Cara wins top portrait prize

Cara Pilbeam, from Dundalk, has won the 16-18 category of the inaugural Zurich Young Portrait Prize with Eire: Study of a Young Woman, a self-portrait.
In her artists’ statement, 17-year-old Cara said, “This work is inspired by what it means to be a young woman in Ireland today, on the threshold of her future. I am layered with fabric from different countries that represent our modern day, multi-cultured Ireland. I love traditional aspects of portraiture in works by the artists John Lavery and Johannes Vermeer but I wanted to create a portrait with contemporary elements.”
Judges Hetty Lawlor, Perry Ogden and Brendan Rooney selected a winner from each age category (ages 6 and under, ages 7-11, ages 12-15, ages 16-18), in addition to an overall winner. Each category winner is awarded a personalised box of high quality art materials alongside a cash prize of €250.
Sean Rainbird, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, said, “We are thrilled to have received over 600 entries across our two prizes this year, and would like to thank all of the artists who participated, as well as our terrific judges and sponsor Zurich. We look forward to our visitors exploring new portraiture at the Gallery at these two free exhibitions.”
The Zurich Portrait Prize exhibition, featuring the winning portrait alongside 25 other shortlisted works, is now open at the National Gallery of Ireland. It will run until 12 January 2020, as will the Zurich Young Portrait Prize display of 20 shortlisted portraits. Both exhibitions travel to Crawford Art Gallery in Cork in January 2020. For further details, see

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