Mother wins BP Portrait Award 2013 for portrait of her 35-year-old son

Berkshire based South African artist Susanne du Toit wins £30,000 prize

Pieter by Susanne du Toit (c) Susanne du Toit

Pieter by Susanne du Toit, 2013
© Susanne du Toit

On Tuesday June 18th, the winner of the BP Portrait Award 2013 was announced at the National Portrait Gallery. The prestigious first prize was won by 57-year-old artist Susanne du Toit, for Pieter, a powerful painting of her eldest son.

Susanne du Toit wins £30,000 and a commission, at the National Portrait Gallery Trustees’ discretion, worth £5,000. Educated at the University of Pretoria and the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, Susanne is an artist now based in Crowthorne, Berkshire. She has won for her portrait of her eldest son Pieter, aged 35. The sitting took place in the artist’s studio, as part of a series of portraits of her family.

The portrait can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery from Thursday 20 June when the BP Portrait Award 2013 exhibition opens to the public.

The second prize of £10,000 went to Coventry-based artist and teacher John Devane, 58, for The Uncertain Time, a striking group portrait depicting his children Lucy, Laura and Louis. A painter who also teaches at Coventry University, John, has an MA from the Royal College of Art. He has been shortlisted for his large group portrait of his three children: Lucy, 25, Laura, 20, and Louis, 15. Painted over three years, the picture sets out to show how children emerge from childhood and begin to assert their independence revealing something of their adult selves.

The BP Young Artist Award of £7,000 for the work of a selected entrant aged between 18 and 30 has been won by Owen Normand for Das Berliner Zimmer (The Berlin Room). Owen is a Scottish painter and illustrator who studied at Edinburgh College of Art and who now lives in Berlin. Das Berliner Zimmer (The Berlin Room) is a portrait of his girlfriend Hannah painted in her bedroom in the German capital, where they both relocated nearly three years ago.

Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery, says:
"The standard of the BP Portrait Award 2013 is as high as ever, and congratulations go to all the artists, but especially to Susanne du Toit for her simple but outstanding portrait of her son."

Des Violaris, Director, UK Arts and Culture, BP, says:
"Once again I am amazed by the quality and variety of the work submitted. Every year we have treasures popping up in the entries and this year was no exception. I am are pleased BP continues to support this prestigious initiative and hope that the public enjoy viewing the paintings as much as the judges did in the selection process."

BP travel award 2013 and 2012

The BP Travel Award 2013 winner was also announced last night. The BP Travel Award is an annual award to allow artists to experience working in a different environment on a project related to portraiture. It is open to applications from any of the BP Portrait Award-exhibited artists, and this year the prize has increased to £6,000. This year the BP Travel Award has been awarded to Bristol-based Dutch Artist Sophie Ploeg. 


Become an Arts & Business Principal Member


BP are Arts & Business Principal Members.

Principal Members are our key clients.  We work alongside these leading businesses on a daily basis, driving England's business and artistic agendas to create the most profitable cultural collaborations.

We work closely with a growing number of these dynamic brands, promoting them as true supporters of the arts – strengthening their businesses and, in turn, the cultural landscape across England. If you would like to know how we do it, please contact:

Jennifer Daly, Business Manager