National Gallery of Ireland announces shortlists for Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize competitions

Logos of the Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize

From hundreds of entries, the shortlists of this year’s Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize have been announced by the National Gallery of Ireland. 26 artists, working across a variety of media, have made it through to the final stage of the Zurich Portrait Prize, while 20 young artists aged between four and eighteen years old have been shortlisted for the Zurich Young Portrait Prize.

The winner of the Zurich Portrait Prize will receive a cash prize of €15,000 and will be commissioned to create a work for the national portrait collection, for which they will be awarded a further €5,000. Two additional awards of €1,500 will be given to highly commended works. Judges for the Zurich Portrait Prize are Diana Copperwhite, artist; Anna O'Sullivan, Director of the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny; and Nick Miller, artist.

The Zurich Young Portrait Prize returns for its fourth year in 2022. Five winners (one from each respective age category and an overall winner) will be selected from a shortlist of hundreds of entries from young people aged four to 18 from across the island of Ireland. Winners will receive a bespoke art box and a cash prize. The overall competition winner will be awarded a personalised wooden box of high-quality art materials, specific to their choice of material in their portrait, and a cash prize of €500. All twenty shortlisted entrants will have their artwork professionally framed/prepared. This year’s Zurich Young Portrait Prize judges are: Janet McLean, curator, National Gallery of Ireland; Nick Roche, comic illustrator; and Una Sealy RHA, artist.

Exhibitions of shortlisted works in both competitions run at the National Gallery of Ireland between 26 November 2022 and 2 April 2023. The exhibition will then travel to the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, where it will be displayed between 3 June and 2 September 2023.

Shortlisted artists for the Zurich Portrait Prize 2022 at the National Gallery of Ireland:

  • Rachel Ballagh (Cork), Back Garden, 2021, Photograph
  • Zsolt Basti (Dublin), Megan and Ophelia, 2021, Oil on canvas 
  • Shane Blount (Wicklow), Lately I've Been Seeing Rainbows, 2022, Oil on canvas 
  • Patrick Bolger (Dublin / Wicklow), Louise Kennedy, 2022, Photograph 
  • David Booth (Dublin), Salvatore, 2021, Oil on board 
  • Enda Burke (Galway), Deirdre by the Window, 2021, Photograph 
  • Aisling Coughlan (Dublin), Dead Dad, 2021, Oil on wood panel 
  • Catherine Creaney (Tyrone), Care, Oil on linen, 2021 
  • David Creedon (Cork), Rustam Saidaliev – Sanctuary in a New Land, 2022, Photograph 
  • Ian Cumberland (Down), 14314 days, 2022, Oil on linen 
  • Barry Delaney (Dublin), Forty Footer, 2021 Photograph 
  • Aodán Feeney (Galway), Dead Weight, 2022, Oil on canvas 
  • Alexis Pearse Flynn (London), Self-portrait five days after vaccination, 2021, Oil on gessoed board 
  • Vanessa Jones (Dublin), HoMi Hand Plow (self-portrait), 2020, Oil on canvas 
  • Bernadette Kiely (Kilkenny), An artist becomes their work – portrait of Paul Mosse in his studio, 2021, Oil on canvas 
  • Vera Klute (Kilkenny), Self-Portrait, 2020, Oil on plywood 
  • Gavin Leane (Dublin), Several Days Hence, 2022, Photograph 
  • Emily Mc Gardle (Monaghan), Rictus, 2022, Coloured pencil, pencil and pen on paper 
  • Fiach McGuinne (Dublin), MacDara, 2022, Oil and acrylic on canvas 
  • Tom McLean (Galway), Cocoon, 2022, Oil on linen
  • Mick O'Dea (Dublin), At Dysert O’Dea, 2020, Oil on canvas 
  • Liz Purtill (Kerry), Dermot, 2022, Egg tempera on aluminium panel 
  • Cara Rose (Dublin), Double Self Portrait, 2021, Coloured pencil on paper 
  • Sorcha Frances Ryder (Dublin), My Bedroom As A Depressed College Graduate (Self-portrait), 2022, Photograph 
  • Marie Smith, (Cavan) Stephanie, 2022, Fired clay on wooden stand 
  • Marc O'Sullivan Vallig (Cork), Alex, 2021, Oil on canvas 

