Daphne Todd claims BP Portrait Award 2010

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I headed to the National Portrait Gallery this morning for a sneak preview of the BP Portrait Award 2010 exhibition, and there are some incredible works on show.

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 “riveting to do” 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.


  1. Jess says:

    This is such an excellent exhibition. I was lucky enough to meet some of the artists at the launch event last night, who were all so very excited to have won a place in this prestigious show. I strongly recommend going.

  2. John Raskin says:

    Pageantry exhibition…really… My favourite piece is ,,iDeath,, from Michael Ozibko – incredible paint!