedle Prize 2016
  • Shinji Ihara - Born in Fukuoka, Japan. B.F.A in Oil Painting of Hiroshima City University (2010); M.F.A in Oil Painting Materials and Techniques of Tokyo University of the Arts (2012 )
  • Stephen Johnston - born in 1987 in Co.Antrim, Ireland. In 2010 he graduated with a BA in Fine and Applied Arts from University of Ulster in Belfast. Paints full time from his studio in Ireland. Looks like he's done a hyper realistic "big head".
  • Stephen Leho - studied at Cardiff University, Gloucestershire University and the Facultad de Bellas Artes, Sevilla
  • Gabriel Lewis - I don't this artist is keen on promotion
  • Alexander Macdonald - his Instagram account has an interest name - see below - and relates to his picture book for children. He's an artist, novelist (Dog Binary) and author/illustrator of picture books for children and he also paints pictures for the film and TV industry - hence the name of his website.
  • Daniel Nelis - He's just been elected an Associate Acdemician of the Royal Ulster Academy and won the Ireland-U.S. Council Award for Outstanding Portraiture.
    His self-portrait won the Royal Ulster Academy Portrait Prize in 2015. His highly realistic portrait for this exhibition is of his father with closed eyes. Personally speaking, as I have recommended very many times before now, if you've got a painting selected for a prestigious exhibition, I'd have prioritised getting a website up and running properly before it opens.
  • Andrew Norris - unclear online who this is
  • Ashley Ogilvy - unclear online who this is
  • Rebecca Orcutt - she was a very young exhibitor in the BP Portrait Award 2015 - see
    Selected Artists - BP Portrait Award 2015. Since then she has been awarded a bachelor’s degree in painting from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, and an MFA from the New York Academy of Art in New York City where she was a President’s Scholar and was also awarded the Leipzig International Art Programme Residency in Germany. She has a way of painting portraits without painting faces.
  • Massimiliano Pironti - I remember Massimiliano very well! The photograph below is of us both at the BP Portrait Award 2019 when he won Third Prize! He also exhibited in the BP Portrait Award 2018. Born in 1981 in Colleferro, an industrial town south of Rome, he is a largely self-taught Italian artist who gained inspiration from Renaissance masters. His works are almost exclusively portraits painted oil on aluminium and characterized by strong attention to detail. In 2021 Massimiliano was commissioned by HM King Charles III to paint the portrait of Arek Hersh, as part of the project-exhibition “Seven Portraits: Surviving the Holocaust”. This is now part of the Royal Collection.
Third Prize 2019: Massimiliano Pironti with his portrait of his grandmother
- and me (before I lost 7 stone!)

