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Painter’s portrait of a Norfolk MP wins a place in prestigious exhibition

PUBLISHED: 17:14 28 April 2017 | UPDATED: 18:19 28 April 2017

Paul P Smith�s portrait of north Norfolk MP Norman Lamb is among the works that have been chosen for the  BP Portrait Award 2017 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
Image: Paul P Smith.

Paul P Smith�s portrait of north Norfolk MP Norman Lamb is among the works that have been chosen for the BP Portrait Award 2017 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Image: Paul P Smith.

Paul P Smith

A Norwich painter’s portrait of a Norfolk MP has led to him being selected for a prestigious national exhibition for a second time.

Paul P Smith�s portrait of north Norfolk MP Norman Lamb is among the works that have been chosen for the  BP Portrait Award 2017 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
Image: Paul P Smith. Paul P Smith�s portrait of north Norfolk MP Norman Lamb is among the works that have been chosen for the BP Portrait Award 2017 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Image: Paul P Smith.

Paul P Smith’s portrait of north Norfolk MP Norman Lamb is one of 53 that have been chosen for the BP Portrait Award 2017 exhibition, out of 2,580 entries from 87 countries.

It means his oil on canvas painting, entitled Norman Lamb MP, will feature in the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from June 22 to September 24, before also going on show in Exeter, Edinburgh and Sunderland.

Previously the 51-year-old artist was selected for the 2015 version of the exhibition for his painting of a friend’s daughter called Portrait of Esta Sexton, aged 12.

Mr Smith, a father of three, said he felt “really honoured” to have twice had a painting selected.

He said: “I was a finalist in 2015 and that changed my career. I was a part-time painter before that but now I am a full-time professional painter. It is lovely to have another painting in the show because it’s such a prestigious show.”

He said he had asked Mr Lamb if he would be a subject for one of his paintings after he visited his studio at his home in Helena Road, off Dereham Road, last summer and bought another one of his works.

“He has a real interest in portraiture. He sat for me at my studio about four times from August through to January this year.”

Mr Lamb, who first saw Mr Smith’s work in the BP Portrait Award 2015 exhibition in Edinburgh, was full of praise for the artist.

About his portrait, he said: “I think it’s fantastic, given the subject matter he had to work with!

“I think he’s a brilliant artist and to be a finalist two years out of three is a very, very unusual achievement, so he has marked himself out as one of the best artists in the country. It was a real privilege to sit for him.

He added: “I think it’s an incredible painting and it’s very exciting it’s going into the National Portrait Gallery.”

For more information about the BP Portrait Award 2017 exhibition, visit www.npg.org.uk/whatson/bp-portrait-award-2017/exhibition/
Do you have a Norwich arts story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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