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    Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

    This portrait of a mother practicing healing methods on her son is the winner of the National Gallery of Ireland’s Zurich Portrait Prize. Me Ma Healing Me by Salvatore of Lucan was announced this evening at a virtual ceremony. As well as a prize of €15,000, the artist, who is half Bangladeshi and half Irish, will receive a commission worth €5,000 to produce a new work for the National Portrait Collection. Salvatore of Lucan (b. 1994) creates large-scale works in an attempt to communicate a sense of the world he inhabits. Exploring home, identity and relationships, he creates expansive domestic scenes where the familiar approaches the magical. This is his third inclusion in the Zurich Portrait Prize. The artist explained:  “My mother practices sound healing and Reiki, and anytime I’m at home and feeling unwell, she offers to practice on me. I am a distant son and can be sceptical about some of the hippy stuff, but when her hands hover above me, I do feel my mother’s love, and am aware that she is trying to heal me. In making the painting I was inspired by the kind of uncanny, suspended feeling one finds in the alchemist paintings of Leonora Carrington.”

    Vanessa Jones and Tom McLean received highly commended prizes to the sum of €1,500 for their respective portraits, Cabbage Baby (self-portrait) and Note to Self. The judges were artist Eamonn Doyle, Róisín Kennedy, art critic and lecturer/assistant professor in the School of Art History & Cultural Policy, UCD and Seán Kissane, Curator at IMMA.

    An exhibition featuring the winning portrait alongside 23 other shortlisted works runs at the National Gallery of Ireland until next April 3 alongside the Zurich Young Portrait Prize exhibition of 20 shortlisted portraits. Both exhibitions will travel to Crawford Art Gallery in Cork in 2022. The overall winner of the Young Portrait Prize was Della Cowper-Gray, who is aged 14.


    Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

    Waterford born and 2004 Crawford College graduate Aidan Crotty has been announced as the winner of this years Zurich Portrait Prize at the National Gallery of Ireland. Portrait of a Boy, Morning depicts the artist’s eldest son Rían at eight years of age. The painting began when schools were closed and movement was restricted as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In his statement about the portrait, Aidan Crotty said, “Absorbed in the notable quiet, Rían turns to feel the morning light warm his face. As we moved from Spring into Summer this painting gave a basic structure to start the day and is a record of our time in confinement.”

    Eva McParland (age 14) was selected as the overall winner of the Zurich Young Portrait Prize and Conor McPolin (age 6) won the youngest category.

    The Zurich Portrait Prize exhibition featuring the winner alongside 25 other shortlisted works, is open at the National Gallery of Ireland. It will run until next March 21 alongside the Zurich Young Portrait Prize exhibition of 20 shortlisted portraits. Both exhibitions will travel to Crawford Art Gallery in Cork in 2021.

    Aidan Crotty’s portrait of his young son Rian


    Tuesday, October 8th, 2019

    A portrait tracing the emotional connection between a new parent and her baby – Cybil McCaddy with Daughter Lulu by Enda Bowe – has won the National Gallery of Ireland’s Zurich Portrait Prize. Enda Bowe’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, the Victoria & Albert Museum, London and the Red Hook Gallery, New York. His work is concerned with storytelling and the search for light and beauty in the ordinary. As well as a cash prize of €15,000, the artist will receive a commission worth €5,000 to produce a new work for the National Portrait Collection. The judges were Mike Fitzpatrick, Fiona Kearney and Mick O’Dea.

    The prizewinning photo by Enda Bowe