I remember that back when studying art in Limerick, we would all get terribly excited if we had a visiting lecturer who had exhibited work in London. London held this mystique, it was a place of culture and wonder, and to exhibit there was, in our eyes, the pinnacle of an artists career. Well I’ve hit many personal milestones through luck, fortune, coincidence and chance up to this point in my “career”, there’s also been a small percentage of skill and hard work involved too, but luck, fortune, coincidence and chance are the major players in a life’s motions, and I’ve achieved another personal goal through a combination of all of these elements.
I’ve finally achieved what these people who I aspired to be like have, I’m finally exhibiting in London, and in a pretty big exhibition too. The BP Portrait Award is pretty much the pinnacle of achievement for many artists, and quite an aspiration for many, many more. I was fortunate enough to have my portrait, “Diana, becoming”, a portrait of a very good friend of mine, chosen for the final 55 from a shortlist of almost 2000 paintings.
What struck me about the exhibition, after the sheer strength of the work, which is superb this year by the way, was the humility and kindness of my contemporaries. I was awed by these traits, and wonder are they innate to the particular human condition of the artist, or a product of the archaic process we employ, the sitters we choose to study, or the love of people we all share.
I’d like to thank sincerely Sandy Nairne and all of the judges for this opportunity and allowing me through exhibiting to achieve a personal goal.
With Agnes Toth at the BP Portrait Award 2013 private view