This year, 2667 entries were received from artists in 88 countries. Each was judged anonymously by a panel of judges (the artists’ name, nationality, gender and age were withheld) and the list was gradually reduced to just 48 exceptional portraits for the exhibition.
Each member of the judging panel addressed what makes an outstanding portrait, weighing up the likeness, narrative, structure and overall impact of the work.
Highlights include portraits by the shortlisted artists, Felicia Forte and Zhu Tongyao, as well as the First Prize winner, Miriam Escofet, whose enigmatic work An Angel At My Table shows the artist’s elderly mother sitting at her kitchen table surrounded by tea crockery. Escofet says she was conscious of wanting to ‘transmit an idea of the Universal Mother, who is at the centre of our psyche and emotional world.’