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

Branding for the Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize

Identity, family, memory, gender, aging, social change and diversity are among the themes addressed by the artists who have been shortlisted for the National Gallery of Ireland’s Zurich Portrait Prize 2019.

26 artists, working across a variety of creative disciplines, have made it through to the final stage of the competition, which received over 300 entries.

The winner of the Zurich Portrait Prize will receive a prize of €15,000 and a commission worth €5,000 to create a new work for inclusion in the National Portrait Collection. There will also be two awards of €1,500 for highly commended works. An exhibition of the shortlisted portraits will open at the National Gallery of Ireland on 5 October 2019. In a new partnership, the exhibition will run at Crawford Art Gallery from January to April 2020.

Judges for this year’s Zurich Portrait Prize are Mike Fitzpatrick, Dean of Limerick School of Art and Design; Professor Fiona Kearney, founding Director of the Glucksman; and Mick O'Dea, artist and member of the RHA.

Shortlisted artists for the Zurich Portrait Prize 2019 at the National Gallery of Ireland:

  • Christopher Banahan (Galway), Self Portrait with eyes closed, acrylic on wood
  • Shane Berkery (Dublin), A Light, oil on canvas
  • Els Borghart (Louth), He is not here, oil on board
  • Enda Bowe (London, UK), Cybil McCaddy with Daughter Lulu, photograph – C-type print
  • Lisa Butterly & Lisa McCormack (Louth), The Day You Left, photograph
  • Comhghall Casey (Dublin), Self Portrait, oil on canvas
  • Joe Dunne (Dublin), And Their World of Far and Near Things, egg/oil tempera on canvas
  • David Hamilton (Armagh), Karen and Alan McStraw II, acrylic on canvas
  • Gordon Harris (Galway), Fragile, oil and silver leaf on board
  • Dragana Jurišić (Dublin), Paula Meehan, photograph
  • Lynn Kennedy (Dublin), I am Claudia, oil on linen
  • Miseon Lee (Dublin), Me in the Mirror III: Faux Hat, oil on linen
  • Salvatore of Lucan (Dublin), Lucy with 3 Hands and Me Holding onto her Leg, oil on canvas
  • Paul MacCormaic (Dublin), Tania Persechini Sewing, oil and acrylic on board
  • Ian Maher (Dublin), Self Portrait, plaster and acrylic on canvas
  • Fionn McCann (Dublin), Untitled T#1, photograph
  • Brian McCarthy (Dublin), Joe Duffy, oil on canvas
  • Oisín McFarland Smith (Wicklow), Granny Annie, photograph (Kodak Portra 400 taken on Bronica ETRS)
  • Tom Molloy (France), Paddy and me, photograph
  • Bríd Murphy (Laois), Blue I, II, III, 2019, 30-minute video triptych x 3 with sound
  • Liam Murphy (Dublin), Stephen, photograph
  • Liam Robinson (Dublin), Self-portrait as Ares, Greek God of War, coloured pencil, pencil, acrylic pen on card
  • Johnny Savage (Kildare), Mary Robinson, Dublin, 2018, photograph
  • Niamh Smith (Dublin), Institutions of Home, photograph
  • Marcel Vidal (Dublin), À la plage (Dad 1946 - 2018), oil on linen
  • Amy Walsh (Dublin), Mná na hÉireann, photograph


Zurich Young Portrait Prize 2019

In 2019, the National Gallery of Ireland introduced a new competition, the Zurich Young Portrait Prize. Playing an important role in the Gallery’s continued aim to foster and support creativity, originality and self-expression in children and young people, the Prize accepted entries from young people, up to age 18, of all abilities, from across the island of Ireland. 20 finalists in four categories (ages 6 and under, ages 7-11, ages 12-15 and ages 16-18) were chosen by a panel of external judges, and will be displayed at the Gallery from 5 October 2019. The overall 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.

The Zurich Young Portrait Prize judges are artist Hetty Lawlor; photographer and filmmaker Perry Ogden; and Brendan Rooney, Head Curator at the National Gallery of Ireland.

