Myth vies with gritty social realism on portrait shortlist

Rob Sharp,Arts Correspondent
Thursday 14 April 2011 00:00

The depiction of an anonymous Belfast drug addict has made the shortlist of this year's BP Portrait Award, to go on display at London's National Portrait Gallery.

Ian Cumberland's Just to Feel Normal, depicting a friend of the painter, shows "what can happen if your situation in life deteriorates", according to the artist, who is based in Co Down.

"He doesn't do a lot, he is lost," said Cumberland, who preferred not to name his subject.

Also on the shortlist is Manchester artist Louis Smith's portrait of a naked model, Holly, handcuffed to a rock, which the artist describes as a "re-imagining of the Prometheus [myth] in female form". Prometheus was chained to a rock by Zeus as punishment for stealing fire from the gods.

Completing the shortlist is Sertan Sultan's Mrs Cerna, of a girl brandishing a knife, and Wim Heldens' Distracted, showing a 25-year-old philosophy student leaning against a wall.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in