Local teenagers’ striking Pandemic artwork makes national shortlist

Two teenagers from Derry and Donegal have been shortlisted for the Zurich Young Portrait Prize 2020 at the National Gallery of Ireland.

Tuesday, 18th August 2020, 9:23 am
Pandemic by Jodie Lavery (15) from Derry.

Jodie Lavery from Derry has impressed judges with her striking and topical watercolour, ‘Pandemic’.

The 15-year-old artist from Rosemount is one of only 20 young artists to be selected from among thousands who submitted their works to the all-Ireland competition.

A second entry from the North West, another striking art work by Alannah Ferry from Milford in County Donegal, has also made the shortlist.

Alannah Ferry’s Portrait of the Pandemic.

Eighteen-year-old Alannah’s work ‘Portrait of the Pandemic’ uses scrap metal, marbles and newspaper clippings among other materials.

As well as the 20 young artists shortlisted, a further 26 adult artists have made it through to the final stage of the separate Zurich Portrait Prize.

The winner of the latter will receive a prize of €15,000 and a commission worth €5,000 to create a new work for inclusion in the National Portrait Collection at the National Gallery of Ireland. There will also be two awards of €1,500 for highly commended works.

Judges for this year’s Zurich Portrait Prize are Dr Philip Cottrell, lecturer and assistant professor at the School of Art History and Cultural Policy, UCD, artist Rita Duffy, and Aoife Ruane, Director of Highlanes Gallery.

Alannah Ferry's Portrait of the Pandemic.

Meanwhile Jodie, Alannah and the others in the Young Portrait Artists category will now have their artworks displayed in Dublin city centre ahead of five winners (one from each age category, and an overall winner) being chosen. Winners will receive a bespoke art box and a cash prize.

Both young artists’ works will now feature in an exhibition of the works shortlisted when it opens at the National Gallery of Ireland on November 21, 2020.

This year’s Zurich Young Portrait Prize judges are Maria Cagney, Head of Education at The Hunt Museum, artist Colin Davidson and illustrator, author and comedian Aoife Dooley.

The Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize will also travel to the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork once again in April 2021.

Pandemic by Jodie Lavery (15) from Derry.

Sean Rainbird, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, said: “We were thrilled to receive so many entries to both competitions in 2020, as we continue to raise the profile of contemporary portraiture.

“In November, our visitors will be able to see wonderful new works by artists of all ages at the Gallery, and later at Crawford Art Gallery in Cork. It’s terrific to welcome Zurich back to partner with us once again to showcase portraiture in such an exciting way.”

Neil Freshwater, CEO of Zurich, said: ”The quality of works shortlisted for both the Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize is impressive, and we are delighted to see such a diverse selection in this year’s competitions.

“We look forward to seeing these works unveiled in the Gallery in November and enjoying the new perspectives that they bring.

“We are very proud to continue to sponsor these prizes and to foster the creativity of artists of all ages.”

Find out more at www.nationalgallery.ie.