Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize shortlists announced by National Gallery of Ireland

Zurich Portrait Prize

Exhibitions run in Dublin and Cork this year and next

From more than one thousand entries, the shortlists of both the 2020 Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize have been announced by the National Gallery of Ireland. 26 artists, working across a variety of different media, have made it through to the final stage of the Zurich Portrait Prize, while 20 young artists aged between three and eighteen years old have been shortlisted for the Zurich Young Portrait Prize.

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 at the National Gallery of Ireland. There will also be two awards of €1,500 for highly commended works. Judges for this year’s Zurich Portrait Prize are Dr Philip Cottrell, lecturer and assistant professor at the School of Art History and Cultural Policy, UCD; artist Rita Duffy; and Aoife Ruane, Director of Highlanes Gallery.

Returning for its second year, the Zurich Young Portrait Prize accepted entries from young people up to the age of 18 from across the island of Ireland. Five winners (one from each age category, and an overall winner) will be chosen. Winners will receive a bespoke art box and a cash prize. This year’s Zurich Young Portrait Prize judges are Maria Cagney, Head of Education, The Hunt Museum; artist Colin Davidson; and illustrator, author and comedian Aoife Dooley.

An exhibition of works shortlisted for the Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize will open at the National Gallery of Ireland on 21 November 2020. Following the success of the run of last year’s exhibitions at Crawford Art Gallery, the Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize will travel to Cork once again in April 2021. 

Shortlisted artists for the Zurich Portrait Prize 2020 at the National Gallery of Ireland:

  • Rachel Ballagh (Cork), High Anxiety, oil on board
  • Patrick Bolger (Dublin), Max, My Boy, photo on photo rag baryta
  • David Booth (Dublin), Maho, oil on board
  • Caroline Canning (Dublin), Mary Lennon Slicing Apples, oil on canvas
  • Comhghall Casey (Dublin), Self Portrait, oil on canvas
  • Aidan Crotty (Sligo), Portrait of a Boy, Morning, oil on linen
  • Amanda Doran (Wexford), Comfortable Shoes, oil on canvas
  • Laura Fitzgerald (Dublin), Portrait of a Stone, video piece played on two cube monitors
  • Jackie Hudson Lalor (Louth), After the Storm, oil on canvas
  • Vanessa Jones (Dublin), Self-Portrait with Snail Shells, oil on canvas
  • Emmet Kierans (London), At One with Nature, oil on wood panel
  • Christopher Lindhorst (Dublin), Solomon, photograph
  • Sinead Lucey (Kilkenny), HSE Heroes, The Wonderful Staff of St. Joseph’s Ward, St Columba’s Care Home, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, April 2020, oil on wood panel
  • Matthew McCabe (Kildare), MCR1 variant phenotype, oil on canvas
  • Sathishaa Mohan (Dublin), Dylan Logan, photograph
  • Theresa Nanigian (Dublin), Jacek & Seamus, photograph 
  • Elizabeth O’Kane (Dublin), Selam, resin on mahogany base
  • Gillian O’Shea (Dublin), Lockdown, oil on canvas
  • Martin Redmond (Wexford), Patient, oil on linen
  • Nicholas Benedict Robinson (Wicklow), Dr Maeve Robinson, Family Planning Doctor & Educator, oil on birchwood
  • Paul Seawright (Antrim), Untitled - From Beasts of Burden: Rwanda 2020, archival pigment print 
  • Niamh Smith (Dublin), Home, Soft Focus Life, Cocooning, photograph on fine art rag paper, archival
  • Sarah Bracken Soper (Dublin), Trailblazer, embroidery
  • Matthew Thompson (Dublin), Andrew John Hozier-Byrne, photograph on paper / carson platine fibre rag
  • Kathy Tynan (Dublin), Over Heavy Seas, oil on canvas
  • Simon Walsh (Dublin), Mrs Ryan in her Kitchen, Crumlin, photograph on paper

Shortlisted artists for the Zurich Young Portrait Prize 2020 at the National Gallery of Ireland:

  • Francesca Chu (Dublin, aged 5), Standing in a Tranquil Stream, watercolour, oil pastel, coloured pencil on paper
  • Margot Gillespie (Dublin, aged 5) Katelyn my Bestie, paint on canvas
  • Conor McPolin (Dublin, aged 6), Conor, paint on paper
  • Muireann O’Reilly (Dublin, aged 3), The sad pirate who couldn’t find treasure, paint on paper
  • Cara Sinclair (Dublin, aged 5), Woodland Girl, flowers and natural materials
  • Eloise Cassidy (Kildare, aged 11), 20 Seconds, digital photo on paper
  • Zihan He (Dublin, aged 11), Me, pencil on paper
  • Emily McAdam Kavanagh (Dublin, aged 11), Zara, acrylic on canvas board
  • Hope Stephens (Dublin, aged 8), Me When I’m Bored, crayons, markers, pritt stick, paper on paper
  • Jiayi Sun (Dublin, aged 10), Myself Eating Ice Cream, paint on canvas
  • Jodie Lavery (Derry, aged 15), Pandemic, watercolour and pen on paper
  • Seán Lynch (Meath, aged 15), Ukki, ballpoint pen on paper
  • Ross McHale (Kildare, aged 15), Mixed Emojions, digital
  • Eva McParland (Dublin, aged 14), Is this Normal?, pencil on paper
  • Zili Yang (Dublin, aged 12), A girl in silence, paint on canvas
  • JohnLuka Doherty (Dublin, aged 17), Joey, acrylic, pencil, pen on cardboard
  • Alannah Ferry (Donegal, aged 18), Portrait of The Pandemic, scrap metal, solder, newspaper clippings printed during the Covid-19 lockdown, PVA glue, marbles, voice recorder chip, fishing wire, mask, steel wool, clay, nail polish and glitter on canvas
  • Julia Galarowicz (Limerick, aged 17), Dom, pencil on paper
  • Abbey O’Keeffe (Limerick, aged 16), Daydreamer, paint on canvas
  • Síobhra O’Reardon-Farrell (Dublin, aged 18), Richard, oil on canvas

Sean Rainbird, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, said,We were thrilled to receive so many entries to both competitions in 2020, as we continue to raise the profile of contemporary portraiture. In November, our visitors will be able to see wonderful new works by artists of all ages at the Gallery, and later at Crawford Art Gallery in Cork. It’s terrific to welcome Zurich back to partner with us once again to showcase portraiture in such an exciting way.

Neil Freshwater, CEO of Zurich, said, “The quality of works shortlisted for both the Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize is impressive, and we are delighted to see such a diverse selection in this year’s competitions. We look forward to seeing these works unveiled in the Gallery in November and enjoying the new perspectives that they bring. We are very proud to continue to sponsor these prizes and to foster the creativity of artists of all ages.”

Media contact:
Emma Pearson, Communications, National Gallery of Ireland: [email protected] 

Notes to Editor:

  • Images are available on request
  • Artists and judges are available for interview

Exhibitions listings:
Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize
Room 23, National Gallery of Ireland: 21 November 2020 – 21 March 2021
Crawford Art Gallery, Cork: 17 April – 11 July 2021
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.

National Gallery at Home:
For those who are unable to visit the National Gallery of Ireland at the moment, there are many ways to engage with the national collection online. ‘National Gallery at Home’ includes videos, Mindfulness and Art, and at-home activities connected to the national collection. Virtual tours of iconic spaces such as the Shaw Room and the Grand Gallery, as well as exhibitions Irish Horse and Murillo: The Prodigal Son Restored, can also be explored from home. Find out more at www.nationalgallery.ie/national-gallery-ireland-at-home 

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.