• BP Portrait Award

BP Portrait Award 2018 Exhibition at The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre, 30 March- 26 June 2019.

The BP Portrait Award is regarded as one of the most prestigious portrait painting competitions in the world. After being displayed at the National Portrait Gallery in London, the touring exhibition will visit Winchester for the very first time this spring.

The exhibition opens on Saturday 30 March 2019 in The Gallery, which is operated by Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT), in Winchester’s Discovery Centre and features a variety of styles and approaches taken to the contemporary painted portrait. The BP Portrait Award enjoys revered status amongst painters and collectors alike and acts as an important showcase for some of the most outstanding and innovative painters across the globe.

Kirsty Rodda, Exhibitions Manager at HCT, commented: “It has long been our ambition to bring this prestigious exhibition to Winchester and we are so thrilled to see it in our 2019 programme. The quality of the submissions is incredibly high and the talent enviable; a genuine ‘must-see’ in Winchester this spring.”

Miriam Escofet, winner of the 2018 Award, produced a sensitive portrait of her mother - titled An Angel at My Table (pictured below) – which will take centre stage at the exhibition. It was selected from 2,667 entries from 88 countries.

The BP Young Artist Award, for ages between 18-30, was won by 28-year-old Ania Hobson for A Portrait of two Female Painters, a portrait of the artist with her sister-in-law. The winner of the BP Travel Award 2018, an annual prize to enable artists to work in a different environment on a project related to portraiture, was Robert Seidel for his proposal to travel along the route of the river Danube by train, boat and bike. The artwork from these two categories will also be on display.

Visitors to The Gallery will have the opportunity to see some alternative portraiture which has been created in response to the BP Portrait Award by young people from two social impact programmes run by HCT, The ICE Project and Horizon 20:20. By using newly learnt art techniques, the young people from each programme have created abstract portraits of themselves, which will be on display in City Space, also operated by HCT, in Winchester Discovery Centre. Artwork from The ICE Project will be on display from 6 April- 24 April 2019 and young people from the Horizon 20:20 programme will have their work displayed from 27 April- 15 May 2019. For more information about these social impact programmes, please visit www.hampshireculture.org.uk/social-impact.

The exhibition coincides with the opening of the Mayor’s Choice Exhibition on 6 April 2019, also at City Space. Winchester Mayor, Councillor Frank Pearson, has selected his favourite items from the collections cared for by HCT around this year’s theme of portraiture.

Entry to see the BP Portrait Award 2018 exhibition is free, suggested donation £3. For more information, please visit www.hampshireculture.org.uk/event/bp-portrait-award-2018

An Angel at My Table, Miriam Escofet, 2018 © Miriam Escofet
An Angel at My Table, Miriam Escofet, 2018 © Miriam Escofet