National Portrait Gallery Unveils New Portrait of Sporting Hero Dame Kelly Holmes
A new portrait of Double Olympic Champion Dame Kelly Holmes has gone on display at the National Portrait Gallery. The portrait is the work of artist Craig Wylie, and was commissioned as part of the First Prize in the BP Portrait Award competition at the Gallery in 2008.
Craig Wylie (1973) was born in Zimbabwe and studied Fine Art at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. He moved to London in 1998 and, after exhibiting at the BP Portrait Award for three successive years he won First Prize for a portrait of his girlfriend, Katherine Raw in 2008. Wylie paints predominantly from photographs to produce large-scale works of great depth and clarity. His work has been exhibited internationally including recent exhibitions at Contemporary by Angela Li, Hong Kong, Galerie Dukan Hourdequin, Paris and Neuer Kunstverein Aschaffenburg, Germany.
Dame Kelly Holmes says: ‘I am honoured to have my portrait featured at the National Portrait Gallery alongside some amazing people. I hope people of all ages will take the opportunity to visit the National Portrait Gallery this summer, and enjoy some of our Great British culture during the unique celebration of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.’
Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, says: ‘This is a compelling portrait of a sitter who has made a very significant contribution to British sporting history and whose achievement is inspiring to so many’.
Des Violaris, Director, UK Arts and Culture, BP, says: ‘We’re delighted that this stunning portrait of Dame Kelly Holmes by BP Portrait Award 2008 winner, Craig Wylie, has gone on public display. The commission illustrates how the BP Portrait Award provides future opportunities for individual artists and promotes contemporary painted portraiture. The new portrait marks Dame Kelly’s significant achievements and we hope it will be enjoyed by many.
This portrait joins other works in the National Portrait Gallery's Collection of commissions of BP Portrait Award winning artists including J.K. Rowling by Stuart Pearson Wright, (BP Portrait Award winner 2001), Sir Peter Mansfield by Stephen Shankland (winner 2004), Dame Cicely Saunders by Catherine Goodman (winner 2002), Fiona Shaw by Victoria Russell (winner 2000), Sir Paul Smith by James Lloyd (winner 1997), Dame Helen Mirren by Ishbel Myerscough (winner 1995) and Camila Batmanghelidjh by Dean Marsh (winner 2005).
Dame Kelly Holmes by Craig Wyle is on display at the National Portrait Gallery’s Contemporary Collections in the Lerner Galleries, Room 36.
Notes for editorsBP Support for Arts and Culture:
BP has supported arts and culture in the UK for over 30 years and currently focuses its support on long-term partnerships with four world class institutions; The British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, The Royal Opera House and Tate Britain. More than 3 million people across the UK engaged with BP supported activity in 2011. A Premier Partner of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival, BP’s support of the London 2012 Open Weekend and other London 2012 Festival projects is helping to showcase the UK’s cultural excellence and diversity to an even wider audience.
Working with LOCOG and its arts partners, BP is helping to deliver several programmes and events that will inspire young people and provide opportunities for everyone across the UK to be part of the London 2012 Festival. These include: the World Shakespeare Festival with the British Museum and Royal Shakespeare Company; BP Portrait Award: Next Generation with the National Portrait Gallery; The Olympic Journey: The Story of the Games with the Royal Opera House and The Olympic Museum; and The Tate Movie Project with Tate, Legacy Trust UK and the BBC.
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