Quo Vadis?
900mm x 600mm, oil on aluminium
  • Emily Ponsonby - British artist Emily Ponsonby (b.1990) is known for her beeswax work based upon the Ancient Egyptians’ Encaustic process; buffing, brushing and scraping pigment into layers of honeyed wax until forms gently emerge. 
  • Carl Randall - a British figurative painter whose work is based on images of modern Japan and London. A graduate of The Slade School of Fine Art, The Royal Drawing School London, and Tokyo University of Arts Japan (Masters and then Doctorate in Fine Art - Painting). He's previously exhibited in the BP Portrait Award Exhibitions in 2012 and 2013 and he won the BP Travel Award 2012. See also Carl Randall's Japan - the best BP Travel Award Exhibition ever! He's also won The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, The Nomura Art Prize Japan, as well as several other awards. 
BP Travel Award 2012 Exhibition (in 2013)
Carl Randall with part of his series of paintings of the people of Japan
© Carl Randall
Photo © Katherine Tyrrell
  • Charlie Ratcliffe - He doesn't say a lot about himself on his website. You can see his portrait on Instagram
  • Marina Renee-Cemmick - She grew up in Dorset and moved to Glasgow to study Painting at Glasgow school of Art (2018). She studied at The Royal Drawing School, London (2021) before receiving Arts Council Funding to research ways of combining theatre and drawing. In 2022 she was awarded a New English Arts Club scholarship, and completed a residency at Dunfries House in 2022 and Colstoun House in early 2023. She now lives and works near Glasgow and participated in Portrait Artist of the Year Season 10 - Episode 5 - when she got to draw Nigel Havers (who I seem to recall was a very badly behaved sitter) who chose to have her drawing - see Review: Heat 5 of Portrait Artist of the Year (Series 10)
  • Ray Richardson - born in Woolwich, S.E.London in 1964. He graduated from St Martins School of Art in 1984 and Goldsmiths in 1987. He has lived and worked in Paris, Brussels, Chicago and Connecticut. He currently lives and works in Woolwich, S.E.London.
  • Ilaria Rosselli Del Turco - born in Genova, Italy, in 1967. Her ancestors were a family of Florentine Renaissance painters, the Rossellis. She followed classical studies in Rome and subsequently trained as an illustrator before turning to oil painting and printmaking, taking classes and teaching myself through the study of Old Masters. I've been living in London since 1999. She has also exhibited in the BP Portrait Award more than once.
  • Gustavo Schossler - I think he's from Brazil since the language on his website is Brazilian Portuguese.
  • George Shapter - not sure who this is - I can only find a product designer.
  • Michael Slusakowicz - works predominantly in painting, drawing, performance and video. Graduated from Camberwell College of Arts with a First Class degree in BA Painting. His work has since been exhibited internationally.
  • Aleksandra Sokolova - unclear who this is
  • Hanie Soltani - Born in Iran, and now based in Tehran, artist Hanie Soltani creates artwork inspired by nature and human emotion.
  • Emily Stainer - Previously selected for the BP Portrait Award in 2006 and 2017. She was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1980; in 2015 returned to her home town Johannesburg, after eight years spent living in Jakarta, Indonesia. Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (2003); Master’s degree in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London (2006). Both were obtained with distinction. She paints despite three energetic children - one of whom was a baby when she also attended the 2017 preview! She likes to paint small and intimate.
BP Portrait Award 2017: Annabel 
© Emily Stainer
Oil on canvas
  • Zohar Tal Inbar - Graduated with Bachelor of Art (BA) from Haifa University in 2013.
  • Alex Tzavaras - studied at Central Saint Martins but after realising drawing and painting from life was not taught in UK art schools he left without completing a degree. The studied at Lavender Hill Studios in London, the UK’s first Atelier school. He is now dedicated to drawing, painting and teaching.
  • Isabella WatlingShortlisted for an award. See Shortlist for The Portrait Award 2024. Born in London in 1990. Spent her formative years in the UK and Australia and now lives and works in London. From the age of 18 she trained at the Charles H. Cecil Studios in Florence where got a rigorous training in sight-size painting. She returns periodically to teach portrait and figure painting.  She has previously been selected for the BP Portrait Award in 2012 and 2014. She paints very large paintings.
  • Antony WilliamsShortlisted for an award. See Shortlist for The Portrait Award 2024. He has been exhibiting his artwork for the last 30 years and with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters since 1995 - where he was elected a member in 1996. After Ben Sullivan finally won the BP Portrait Award in 2017 (after being selected 12 times!), Antony became the last of "the regulars" who has been not yet won this Award. It's certainly not uncommon for a previous prizewinner to eventually win first prize - and Antony won 3rd Prize back in 2017
  • Zhang Yafei - unclear online who this is
Entries were submitted anonymously and judged by a panel, which included 
  • the National Portrait Gallery’s Director, Dr Nicholas Cullinan OBE; 
  • visual artist, Barbara Walker MBE RA; 
  • sociologist and bioethicist, Sir Tom Shakespeare; 
  • actor and host of the podcast, Talk Art, Russell Tovey; and 
  • the Gallery’s Curator for Contemporary Collections, Tanya Bentley. 
You can hear what the Judges thought about various entries in the following event.

In Conversation with the Judges of the Portrait Award

Friday 19 July 2024
£15 on site (£12 concessions), booking essential)

The judges will share behind the scenes insights into the process and considerations when judging one of the most prestigious contemporary portrait competitions internationally.

Join Russell Tovey, Tom Shakespeare and Tanya Bentley, the judges of the Herbert Smith Freehills Portrait Award 2024 as they share stories and discuss selected works from this year’s exhibition, marking its return to the National Portrait Gallery.

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