Tipperary artist Julia Mitchell shortlisted for competition at National Gallery of Ireland

A Tipperary artist has been shortlisted for this year’s Zurich Portrait Prize at the National Gallery of Ireland. Julia Mitchell’s work Knight of Kilcooley Abbey will be on display at the Gallery later this year.


From hundreds of entries, 24 artists made it through to the final stage of the Zurich Portrait Prize, while 20 young artists aged between five and eighteen years old have been shortlisted for the Zurich Young Portrait Prize.


The winner of the Zurich Portrait Prize will receive a cash prize of €15,000 and will be commissioned to create a work for the national portrait collection, for which they will be awarded a further €5,000. Two additional awards of €1,500 will be given to highly commended works. Judges for the Zurich Portrait Prize are: artist Eamonn Doyle; Róisín Kennedy, art critic and Lecturer/Assistant Professor in the School of Art History & Cultural Policy, UCD; and Seán Kissane, Curator at IMMA.


The Zurich Young Portrait Prize returns for its third year in 2021. Five winners (one from each age category and an overall winner) will be selected from a shortlist of hundreds of entries by children and young people aged up to 18 from across the island of Ireland. Winners will receive a bespoke art box and a cash prize. This year’s Zurich Young Portrait Prize judges are: visual artist Aideen Barry; artist, art teacher and activist Joe Caslin; and Tadhg Crowley, Senior Curator: Education + Community at the Glucksman.


Exhibitions of shortlisted works in both competitions run at the National Gallery of Ireland between 13 November 2021 and 3 April 2022. The exhibition will travel to Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, where it will be displayed between 23 April and 17 July 2022.


Shortlisted artists for the Zurich Portrait Prize 2021 at the National Gallery of Ireland:

Carey Clarke (Dublin), Portrait of David Somerville, Oil on canvas

Serena Caulfield (Wexford), Dad, 5/10/2020, Oil on wood panel

Lizzie Downes (Dublin), Inside, Archival photographic print

Sarah Doyle (Dublin), Portrait of Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D. Higgins, Photograph

Gabhann Dunne (Dublin), I love ya boy, Oil on board

Beverley Healy (Belfast), Looking for Gold, Egg tempera on true gesso board

Vanessa Jones (Dublin), Cabbage Baby (self-portrait), Oil on linen

Dragana Jurišić (Wicklow), Daithi sleeps, Archival pigment print

Paul MacCormaic (Dublin), Portrait of Catherine Corless, Historian and Human Rights Activist, Oil and acrylic on canvas

Tom McLean (Galway), Note to Self, Oil on aluminium

Cian McLoughlin (Dublin), Lockdown Three, Oil on canvas

Jonathan Mayhew (Dublin), All I could do was sit and collect dust, Sculpture made from the artist’s hair, dust & detritus.

Poot Mendes (Dublin), Bobby + Isaac, Photograph

Nick Miller (Sligo), Portrait of Patrick Hall, Oil pastel and paint on linen

Julia Mitchell (Tipperary), Knight of Kilcooley Abbey, Oil on canvas

Gráinne Moloney (Clare), Girl with Hen, Oil on canvas

Emily O’Flynn (Cork), Portrait of a Girl Through a Pandemic, Video on plasma screen

Conor O’Leary (Surbiton, England), Fiona and Woody, Evening Light., Photograph

Paul O’Neill (Cork), Life in lockdown part IV: Laying on my kitchen floor with lavender eye mask to stave off a migraine, Oil on linen panel

Liz Purtill (Kerry), Paulus, Egg tempera, heavy paper mounted on wood

Emma Roche (Wexford), Shower Painting (Self-portrait), Knitted acrylic paint on wood panel

Salvatore of Lucan (Dublin), Me Ma is Healing Me, Oil on canvas

Brian Teeling (Dublin), Declan Flynn in Dublin, Photograph

Riley Waite (Oregan, USA), Ian Was Here, Oil on canvas


Shortlisted artists for the Zurich Young Portrait Prize 2021 at the National Gallery of Ireland:

Adam Wiercioch Chinatamunnee (Cavan, aged 5), My Father, Watercolour and ink on paper

Emilie Cowley Lane (Meath, aged 5), My Gaga, I miss you so much, Poster paint on cork board

Liam Kehily (Dublin, aged 5), Mammy, Coloured pencils and graphite pencil

Marianna Krolik (Dublin, aged 6), Mia, Watercolour and pencil on paper

Rebecca Sheahan (Dublin, aged 5), E E … Evie, Acrylic on canvas

Aliana Aherne (Dublin, aged 9), Mixed Up Me, Oil paint on paper

Rita Ruitong Chen (Wicklow, aged 8), My Mum, Watercolour and pencil on paper

Ellie Giblin (Dublin, aged 10), My Glamorous Grand-Aunt, Chalk pastels and charcoal on sugar paper

Úna and Braden McDonnell (Louth, aged 6 & 8), Úna with the dancing curls, Polystyrene base, papier mache, acrylic paint, papers, markers and plasticine

Eleanor Margey (Donegal, aged 11), Magnifying Glasses, Drawing pencils and white pen on paper

Della Cowper-Gray (Kildare, aged 14), Painting in a different world now (My Father The Artist), Pencil and pastel on paper

Cora Lee (Dublin, aged 13), Working from Home, Pencil, marker and pen on paper

Joanna Lipska (Kildare, aged 14), Chip-Chop, Colouring pencil on paper

Lijun Ma (Dublin, aged 15), Self Portrait, Paint on canvas

Ayesha Siddique (Laois, aged 14), Ayesha’s portrait, Acrylic and pencil on canvas

Niamh Brady (Cork, aged 18), Unmasked, Pencil and paint marker on paper

Mia Buckley (Cork, aged 17), Tudor, Acrylic paint on canvas

Ross McHale (Kildare, aged 16), Life’s Loop, Relentless Rebirth, Acrylic on cardboard animation

Loren McKenna (Tyrone, aged 17), Deliberation, Oil on cardboard

James Moonan (Louth, aged 16), Grandad, Pencil, acrylic, corrugated card on paper


Sean Rainbird, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, said, “The Zurich Portrait Prizes at the National Gallery of Ireland continue to go from strength to strength. Our aim is to encourage interest in and excitement about contemporary portraiture, and we’re thrilled to have Zurich partnering with us once again as we do so. A terrific selection of works has been shortlisted this year for both competitions, and we look forward to the exhibitions later this year at the Gallery and next year in Crawford Art Gallery in Cork.”


Neil Freshwater, CEO of Zurich, said, “After such extraordinary competitions and exhibitions in 2020, Zurich are delighted to see another impressive selection of works in this year’s shortlist. The Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize exhibitions are a highlight of the cultural calendar and we are very proud to continue to sponsor these competitions and to support Irish talent of all ages, now more than ever.”

Find out more at www.nationalgallery.ie.

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