Shortlisted artists for the Zurich Young Portrait Prize 2022 at the National Gallery of Ireland:

  • Katie Cashin (Clare), My friend Olivia, Clay, bottle, paint, marbles, wool, beads 
  • Zara Craig (Antrim), Study by Candlelight, Oil on canvas 
  • Páidí Daly (Meath), Me and My Daddy, Paint on canvas 
  • Cassandra Dennehy (Dublin), My Favourite Coat and Hat, Acrylic paint on paper 
  • P.J. Doherty (Donegal), Focus, Coloured pencils on paper 
  • Sean Fitzpatrick (Wexford), Constructing Ella, Pencil and charcoals on paper 
  • Haochen Gao (Dublin), I Like Balls, Oil pastels on canvas 
  • Viktoria Kroejeva (Clare), Day Out, Oil and acrylic paint on canvas 
  • James Cowley Lane (Meath), Macdara, Macdara, Plaster powder, clay
  • Jiayi Lu (Dublin), Sunny Morning, Pencil and acrylic on paper 
  • Ross McHale, (Kildare), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Oil on canvas 
  • Red Redican, (Kildare), Bailey’s Life Is A Highway, Watercolour paint and pen on paper 
  • Cathal Ryan (Clare), Bullman, Acrylic Paint on Card 
  • Róisín Ryan (Cork), Me in the stars, Marker on paper 
  • Meilin Ava Song (Dublin), New Beginning, Paint on canvas 
  • Aoife Sweeney (Clare), Pastel Sky, Acrylic paint on Card 
  • Pierre Gaultier Swords, (Cavan), Self-Portrait of Pierre, Oil pastels and markers on paper 
  • Freya Wilkinson (Meath), Self-Portrait, Oil on paper 
  • Grace Yu (Dublin), My Mum, Pencil on paper 
  • Yujin Zhu (Dublin), Fred, Colouring pencils on paper 

Sean Rainbird, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, said, “The Zurich Portrait Prize is now firmly established as an annual opportunity for artists of all ages to submit work for assessment by an independent panel of judges. The adjudicators are appointed each year, bringing new insights to the process of selecting the winning and commended artists. Zurich is a terrific partner in this venture. The exhibition now tours after it finishes its run at the Gallery, allowing works to be seen outside Dublin. The Gallery is delighted that this exhibition gives many new and returning artists the opportunity to show their work in the National Gallery of Ireland. We look forward to the exhibitions later this year at the Gallery and next year in the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny.”

Neil Freshwater, CEO of Zurich, said, “The Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize brings together the remarkable breadth of talent in Ireland’s portrait artists of all ages. We are delighted to see such a strong selection of works once again in this year’s shortlists and very proud to continue our sponsorship of these exciting competitions.”

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Exhibition listings:

Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize
Room 23, National Gallery of Ireland: 26 November 2022 - 2 April 2023
Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal: 3 June - 2 September 2023 
Free admission

About the National Gallery of Ireland:

The National Gallery of Ireland is one of the country’s most popular visitor attractions housing the nation’s collection of European and Irish art from about 1300 to the present day, and an extensive Library & Archive. Entry to the collection is free for all to enjoy, learn and be inspired.

About Zurich:

Ireland is Zurich’s location of choice for its pan-European company Zurich Insurance plc (ZIP). Since the beginning of 2009, ZIP has been headquartered in Dublin and it is the main risk carrier for Zurich’s general insurance business in the EU. Neil Freshwater is the CEO of Zurich Insurance plc. In terms of domestic business, Zurich focuses on two key business areas in Ireland – General Insurance and Life. In Ireland, Zurich employs over 1,250 people.