- Film And TV
- 05 Oct 23
Belfast-born Gareth Reid's portrait of actress Judi Dench won him the acclaimed title.
An Irish artist was named Sky Art's Portrait Artist of the Decade as part of a special 90-minute anniversary episode of the popular competition show Portrait Artist of the Year.
49-year-old Gareth Reid from Belfast was the recipient of the honour, emerging as the winner of the competition with his portrait of the acclaimed actress Judi Dench. In an all-star special episode airing Wednesday night, previous winners drew their rendition of the actress in London's Battersea Arts Centre, but Reid emerged on top with his charcoal portrait.
Reid attended the Glasgow School of Art and originally was named Portrait Artist of the Year in 2017, beating out 54 other contestants. As the winner of that title, he was given the opportunity to capture the likeness of TV personality Graham Norton.
Having now won Portrait Artist of the Decade, his latest drawing of Dench will be featured in an upcoming exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery in London. He will also have his work featured in exhibitions in La Roche House, Belfast and in Sotheby's London sale of Irish Art in Dublin this November.
"I was utterly shocked when my name was read out," said Reid of the experience. "I expected nothing so I feel extremely fortunate and honoured to have been chosen. Winning the first time was already extraordinary, but this is way beyond that.
"Having my daughters there with me and working under pressure alongside such a great group of talented artists on the day was an experience that I'll never forget."
Portrait Artist of the Year is a popular competition show in which portrait artists from across the UK compete to be crowned as Portrait Artist of the Year, with an array of celebrity sitters posing for portraits. This year's sitters included Dr Jane Goodall, comedian Rob Delaney, actor Daryl McCormack and many other recognisable faces.
Wheeled out of retirement, back on the telly tonight for this. Portrait Artist of the Decade, 8pm Sky Arts/Freeview/Now TV pic.twitter.com/Yt9x5Do5rs
— Gareth Reid (@TheReidArt) October 4, 2023