Khushna Sulaman-Butt (St Edmund Hall) has been successfully included in the National Portrait Gallery’s BP Portrait Award 2017. At just 21 years old, Khushna is the youngest exhibitor and was successfully selected from 2,580 entries by artists from around the world.
Completed whilst at the Ruskin, Khushna's portrait, Society, will be on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London until September and will then join the touring exhibition around the UK until June 2018. More information is available online about the exhibition BP Portrait Award 2017 and the dates of the tour are as follows:
National Portrait Gallery, London
22 June - 24 September, 2017
Exeter City Art Gallery, Exeter
4 October - 4 December, 2017
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh
11 December, 2017 - 19 March, 2018
Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, Sunderland
26 March – 11 June, 2018
As Khushna explains her painting “attempted to convey a sense of sinister isolation. The subjects exchange looks in strained silence, highlighting the unspoken discomfort in their differences.”
All of the sitters were students at Oxford University yet they were chosen due to their different relationships, some knew each other, whilst others were strangers. This dynamic enabled Khushna to explore their vulnerability, and as Khushna adds “tension comes from the make-up of society, the categories and expectations it sets”. The exchange of gazes invites the viewer to explore their perspectives and whilst the group appear closely assembled, there was no physical contact between each person, with one empty chair as an open invitation for the viewer to also participate in the work.
The National Portrait Gallery has also created a Visitor's Choice Award where you are invited to select your favourite portrait in this year's exhibition. To vote for Khushna's piece, follow this link