Home Wolverhampton BP Portrait Award opens in Wolverhampton this week

BP Portrait Award opens in Wolverhampton this week

The prestigious BP Portrait Award will open at Wolverhampton Art Gallery on Saturday (October 13).


It is free to attend the exhibition during the Lichfield Street’s normal gallery opening hours of Monday to Saturday (10.30am – 4.30pm) and Sunday (11am – 4pm).

Now in its 39th year, the BP Portrait Award showcases the most outstanding and innovative new portraits from around the world. From informal and personal studies of friends and family to revealing paintings of famous faces, the exhibition features a variety of styles and approaches to the contemporary painted portrait.

This year, 2,667 entries were received from artists in 88 countries. Each was judged anonymously by a panel of judges (the artists’ name, nationality, gender and age were withheld) and the list was gradually reduced to just 48 exceptional portraits for the exhibition.

Each member of the judging panel addressed what makes an outstanding portrait, weighing up the likeness, narrative, structure and overall impact of the work.

Highlights of the exhibition include portraits by the shortlisted artists, Felicia Forte and Zhu Tongyao, as well as the First Prize winner, Miriam Escofet, whose enigmatic work An Angel At My Table shows the artist’s elderly mother sitting at her kitchen table surrounded by tea crockery. Escofet says she was conscious of wanting to ‘transmit an idea of the Universal Mother, who is at the centre of our psyche and emotional world.’

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy said: “It is great to see BP Portrait Award back in the City of Wolverhampton and I am very happy that we have the opportunity to exhibit it again.

“The works on display are exquisite and the skills of these artists are extraordinary. I urge everyone to take the time to come and see the exhibition before it moves to Scotland in December.”

Ms Des Violaris, Director UK Arts and Culture BP, says: “The BP Portrait Award has established itself as one of the most important platforms for portraiture in the world. BP is a major supporter of UK arts and culture, and we are extremely proud of the continued success of this award programme and its touring exhibition which will bring the 2018 Award to Wolverhampton, Edinburgh and Winchester.”

The BP Portrait Award 2018 exhibition was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in June. It launches at Wolverhampton Art Gallery with a special evening viewing on Friday 12 October and opens fully to the public on Saturday 13, running until 30 November.

To accompany the exhibition there will be an Artists’ Talk and Tour by Alistair Adams and Andrew Tift for an insight into their personal approaches to portrait painting and a special tour of this year’s prestigious BP Portrait Award. Tickets are £5 per adult, £2.50 per child (suitable for 7+); £4 concessions and can be purchased via TicketMaster http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/1F005542C7B15BA8 or by calling 01902 552055.

The following weekend there is a unique opportunity to be involved in a Weekend Portrait Workshop with BP Portrait Award 2018 Winner Miriam Escofet. Working from a life model over two days, this workshop will focus on drawing and compositional awareness, and developing a successful colour palette for skin. Each day will be treated as a separate project but places are for the full two-day workshop. Tickets are £125 and £100 for concessions. Tickets can be purchased via TicketMaster http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/1F005542DC156C6F or calling 01902 552055.

For more information on BP Portrait Award 2018 and the events taking place visit www.wolverhamptonart.org.uk.