Saturday, 24 September 2016

BP Portrait exhibition 2016

We were lucky to be able to see the BP portrait exhibition at The Usher Gallery in Lincoln last Sunday - it is on until November and the ticket enables you to visit as often as you like, so we hope to go back.  I took lots of photos (without a flash) of the portraits which I particularly liked.  Neither of us were that impressed with the winning portrait and I didn't take a photo of that.  The portrait above is by Jean-Paul Tibbles, of his son Jean.  He is one of the 'poster boys' for the exhibition. 
 This portrait had us discussing what material the artist's daughter had swathed around herself - I felt it was a silk with the blue/green sheen in certain light whereas Chris though it was more like a black plastic.  Whatever it was, it was beautifully painted and reminded me of a Velazquez painting, with the rich colours and dark background.
This is a close up of the sequins on the little girl's bodice.  This is one reason to revisit the exhibition as I neglected to note this artist's name.
This portrait is by the same artist as the one above, of the artist's son who put a bag on his head. 
Chris really liked this portrait.
 This is called 'Portrait in the mirror: the veil' by Antonio Lagua.
 The artist explained that 'the model's reflection became the starting point for work to begin'.  He has captured a really intriguing expression here.
This portrait is called Vacuum 2 by Thomas Ehretsmann as is of his friend Simon.  It is acrylic on wood panel and is incredible - it is hard to believe it is a painted image. 
This is the winner of the BP Travel award, of Petras, by Laura Guoke.  It is a huge painting, which I found quite moving.
The hands were fascinating. 
This was one of my favourite paintings called Alessandra by Daisy Sims-Hilditch and was inspired by the work of John Singer Sargent.  We both thought it would look perfectly at home in a country house - The Honorable somebody or other, daughter of Lord/Earl/Duke whoever! 
 This painting is the 'poster girl' for the exhibition and reminded me of a Waterhouse painting.  It is my absolute favourite as I love the expression and the way it is left sketchy in the background, really focusing on that beautiful face, neck and hand. 
She is the wife of the artist, 'Laura in black' by Joshua Larock. 
I was immediately transported to Wuthering Heights when I looked at this portrait (Mila by Simon Richardson), as she looks to me as Cathy might have looked when she was a girl. 
The portrait of The Rt Reverend & Rt Hon Richard Chartres KCVO Lord Bishop Of London by Elena Vladimir Baranoff was a blaze of colour with the red and gold robes.
It was painted using egg tempera on gesso board and does share the quality of a medieval painting, with its small size and jewel-like colour.  The detail was beautiful.
The portrait of 'Dad Sculpting me' won the BP young artist award.
The portrait of Sir Andrew Motion also stopped me in my tracks.  Looking at the books behind the sitter was interesting, but it was the intense gaze which was so arresting and his eyes definitely followed me.
It seemed as though he might speak at any moment. 
The exhibition showed a huge range of styles of portraiture and shows that there are many extremely talented artists around the world.  It is well worth a visit, or two, or three...  


  1. What an amazing exhibition. I too would have to go back. Several times.
    I am with Chris on the material in the second. The colours are silk like - but the shine gives an 'articial' texture to it.
    Hands and eyes draw me in with portraits.
    Thank you so much for sharing some of the incredible work.

    1. Thanks, EC. There were so many beautiful portraits to look at that they do deserve a second or third viewing. I was amazed at what could be achieved using relatively simple materials (and having lots of talent).
      Best wishes

  2. Some really fascinating pieces. I hope that you enjoy your return visit just as much! xx

    1. Thanks, Amy. I am sure I will enjoy re-visiting the exhibition and it will be interesting to see whether other portraits make more impact on a second view.
      Best wishes

  3. Ellie - so fascinating!! Thank you for sharing. I feel almost as if I have been there myself with the best curator showing the art. You have a knack to point out beauty as well as interesting points in art as well as antiques and I must not forget gardens too!

    1. Thanks, Maria. Lovely to hear from you. You're welcome - it is a lovely exhibition and I really enjoyed looking round and sharing my thoughts.
      Best wishes
      Ellie x