It was announced yesterday that Daphne Todd’s Last Portrait of Mother had won the prestigious award.
The oil painting is a moving portrait of the artist’s 100 year-old mother after her death. Todd has captured the moment perfectly, the two separate panels coming together in a sense of the disconnection between life and death. Although painting after a sad loss, she admits it was â€œriveting to doâ€ and this is shown in the openness of the painting.
I studied Michael Gaskell’s Harry (second prize), David Eichenberg’s Tim II (third prize) and Elizabeth MacDonald’s Don’t Be Too Serious (Young Artist Award). All are outstanding portraits that evoke the differing demeanours of their subjects.
Another notable work is Mayor Boris Johnson by Helen Masacz, which captures the subject’s relaxed character with slightly ruffled hair and a loosely un-tucked shirt.
While Brain Shields’ Inside Outside (Claire with Claire) also stands out. The portrait of the painter’s wife carrying a poetry book displays the moment of quiet refection as birds flutter around her.
The BP Portrait Award 2010 is open to the public at the National Portrait Gallery from tomorrow until 19 Sep.