Introduction

Colin Davidson is a contemporary artist, living and working near Belfast, Northern Ireland. Since graduating in 1991 from the University of Ulster with a first-class honours degree, he has structured his practice in themes, and since 2010 his focus has been on painting grand scale portraits, which have won widespread recognition and many international awards. As well as numerous commissions, Davidson's portrait sitters have included Brad Pitt, Ed Sheeran, Liam Neeson, Brian Friel, Sir Kenneth Branagh, Dame Mary Peters, Gary Lightbody, Marketa Irglova, Glen Hansard, Mark Knopfler and Seamus Heaney. Colin Davidson's work is held in many public and corporate collections worldwide, including Queen's University Belfast, the Ulster Museum (Belfast), Standard Life (London), the National Gallery of Ireland (Dublin), the Standard Chartered Bank of Asia and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery (Washington DC). Davidson's most recent exhibition of portrait paintings, entitled 'Silent Testimony', reveals the stories of eighteen people who are connected by their individual experiences of loss through the Troubles - a turbulent 30-year period in Northern Ireland from the late 1960s onwards. This critically acclaimed body of work was on show at the Ulster Museum Belfast during 2015, before embarking on a tour which includes the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris. In December 2015 he was commissioned by TIME Magazine to paint the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, for the cover for its 'Person of the Year’ issue. Most recently Colin Davidson was invited to paint an official portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II, which was unveiled in November 2016.

Colin Davidson RUA

  • 1968 Born Belfast
  • 1980-87 Methodist College Belfast
  • 1987-91 Art & Design Faculty, University of Ulster, Belfast. First Class Honours Degree
  • 2003 Elected Associate Royal Ulster Academy
  • 2006 Elected Academician Royal Ulster Academy
  • 2012 Elected President Royal Ulster Academy
  • 2016 Honorary Degree (DSSc for distinction in art), Queen’s University Belfast

Awards

  • 2015US/Ireland Alliance Honor, Los Angeles
  • 2012University of Ulster Distinguished Graduate of the Year Award, Belfast
  • BP Portrait Visitors’ Choice Award, National Portrait Gallery, London
  • 2011Royal Ulster Academy, Gold Medal, Belfast
  • 2010Royal Hibernian Academy, The Ireland - US Council and Irish Arts
  • Review Portraiture Award, Dublin
  • Royal Ulster Academy, Gold Medal, Belfast
  • 2009Royal Hibernian Academy, Keating/McLoughlin Medal (ESB), Dublin
  • 2007Royal Ulster Academy, Caldwell Prize for Drawing, Belfast
  • 2004Royal Ulster Academy, Gold Medal, Belfast
  • 2002Royal Ulster Academy, Silver Medal, Belfast
  • 2001Royal Ulster Academy, Conor Prize, Belfast
  • 1997Royal Ulster Academy, Silver Medal, Belfast
  • 1994Communication Arts Award, California
  • ICAD Craft Award, Dublin Association of Illustrators, London
  • Winsor & Newton Gold Award, London
  • Creative Review Award, London

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2016'Silent Testimony', Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris
  • 2016'Ten Night Paintings', Oliver Sears Gallery, Dublin
  • 2015'Silent Testimony', Ulster Museum, Belfast
  • 2014'Jerusalem', Oliver Sears Gallery, Dublin
  • 2013'Between The Words', Naughton Gallery, Queen's University, Belfast
  • 2012'Transmission', Oliver Sears Gallery, Dublin
  • 2011Lyric Theatre Belfast (ongoing)
  • 2009Tom Caldwell Gallery, Belfast
  • 2007'Window Shopping', Solomon Gallery, Dublin
  • 2006'Inside/Out', Tom Caldwell Gallery, Belfast
  • 2005Solomon Gallery, Dublin
  • 2004Gallery Revel, New York
  • 'No Continuing City', Tom Caldwell Gallery, Belfast
  • 2003Solomon Gallery, Dublin
  • 2002Tom Caldwell Gallery, Belfast
  • 2001Gallery Revel, New York
  • Solomon Gallery, Dublin
  • 2000Tom Caldwell Gallery, Belfast
  • 1999Solomon Gallery, Dublin
  • 1998Straid Gallery, Co Antrim
  • 1997Tom Caldwell Gallery, Belfast
  • 1993BBC Belfast