The shortlist for the Zurich Young Portrait Prize 2019 at the National Gallery of Ireland:

  • Oisin Byrne (Dublin, aged 3), My brother Fionn, pencil on paper
  • Callie LePage (Dublin, aged 6), Sarah C, watercolour, pencil, marker, jewels, glue, electric lights on paper
  • Azalea Rahman (Dublin, aged 4), Feather Head, crayon and feathers on paper
  • Rita Ruitong Chen (Wicklow, aged 6), School Girl, pencil on paper
  • Christina Troup (Dublin, aged 6), The Moustache, pencil, colouring pencil on paper
  • Alice Ertmane (Dublin, aged 7), Flying Pancakes, thread and acrylic on canvas
  • Faye Hession Jordan (Dublin, aged 9), Max, My Brother, pencil, pastel, acrylic and water colour on canvas and paper
  • Zhen Xing (David) Ke (Meath, aged 10), My Beautiful Mum, marker on paper
  • Mischa May Pattwell (Cork, aged 10), My sister Eala, collage, crayon and chalk on paper
  • Jiaming Zheng (Dublin, aged 8), The GAP Boy, pencil on paper
  • Amy Brown (Dublin, aged 15), S.W.A.N., pencil and collage on paper
  • Mabel Forsyth & Mary O’Carroll (Dublin, aged 12), The new age, photography on paper
  • Ava Henson (Dublin, aged 14), Fiona: Renaissance Woman, acrylic on board
  • Erin Welch (Kerry, aged 15), Brennagh, watercolour and pencil on paper
  • Rachel Yuxuan Chen (Dublin, aged 15), Juvenile, oil on canvas
  • Molly Carroll (Dublin, aged 17), Seán, acrylic on paper
  • Martyna Glowicka (Dublin, aged 17), Kissmat, pencil on paper
  • Síobhra O’Reardon Farrell (Dublin, aged 17), Elodie, oil on canvas board
  • Mathews Pascoal De Leon (Dublin, aged 17), Bro Fred’s Portrait, graphite and pastel, pencil on paper
  • Cara Pilbeam (Louth, aged 17), Eire: Study of a Young Woman, pencil on paper

Sean Rainbird, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, said, “Through these competitions, the Gallery aims to foster an interest in contemporary portraiture amongst artists and art lovers alike. The exciting shortlists offer our visitors the chance to see incredible new work at the Gallery in the Autumn.  We’re also delighted to develop our important partnership with Zurich this year as we celebrate the inaugural Zurich Young Portrait Prize.”

Neil Freshwater, CEO of Zurich, said, “Zurich is pleased at the high standard of the shortlisted works for the Zurich Portrait Prize 2019 at the National Gallery of Ireland. We really look forward to the shortlisted works being unveiled at the National Gallery in October before moving to the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork in 2020. Another first for this year is the inaugural Zurich Young Portrait Prize which brings a new dimension to our association with the Gallery. There is a freshness and vibrancy to these works which make us excited for the future talent which this competition is intended to foster.”


Notes to editors:

  • The Zurich Portrait Prize exhibition will run at the National Gallery of Ireland from 5 October 2019 to 12 January 2020, and at Crawford Art Gallery from 31 January 2020 to 13 April 2020
  • The Zurich Young Portrait Prize display will run in the Millennium Wing Studio at the National Gallery of Ireland from 5 October 2019 to 12 January 2020

About the Zurich Portrait Prize:

The Portrait Prize, open to artists aged 19 over, runs for the sixth time in 2019, with Zurich as sponsor for the second year. The aim of the Zurich Portrait Prize is to showcase and encourage interest in contemporary portraiture, support Irish talent and to raise the profile of the long-standing and constantly evolving National Portrait Collection at the National Gallery of Ireland.

About the Zurich Young Portrait Prize:

Following the outstanding success of the nationwide Portrait Prize, the National Gallery of Ireland introduced the Zurich Young Portrait Prize in 2019. The inclusive art competition is open to children and young people of all abilities, up to the age of 18, from across the island of Ireland.

About Zurich:

Ireland is Zurich’s location of choice for its pan-European company Zurich Insurance plc (ZIP). Since 2009, ZIP has been headquartered in Dublin and 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 approximately 1,100 people.