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Welsh artist wins top portrait award
THE Wales Portrait Award has been awarded in Birkenhead to painter Alan Salisbury.
For a competition to find the face of Wales, Birkenhead might seem a strange place for the prize-giving.

But the Williamson Art Gallery has had strong ties with the Welsh community over the years.

Gallery director Colin Simpson was on the judging panel, as was Julian Treuherz, former director of the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

In fact, artists entering the contest came not only from Wales but across Britain and overseas.

Treuherz, who led the four- strong judging panel, said they were looking for paintings that “expressed a sense of the sitter’s individuality and presence and paintings that made a memorable visual impression.”

They were also looking for paintings that had something “fresh and unusual to say”.

The winner was from Wales, Alan Salisbury from Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan. And his self-portrait was certainly unusual.

Titled Triumphant Artist, it pictures himself with a cockerel standing on his head.

It was inspired by a Durer painting, The Coat of Arms and Cock.

This was only the second Wales portrait contest, which is held every other year. It is unusual in that all sitters have to be living and the paintings not merely copies from photographs.

The exhibition is now at the Williamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead, before going on tour around Wales and the UK.

Text by Liverpool Daily Post, UK

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