Comhghall Casey shortlisted

2017 Hennessy Portrait Prize, National Gallery of Ireland

National Gallery of Ireland and Hennessy announce shortlist for Hennessy Portrait Prize 2017

The National Gallery of Ireland and Hennessy have announced the shortlist for the Hennessy Portrait Prize 2017. A total of 24 artists have been shortlisted from a selection of over 270 entries encompassing a wide range of media and materials, by artists living in Ireland and Irish artists abroad. This year’s panel of judges are James Hanley, Niamh MacNally, Patrick T. Murphy and Dr Yvonne Scott.

The shortlisted artists’ works will be exhibited in the National Gallery of Ireland from 25 November 2017 until 25 February 2018. Admission is free.

On Tuesday, 28 November 2017, one artist will be announced as the winner of the Hennessy Portrait Prize 2017 and will receive a prize of €15,000. The winning artist will also be awarded a commission worth €5,000 to produce a portrait for inclusion in the National Portrait Collection. There will also be two additional awards of €1,500 for highly commended works.

Open to artists in all disciplines, the aim of the Hennessy Portrait Prize 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. See


The shortlisted artists for the Hennessy Portrait Prize 2017 are:

KYLE BARNES (b.1986)
Listening, 2017
Oil on canvas, 91 x 91 cm

Kyle Barnes graduated with a BA (Hons) Fine and Applied Art from the University of Ulster, Belfast in 2010. He currently works in Southampton.

Lady and the Cherry Blossoms, 2017
Oil on canvas, 135 x 102 cm

Shane Berkery is a Dublin-based painter represented by the Chimera Gallery, Mullingar. He graduated from NCAD in 2015.

Cosmic Kitchen, 2017
Wax, acrylic and plaster, 21 x 13 x 12.5 cm and 17.5 x 12 x 12

Bob Campbell graduated from Waterford Institute of Technology, with a degree in Fine Art, in 2004. He is based in Dublin.

Self Portrait, 2017
Oil on canvas, 31 x 25 cm

From Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Comhghall Casey graduated from the Belfast School of Art in 1998. He currently lives and works in Dublin.

Aileen Johanna. Self Portrait (mirror reflection), 2017
Oil on canvas, 50 x 40 cm

From Durrow, Co. Laois, Aileen Conroy graduated from the Centre for Creative Arts and Media, GMIT, with an honours degree in Fine Art in 2012.

Billy Ramsell with Parnell’s Walking Stick, 2017
Photograph, 76 x 76 cm

David Creedon is a Cork-based photographic artist whose work of editorial portraits and storytelling is told against a background of historical narrative.

Little Dreamer, 2017
Watercolour pencils and pyrography pen on birch plywood, 59 x 42 cm

Originally from Meath, Bernice Guckian lives and works in Strandhill, Co. Sligo. She has attended workshops at The Model, Sligo; the Royal Drawing School, London; and Royal Hibernian Academy School, Dublin.

Natalia, 2017
Acrylic and oil on canvas, 67 x 53 cm

Jacinta Guinan was born in Athlone. She attended Crawford College of Art and Design in Cork but is largely self-taught. Jacinta currently lives and works in Co. Mayo.

Cormac, 2017
Acrylic on canvas, 43 x 32 cm

David Hamilton lives in Co. Down. He is a graduate and post-graduate artist from the University of Ulster, Belfast.

Kids’ Canvas, 2017
Oil on panel, 150 x 120 cm

Gordon Harris is an Irish artist living and working in Connemara. He is widely known for the high-realism of his figurative work.

JACK HICKEY (b.1988)
My Time, 2017
Oil on canvas, 57 x 72 cm

Jack Hickey was born in Cobh, Co. Cork. He graduated from Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork in 2011.

MYRA JAGO (b.1956)
Reflection, 2017
Oil on gesso panel, 40 x 30 cm

Myra Jago, from Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, attended NCAD, Dublin, achieving a BA (Hons) in 2009, and a MFA in painting in 2011.

Bortu Kavalor (20), Stirling, United Kingdom, March, 2017, 2017
Photograph, 84.1 x 59.4 cm

Born in Ennis, Co. Clare, Gerard Jefferson-Lewis graduated from Birkbeck College, London in 1994. In 1999 he trained as a photojournalist. In 2005 he completed a Master of Arts degree with Merit at the University of West London, and from 2008 to 2015 he undertook a practice-led research degree in portraiture at Edinburgh College of Art.

