Jun 192013

BP Portrait AwardThe has announced the win­ner of the BP Por­trait Award 2013.

The pres­ti­gi­ous first prize was won by 57-year-old artist Susanne du Toitfor Pieter, a power­ful paint­ing of her eld­est son. Edu­cated at the Uni­ver­sity of Pre­toria and the Mas­sachu­setts Col­lege of Art, Boston, du Toit is an artist now based in Crowthorne, Berkshire.

The sit­ting took place in the artist’s stu­dio, as part of a series of por­traits of her fam­ily. Susanne du Toit says she allowed Pieter to find his own pose, with the con­di­tion that his hands would appear prom­in­ently in the com­pos­i­tion – she says she has always found hands essen­tial to com­mu­nic­at­ing personality.

I look to the body to provide as much expres­sion as the face. Hav­ing said that, the aver­ted gaze of this por­trait, which was his choice, struck me as char­ac­ter­istic of his reflect­ive char­ac­ter, and became intensely engaging.

Susanne du Toit wins £30,000 and a com­mis­sion, at the National Por­trait Gal­lery Trust­ees’ dis­cre­tion, worth £5,000. The por­trait can be seen at the National Por­trait Gal­lery from Thursday 20 June 2013 when the BP Por­trait Award 2013 exhib­i­tion opens to the public.

The second prize of £10,000 went to Coventry-based artist and teacher John Devane58, for The Uncer­tain Time, a strik­ing group por­trait depict­ing his chil­dren Lucy, Laura and Louis.

BP portrait prize 2nd

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