Selected Group Exhibitions
(since 2005)

  • 2016 'In Residence II', London
  • 2015 'Eye Pop', Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC
  • Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition, Belfast
  • 2014Royal Academy Summer Exhibition,London
  • 2013Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition, Dublin
  • Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition, Belfast
  • BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London
  • 2012Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition, Dublin
  • Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition, Belfast
  • BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London
  • Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (invited), London
  • Radharc, The American Irish Historical Society, New York
  • Hibernation, Oliver Sears Gallery, Dublin
  • 2011Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition, Dublin
  • Group show, Boyle Arts Festival, Boyle
  • BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London
  • Black and White, Oliver Sears Gallery, Dublin
  • Art London, with Oliver Sears Gallery, Dublin
  • 2010Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition, Dublin
  • Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition, Belfast
  • Boyle Arts Festival, Boyle
  • Michael Quane Selects, Lavit Gallery, Cork
  • 2009Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition, Dublin
  • Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition, Belfast
  • Boyle Arts Festival, Boyle
  • 2008 Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition, Dublin
  • Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition, Belfast
  • Boyle Arts Festival, Boyle
  • 2006 2006 Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition, Dublin
  • Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition, Belfast
  • Boyle Arts Festival, Boyle
  • 2005 2005 Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition, Belfast
  • Boyle Arts Festival, Boyle

Collections

Collections

  • Allied Irish Bank
  • Anglo Irish Bank
  • Arts Council of Northern Ireland
  • Bar Library, Belfast
  • BTW Shiells, Belfast
  • British Broadcasting Corporation
  • Boyle Civic Collection
  • Cobra Golf, USA
  • Co-operation Ireland
  • Department of the Environment NI
  • Department of Finance and Personnel NI
  • Electricity Supply Board, Ireland
  • First Trust Bank
  • Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park, Dublin (Interpol)
  • Hastings Hotels
  • Hilton Hotels
  • The Law Society of Ireland
  • National Gallery of Ireland
  • National Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland
  • Northern Ireland Electricity
  • Office of Public Works, Ireland
  • Parliament Buildings Stormont
  • Queen's University, Belfast
  • Royal Victoria Hospital
  • Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC
  • Standard Chartered Bank of Asia
  • Standard Life UK
  • Stiftung Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Berlin
  • Ulster Bank Group
  • Ulster Museum Belfast
  • Wexford County Council

Selected Portrait Sitters
(since 2010)

  • HM Queen Elizabeth II
  • Dame Mary Peters
  • Lord Kerr
  • Lord Bannside
  • Sir Kenneth Branagh
  • Professor Sir Peter Gregson
  • Michael Longley CBE
  • Simon Callow CBE
  • Barry Douglas OBE
  • Mark Knopfler OBE
  • Mark Carruthers OBE
  • Marie Jones OBE
  • Seamus Heaney
  • Paul Muldoon
  • Roddy Doyle
  • Glen Hansard
  • Ciaran Hinds
  • James Nesbitt
  • Neil Hannon
  • Conleth Hill
  • Eamonn Mallie
  • Gary Lightbody
  • Bill Whelan
  • Sinead Morrissey
  • Glenn Patterson
  • Jennifer Johnston
  • Brian Friel
  • James Ellis
  • Brian Kennedy
  • Bronagh Gallagher
  • Basil Blackshaw
  • Gavin Friday
  • Lisa Hannigan
  • Paul Brady
  • Terri Hooley
  • Adrian Dunbar
  • Marketa Irglova
  • Eddie Irvine
  • Martin McGuinness
  • Brad Pitt
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Jamie Dornan