VERA KLUTE (b.1981)
Self-portrait, 2016
Video animation, 49 x 27 cm

Vera Klute is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Dublin. In 2015 she won the Hennessy Portrait Prize at the National Gallery of Ireland.

Natasa, 2017
Oil on canvas, 90 x 120 cm

Ivan Matancevic is a Dublin-based artist. He attended the Academy of Arts in Osijek, Croatia where he received a Master of Fine Arts.

My son, feeding on my breast, 2017
Monoprint on paper, 30 x 30 cm

Eilish McCann is from Co. Cavan and lives in Co. Wexford. She graduated with a diploma in Art and Design from GMIT in 2001, and a BA degree from Trinity College Dublin in 1995.

After Adriaen Thomasz Key, 2017
Oil on board, 60 x 45 cm

Eoghan McGrath is a Kilkenny-based, self-taught artist with a background in medicine and teaching.

Self Portrait, 2017
Graphite on paper, 21 x 15 cm

Sean McGuill was born in Dundalk, Co. Louth. He is currently undertaking a degree in Printmaking and Contemporary Practice at Limerick School of Art and Design.

Tronie (Woman Leaning Forward), 2017
Oil on board, 50 x 70 cm

Cian McLoughlin is a Dublin-based artist. A graduate of architecture, he went on to complete a Masters in Film Studies in UCD before dedicating himself full time to painting.

TOM O’DEA (b.1985)
Self Portrait, 2017
Decoded genetic information comprised of complete Single Nucleotide Pair differences from the reference human genome on thermal printer paper, approx. 80 x 80 x 100 cm

Tom O’Dea is an artist and art practice researcher in the Orthogonal Methods Group at CONNECT in Trinity College Dublin. He has a degree in Engineering from UCD, a masters in Digital Media from the Huston Film School and is currently undertaking a visual art practice-based PhD in CONNECT, TCD.

Winnie Lawrence, 2017
Photograph, 80 x 60 cm
Kenneth O’Halloran is a photographer based in Dublin. He was born in the west of Ireland and is a graduate of the Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. He holds a Masters in Fine Art Photography from the University of Ulster, Belfast.

Drishcoora - Maeve and Keith Robinson, 2017
Oil on birchwood, 120 x 90 cm

Nicholas Benedict Robinson is a graduate of the Crawford College of Art and Design, and completed post-graduate studies in NCAD in 2009. He works from his studio in Wicklow.

Tommy, 2016
Egg tempera on gesso panel, 30 x 24 cm

Benita Stoney graduated with a degree in Fine Art from Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology in 2006. She lives in Co. Mayo.

ZANE SUTRA (b.1964)
Dun Laoghaire Fox, 2017
Oil on canvas, 100 x 80 cm

Originally from Riga, Latvia, Zane Sutra has been living in Wexford for eighteen years. She studied art in Riga before earning her BA (Hons) in Arts from IT Carlow Wexford Campus School of Art and Design.


Media Contacts:

Valerie Keogh or Emma Pearson Nigel Goggin

National Gallery of Ireland   

Conway Communications
01 663 3519 / 661 5133 01 661 9728


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About the National Gallery of Ireland
Established in 1854 by an Act of Parliament, the National Gallery of Ireland houses the nation’s collection of European and Irish fine art spanning the early Renaissance to the present day. The collection comprises over 16,300 works of art. The Gallery is also home to the National Portrait Collection (established 1874).
Over the years the collection has developed through the addition of paintings, drawings, watercolours and sculpture depicting eminent Irish individuals who have contributed to the civic, social, and cultural life of the nation. Since 1998 the National Portrait Collection has been enhanced by works which reflect both a more contemporary engagement with the affairs of the nation and a broader range of subjects. These include portraits of Mary and Nicholas Robinson by Mark Shields; Ronnie Delany by James Hanley; Bono by Louis le Brocquy; Maeve Binchy by Maeve McCarthy; Brian Friel by Mick O’Dea; Michael Longley by Colin Davidson; and Gay Byrne by John Kindness. More recently the Gallery acquired photographic portraits of Olwen Fouéré, Bob Geldof and Brian O’Driscoll by Kevin Abosch, and a photographic portrait of Seamus Heaney by Jackie Nickerson. Portraits commissioned to date (2014-2016) as part of the Hennessy Portrait Prize include Nick Miller’s, Dónal Lunny Playing; Vera Klute’s, Garry Hynes, and Gerry Davis’, Henry Shefflin, Hurler.

October 12, 2017