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    Tuesday, December 12th, 2023
    David Stephenson – Ann and Ollie, Main Street, Wexford,

    This is David Stephenson’s prizewinning entry to the Zurich Portrait Prize. The winner was announced this evening at the National Gallery. His portrait of Ann and Ollie, Main St., Wexford was taken while he was recovering from Covid. The judges were Dorothy Cross RHA, artist, Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director, National Portrait Gallery, London, and Anne Stewart, Senior Curator of Art, National Museums Northern Ireland.

    The artist explained that: “During lockdown, I made a short film in which I tried to portray what we all experienced: the isolation that enhanced one’s sense of aloneness. Something of that silence and separateness resonates in this image. What drew my eye was Ann’s red coat, the condensation that made a ghost of Ollie, and how they were separated yet connected by the cracked paint of the window frame. These details made a transitory stage suffused with pristine light, the same ordinary light that falls into every window on every street.” Along with a prize of €15,000 the Dublin born artist will receive a commission worth €5,000 to produce a new work for the National Portrait Collection.