Two Solomon Fine Art artists, COMHGHALL CASEY and HELEN O'SULLIVAN-TYRRELL have been shortlisted for the presigious BP Portrait Awards. Selected from a record-breaking 2,748 entries by artists from 92 countries around the world, the BP Portrait Awards 2015 represent the very best in contemporary portrait painting.
From parents to poseurs, figurative nudes to famous faces and expressive sketches to piercing photo-realism, the variety and vitality in the exhibition continues to make it an unmissable highlight of the annual art calendar.
Now in its thirty-sixth year at the National Portrait Gallery, and twenty-sixth year of sponsorship by BP, the first prize of £30,000 makes the Award the most prestigious international portrait painting competition of its kind and has launched the careers of many renowned artists.
The BP Portrait Award 2015 opens at the National Portrait Gallery, London and then tours to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and Ulster Museum, Belfast. Find out more here
by Comhghall Casey, 2014
Oil on aluminium
Comhghall Casey undertook foundation studies followed by a BA (Hons) in Fine Art at the University of Ulster, Belfast. His work has been seen in group and solo exhibitions in Dublin, Belfast and London, including the annual exhibitions of the Royal Ulster Academy and the Royal Academy of Arts, London. His work was previously selected for the BP Portrait Award in 2002 and 2013.
For each of the past twenty years, Casey has made at least one self-portrait. On this occasion the aluminium panel used made a difference to the process, as the surface gave the same effect as looking in a mirror.
by Helen O'Sullivan-Tyrrell, 2014
Oil on canvas
Helen O'Sullivan-Tyrrell studied architecture at Dublin Institute of Technology and gained a Higher Diploma in Painting at the Flemish Art Academy, Belgium. Her work has been seen in group exhibitions in Dublin, Belfast and Brussels including the Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition (2013) and the Hennessy Portrait Prize, National Gallery of Ireland (2014).
The portrait is of the artist's young daughter recovering in hospital after having had emergency surgery. O'Sullivan-Tyrrell says: 'I was deeply affected by this confrontation with her utter vulnerability.'