Zurich Portrait Prize winner announced

The National Gallery of Ireland has announced the winning artist for the 2018 Zurich Portrait Prize. Mandy O’Neill won for her portrait and Kim Haughton and Blaise Smith were highly commended.

A collage of the 25 shortlisted artists in this years Zurich Portrait Prize

The Zurich Portrait Prize winners were announced last night at the National Gallery of Ireland. Mandy O’Neill won for her portrait  'Diane, Larkin Community College' and highly commended prizes went to Kim Haughton for her portrait of J.P. Donleavy, and to Blaise Smith for his portrait of his parents, Elizabeth and Allen Smith.


Now in its fifth year, the competition is a celebration of contemporary portraiture and showcases the talent and flair of artists working across a number of disciplines. A total of 25 artists from a variety of backgrounds, working across a multitude of creative disciplines, made it through to the final stage of the competition, from an initial pool of nearly 300 entrants.

Winning artist Mandy O’Neill will receive a prize of €15,000 and a commission worth €5,000 to produce a new work for inclusion in the National Portrait Collection. Two additional prizes of €1,500 are awarded to highly-commended works.

The aim of the Zurich Portrait Prize is to foster an interest in contemporary portraiture among artists and art lovers alike, while adding to the National Portrait Collection at the National Gallery of Ireland. This year’s panel of judges comprised Geraldine O’Neill, Sue Rainsford and Tanya Kiang.

Speaking about the prize, CEO of Zurich Insurance plc, Patrick Manley said: “Portraiture is a rich and exciting art form, which often reflects the realities of everyday life. The National Gallery of Ireland’s portrait prize is a wonderful showcase of the abundant talent around us, and gives many gifted artists the opportunity to have their work hang in the prestigious location that is the National Gallery of Ireland. Zurich is very proud to be associated with this competition.”

The shortlisted artists’ work will be exhibited in Room 23 of the National Gallery of Ireland from Saturday, 6 October 2018 until Sunday, 13 January 2019. Admission is free.  

See the National Gallery of Ireland for details of the shortlisted and their work.


The shortlisted artists for the Zurich Portrait Prize 2018 are:

  • Kyle Barnes (Southampton), Company Sergeant Gary Madden, oil on canvas
  • David Booth (Wexford), Unit, oil, acrylic and spray paint
  • Sarah Bracken Soper (Dublin), Quiet Revolution, embroidery on canvas
  • Peter Bradley (Galway), Sonder, oil on canvas
  • Gillian Cullen (Meath), Healing, pencil on paper (Bristol board)
  • Stephen Doyle (Cork), Dylan is ainm dom…, mixed media (oil and neon glass)
  • Cara Dunne (Dublin), Molly and Ruby, acrylic paint and coloured pencil on canvas
  • Robert Ellis (Clare), Herbert, photograph (archival pigment print)
  • Salvatore Fullam (Dublin), Me and my Dad in McDonalds, oil on cotton canvas
  • Debbie Godsell (Cork), Prism, photo screen print
  • Kim Haughton (Dublin), J.P. Donleavy, photograph
  • Thomas Jenner (Dublin), Henry Peter Jenner with Bow and Arrows, photograph
  • Miseon Lee (Dublin), Me in the Mirror, oil on linen
  • Connor Maguire (Belfast), Portrait of a Modern Family, oil on canvas
  • Jonathan Mayhew (Dublin), Autoportrait, USB flash drive containing MP3, MP4, jpeg and PDF files
  • Fionn McCann (Dublin), Cézanne’s Apple, photograph
  • David Molloy (Kerry), A portrait of the Artist Pieter Koning, photograph
  • Yvette Monahan (Dublin), The thousand-year-old Boy, photograph
  • Gill Morrow (Belfast), YES, porcelain
  • Darragh O’Connell (Wexford), Buddy, oil on canvas
  • Will O’Kane (Clare), A.L. oil on canvas
  • Mandy O’Neill (Dublin), Diane, Larkin Community College, photograph
  • Martin Redmond (Wexford), Karl, oil on linen
  • Nicholas Benedict Robinson (Wicklow), Mary-Kate Lanigan, oil on birchwood
  • Blaise Smith (Kilkenny), My Parents, Allen and Elizabeth Smith, oil on canvas

About: The Zurich Portrait Prize

The Zurich Portrait Prize is open to artists in all disciplines who are either resident in Ireland or Irish citizens living abroad. The aim of the competition is to showcase and encourage interest in contemporary portraiture, and to raise the profile of the long-standing and constantly evolving National Portrait Collection at the National Gallery of Ireland. The competition is in its fifth year.


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