AGE 16-18 CATEGORY: Hannah Hurley (17) – “The Warrior”
Hannah is from Cobh, Co. Cork.
“This portrait depicts my granda, Denis, on St. Patrick’s Day. Besides everything else that was against the older generation in 2020, his wife, my grandmother passed away this year and I believe that struggle is clear in this painting, however silent he can be sometimes. I used acrylic paints to express this piece, I enjoyed the contrast of the bright colours of the festive hat and his dower expression, I think it reflected my ‘now’ very well.”
What the judges had to say (Sarah McAuliffe, National Gallery of Ireland):
“Hannah’s artwork ‘The Warrior’ is so touching and it brought out lots of emotions in me (and the whole judging panel!). I feel like many people can relate to the sense of sadness and loneliness in her grandfather’s face during such a difficult time and we have seen similar expressions in our own loved one’s faces. I like how this is contrasted with some bright colours to underline the potential for hope in the future. From a technical point of view, her composition and brushwork is outstanding.”
What the judges had to say (Fatti Burke):
“What drew me into Hannah’s painting so much is the depth of emotion in her grandfather’s portrait. The novelty hat he wears for Patrick’s Day instantly made me smile, but it sits above a muted image of a man suffering his own battle. Hannah’s piece is poignant, gentle and beautifully executed, successfully capturing a nation’s pain in a single expression. Stunning work.”