Suffolk artist Ania Hobson shortlisted for prestigious BP portrait prize

Artist Ania Hobson pictured with some of her work. Photo: Ania Hobson

Artist Ania Hobson pictured with some of her work. Photo: Ania Hobson - Credit: Archant

A rising Suffolk artist, 28 year old Ania Hobson, has been shortlisted for the prestigious BP Portrait Awards.

A Portrait of Two Female Painters by Suffolk artist Ania Hobson which has been shortlisted for this

A Portrait of Two Female Painters by Suffolk artist Ania Hobson which has been shortlisted for this year's BP Portrait Awards. Photo: Ania Hobson - Credit: Archant

Last year Ania, who lives just outside Saxmundham, a graduate of the University of Suffolk’s Fine Art degree, was selected to exhibit in the exhibition, but this is the first time her work has been considered for the Awards.

She said that she is thrilled to shortlisted for such a major prize. “I am so excited. You submit work but you can never take things for granted, so it was a genuine surprise to be shortlisted. It’s a real honour.”

Ania Hobson’s A Portrait of Two Female Painters depicts the artist with her sister-in-law Stevie Dix and explores the relationship between the two of them as painters working in the studio together. Commenting on the painting, the judges said that they liked the fact she had used bold angles and an upward perspective, with a boot in the foreground, depicting strength and resolution in the female world.

Ania is one of only four artists to have been shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award 2018 at the National Portrait Gallery in London. It is one of the largest art competitions for portrait painters in the world. The artworks were selected from 2,667 entries from 88 countries, submitted for judging anonymously by a panel which included journalist and broadcaster Rosie Millard and artist Glenn Brown.

Suffolk artist Ania Hobson finds her self portrait on the poster for last year's BP Portrait Awards

Suffolk artist Ania Hobson finds her self portrait on the poster for last year's BP Portrait Awards exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Photo: Ania Hobson - Credit: Archant


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Last year Ania was invited to show a self-portrait in the exhibition which was featured on the publicity material outside the Gallery.

The former pupil of Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham went on to study at Suffolk College before completing a degree in Fine Art at the university. She then studied at the Princes School Of Painting , and also at the Florence Academy Of Painting in Italy.

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She started her career as a wildlife painter, and one of her first successes was being preselected for the Society of Wildlife painters exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. She has also previously been preselected for the Threadneedle prize as well exhibiting with the Society of Women Artists, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and the Royal Society of British Artists.

Ania now works full time, on both personal work and commissioned portraits, and is based in Asylum studios at RAF Bentwaters near Woodbridge. She currently has an exhibition on display at the Snape Maltings arts complex as part of their Easter programme.

Dr Jane Watt, senior lecturer in Fine Art at the University of Suffolk, said, “I am thrilled that Ania has been shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award for the second year in a row. It is fantastic to see how her work has developed since she graduated from our Fine Art course a number of years ago. This year current Fine Art students were able to see her paintings in progress on a visit to her Suffolk studio. It was a great opportunity for them to see her paintings up close and to be inspired by an alumni from their course who has succeeded in establishing herself as a leading British contemporary portrait painter.”

The BP Portrait Awards will be announced on June 11 and the BP Portrait Award 2018 exhibition will run from June 14 to September 23 2018.

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