Belfast Telegraph

Artist Colin Davidson picks up US-Ireland Alliance Oscar Wilde Award

By Joanne Sweeney

Painter Colin Davidson will become the first artist from beyond the film and television world to be honoured in a prestigious awards ceremony in the US next year.

He will travel to Los Angeles to accept the accolade at the 2015 US-Ireland Alliance Oscar Wilde Awards on February 19, which seek to recognise the contributions of Irish people in film and television.

It will be the second honour the Belfast artist can look forward to in the new year as actor Liam Neeson has agreed to sit for him in his role as patron of The Lyric Theatre in Belfast.

His painting of poet Seamus Heaney was the last portrait for which the Nobel Laureate sat.

Colin told the Belfast Telegraph: "This news came completely out of the blue to me. It really is an honour and a privilege to be recognised in this way, particularly to be the first announced for next week.

"When you are painting day in and day out in the studio, it can become quite isolated, so then for someone to see the value in your work, makes you feel that hopefully you are on the right track," he added.

Some of his most recent works depict famous faces such as Sir Kenneth Branagh, Simon Callow, Ciaran Hinds and Michael Longley.

The event will take place at Star Wars: The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams' Bad Robot studios in Santa Monica, and he is set to return as master of ceremonies.

Previous award-winners include directors Jim Sheridan and Neil Jordan, and actors Colin Farrell and Saoirse Ronan.

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